Develop Strength and Flexibility at DC Pilates

Pilates helps practitioners strengthen their sense of balance.

Struggling for motivation? Stuck in a workout rut? Bored with the same exercise routine? Or maybe you are finally ready to begin a fitness regimen. Pilates can kick start your routine no matter what your fitness level.

Pilates is a workout like no other. It’s about flowing with movements, not muscling through them. Isolated muscular strength and bulk doesn’t count for much in a mat class or on the reformer, which is a bed-like frame which rolls back and forth and can train many parts of the body in many different ways. It’s control, concentration, ease of movement, precision and breathing that matter.

Arthur Dunbar has transformed his 2FittWellness studio on the second floor of 526 H St., NE into a Pilates studio. He teaches mat classes, reformer classes, and private sessions. He has classes for seniors and pre/post-natal students. Arthur offers a ‘jump board’ workout that is more intense, advanced and vigorous for athletes or anyone wanting high intensity. “Pilates is a thinking workout. Everything branches out from your center,” said Arthur. “It’s easy on your joints with big benefits – better alignment, posture and balance. It also helps you focus better and gives you more energy. You’ll never get bored.”

Arthur Dunbar, owner of D.C. Pilates, with students.

What is Pilates?
Pilates is a series of exercises that emphasizes your body’s core muscles: your abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thighs and glutes. “It helps you develop strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance and correct posture,” explained Arthur.

Pilates was developed by a German named Joseph Pilates. He and his wife came to New York in the 1940s and opened up a studio in Manhattan. When dancers would get injured many began taking Pilates (it was called Contrology) and, as a result, recovered from their injury more quickly than they would have without the discipline. Pilates became more mainstream in the 1990s. It is an exercise discipline practiced around the world.

What Makes DC Pilates Unique
Arthur Dunbar is not only a fitness professional with more than 20 years of experience, but he also has personally experienced the benefits of practicing Pilates. While in school in Wichita, Kansas his dance instructor told him he was too stiff and bulky and recommended he take Pilates. “I wasn’t sold on it at first.” But it worked. Arthur was able to professionally dance with the Richmond Ballet. “I got a lot of benefit from Pilates. It has kept my back healthy.” (Arthur injured it several years ago). “I also was able to rehab an injured hamstring with Pilates.”

For each of his clients and students Arthur crafts comprehensive wellness strategies and inspires as well as produces fitness results that keep clients coming back. “He is a great teacher and a great human,” said Gwen, one of his senior students who followed him to DC Pilates. “He knows how to work with old people.”

DC Pilates is one of the few studios that has incorporated the use of a new Pilates workout tool into its program. Arthur uses the MOTR which combines the comfort of a foam roller with the challenge of three weight level resistances. “It’s a challenging and diverse workout.” It is a core tube (like a foam roller but made of different material) with cable attachments that help simulate moves such as those performed on the reformer. It allows Pilates moves to be taken to the next level providing an unstable surface to really engage the core and force the body to align itself correctly in order to balance.

Pilates can help athletes such as skiers, golfers cyclists and tennis players improve. It can assist in injury prevention as well as speed up recovery. Physical therapists often recommend it for their clients. Pilates is for everyone.

On Saturday, Nov. 18 Arthur is celebrating his one-year anniversary on H Street. All are welcome.

To learn more about Arthur Dunbar and DC Pilates log onto:, or call 202-543-4600.


Pattie Cinelli is a certified personal trainer, yoga and Pilates teacher who adopts a holistic approach to fitness with her clients and students. She is also a journalist who has been writing her health/fitness column for more than 25 years about leading edge wellness topics and individuals. Contact Pattie