If you are at a point in your life where you want to lose weight as well as build more lean muscle mass, then you may find the answer by adding a pilates class to your exercise routine.
Pilates exercises may not be the first thing you think about when you want to burn calories and lose weight, but you may be able to achieve your weight loss goals by doing a regular pilates workout instead of an intensive cardio routine.
In this article, we will discuss how to do pilates for weight loss and what that can mean for keeping your body fit.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a low-intensity workout that was developed by a man called Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.
The original pilates that we know about today is called classical pilates which is a sequence of 34 functional exercises on a mat.
As time has gone, different variations of pilates have been created to mix and match with different exercises, but traditional pilates still stands as an important workout.
Pilates focuses on building lean muscle mass and toning the body.
You can do pilates anywhere, whether you want to work out at home, or take pilates classes at your local gym, it is a workout routine that you have some leeway with.
Whilst it may look like a very relaxed workout, it is in fact, quite hard to maintain if you are doing it right, as it works your whole body.
If you practice pilates regularly then you will see the benefits, however, you will need to also make sure that you eat a healthy diet with proper nutrition so that you can reap the benefits to help you lose weight.
Can You Lose Weight Practicing Pilates?
If you want to get into shape by losing fat and having a healthy body weight, then pilates will be an exercise that will help you obtain these goals.
However, despite the fact that it is a good workout to do, if you think pilates will make you lose weight entirely, then you are wrong on that front.
Pilates can help you reach your goals, but, it will be a lot slower than if you were running, swimming, or cycling.
You can achieve weight loss whilst doing pilates workouts, but it won’t be as quick as you may want it to be, so it may be best combining pilates with other workouts that will get your heart pumping and your body working.
What Can Pilates be Effective on?
There have been studies done on pilates and its effects on people and how that plays into how much weight they lose.
For instance, in 2017, a study on women between the ages of 30 and 50 compared to a similar control group not doing any exercise, found that pilates can help with –
- Weight loss
- Lowering body mass index (BMI)
- Decreasing hip circumference and the abdomen
- Toning of the waist
As you can see, doing any pilates exercise can help with the above, however, it didn’t make any difference to lean body mass (body fat weight subtracted from total body weight).
It may also help with functional fitness, cardiorespiratory fitness, and body composition but that will depend on doing it correctly and consistently.
For these effects to take place, it is important that you keep to it and go for regular pilates sessions to keep your output consistent.
If you are new to pilates, then you may find the benefit in utilizing the help of a pilates instructor to aid you in reaching your goals so that you don’t fall back into old patterns.
How Often Should You be Doing Pilates?
If you think that you will achieve your weight loss goals by doing pilates off and on, then you are not going to get the desired effect you want with your body.
It is important to practice pilates regularly and keep at it as much as possible to make sure that you are getting the benefits you want.
Even if you were just able to manage 10 minutes a day each day, this can be great for your body and health.
Create a Chart
If you think that you may fall behind, or you need that extra support to help you keep to your pilates schedule, then you may want to download an app that can keep track of your workouts, or you can print off a chart and put it on your door or fridge to remind you of when you need to do it.
Doing this can help you with boosting your motivation and get you going even on those days when you don’t want to do much.
You don’t always have to do 30 minutes to an hour sessions each day, it is okay to break it up and work with your body.
What Equipment Do You Need?
When it comes to pilates, beginners do not need much equipment to get the job done. All you will need is a few items to get you ready for your workout.
- Workout outfit – leggings, gym top, or hoodie
- A mat
- A water bottle to keep yourself hydrated
That said, the workouts will likely get easier as you become more proficient. Hence, those practicing on an advanced level might need to upgrade from a mat and dumbbells and invest in the best Pilates Reformer or similar equipment to increase the intensity of their workout.
It Depends on What Type of Pilates You Are Doing
As you can see you don’t need to do much. If you are doing a variation of pilates that mixes it with other exercises, then you will need to bring in other equipment like weights or skipping rope (if required), just make sure that you have good quality equipment.
How Can Pilates Change Your Body Shape?
We touched on before how pilates can have an effect on your hip circumference and abdomen as it focuses a lot on the abdominal area.
You will be more aware of your oblique muscles becoming more visible to your eye as your waist gains definition.
The shape of your legs will also change with your quad muscles becoming more defined just like your waist.
You may also find that your posture is better and your glutes are toned as well as stronger.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Pilates?
The current weight you are will determine how much weight you lose when doing pilates, as well as what type of pilates class you take and the difficulty level.
If you are going slowly and not doing too much, then you won’t be burning the number of calories that you were hoping to.
It takes effort and determination, so you have to make sure that you are really going for it and working up a sweat for it to make any difference to your body.
How Many Calories Can You Burn?
If you were doing a 50-minute pilates class and you were around 150 pounds, then you could be looking at burning between 180 – 250 calories depending on the type of class (normal to advanced).
So, is pilates good for weight loss? I think you can agree that it certainly will do a lot for you when you want to lose weight.
Losing weight takes time, but as long as you are determined and make sure that you are doing everything possible (in a healthy range) to reach your goals then you will achieve what you have set out for.