Inclusivity In Fitness: creating spaces where ALL women feel confident
Not all of us are naturals when it comes to health, fitness and exercise. We're all a work in progress and we all know that starting at a new gym or workout class can feel incredibly daunting.
When you think of Reformer Pilates, perhaps an image of sleek, fit, and flexible bodies comes to mind. You might be thinking you don't have the core strength or balance to reap the benefits of reformer pilates.
The narrative that only a specific body type can partake in Reformer Pilates is being rewritten by Muse
Pilates, illustrating that this form of exercise is for everyone, regardless of appearance or fitness level.
After encountering a knee injury in 2008, I discovered the therapeutic advantages of Reformer Pilates, which then led to the birth of Muse Pilates.
The diversity of classes at Muse Pilates ensures that everyone can find a session that aligns with their
goals and abilities. Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or just embarking on your wellness
journey, Muse Pilates has you covered.
Here are the values & beliefs which create an inclusive environment for women at Muse:
● Language: Staying mindful of the language used in all communications, focusing on positive & inclusive language that focuses on health, strength, and personal growth.
● Trained and Sensitivity-Aware Staff: Engage sensitive & empathetic staff to the needs of diverse clientele. Educate and encourage them to be attentive and supportive to all participants.
● Varied Fitness Options: Offer a variety of fitness classes that cater to different preferences & fitness levels. Having options ranging from low-impact to high-intensity workouts ensures that everyone can find something that suits everyone's needs and abilities.
● Modify & Adapt: Create an environment where participants feel comfortable modifying exercises to match their abilities. Provide alternative movements for different fitness levels, & encourage participants to listen to their bodies.
● Personalised Support: Provide opportunities for one-on-one consultations or personalised training sessions. This allows participants to discuss their goals & any concerns they might have, fostering a sense of individual attention & care.
● Non-Judgmental Atmosphere: Emphasise that your fitness space is judgment-free. Encourage participants to focus on their personal progress & growth rather than comparing themselves to others.
● Community Building: Foster a sense of community within your fitness space. Host social events, workshops, & classes that encourage interaction & connection among participants.
● Feedback Mechanisms: Establish an open channel for feedback from your clients. Encourage them to share their experiences & suggestions for improvement. Actively listening to their input can help you continually create a more inclusive environment.
● Celebrate Achievements: Recognise and celebrate the achievements of all participants, regardless of their fitness level. This can be done through shout-outs in classes, social media posts, or even small rewards. At Muse Pilates, we like to highlight our 'member of the month' at each studio.
● Education and Awareness: Organise workshops or seminars on body positivity, diversity, & inclusivity. Promote awareness & understanding among your clients about the importance of creating a welcoming space for everyone.
● Collaboration & Partnerships: Collaborate with local organisations or individuals who promote diversity & inclusivity. This can help you tap into new communities & create a more diverse clientele.
● Continuous Learning: Stay updated on the latest research, trends, & best practices related to inclusivity in fitness. Be willing to evolve & adapt your strategies as you learn more.
Remember, the goal is to create an environment where all women feel respected, valued, & empowered on their fitness journey.
Muse Pilates, led by its founder Allana Frisken, is on a mission to dispel this misconception and create a welcoming space where all women can embrace their fitness journey with confidence.
In 2019, Frisken pioneered the first Muse Pilates studio in Dulwich Hill, NSW. Her vision was clear: to make Reformer Pilates not only enjoyable but also accessible to everyone.
Central to this vision was cultivating an environment where clients could feel at ease in their bodies and find empowerment through their workouts.
The emphasis shifted from conforming to specific standards to celebrating diversity and personal progress.
Muse Pilates quickly gained momentum, expanding to 10 studios across NSW and the ACT. The heart
of Muse Pilates lies in its dedication to empowering women of all ages, sizes, shapes, and fitness
backgrounds. Each studio offers a variety of classes to cater to individuals at different stages of their