How Long to See Results from Pilates (2024)

by MD Health | Jun 8, 2023 | Article, Clinical Exercise, Pilates and Strength and Conditioning, Michael Dermansky | 0 comments

How Long to See Results from Pilates (1)

Welcome! Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned practitioner, you might be wondering how long it takes to see results from your Pilates program.

In this friendly and informative blog post, we’ll explore the timeline for physical and mental benefits, including:

  • Recommended frequency and duration of practice
  • The role of individual variation
  • Measuring results and
  • Staying motivated in your Pilates journey.

Let’s dive in!

Physical Results from Pilates

While individual experiences will vary, many people begin to notice physical improvements within a few weeks of consistent Pilates practice (usually the initial results within about 3 weeks) This is because even in the first few weeks, your ability to activate the correct muscles and be aware of your posture begins to improve.

In particular, these changes can include better posture, increased flexibility and improved core muscle activation.

However, the timeline can be influenced by factors such as your starting fitness level, the type of Pilates you’re practicing (mat or equipment-based), and the quality of instruction you receive.

As a general guide, the first significant improvements in function start to occur at the 6-7 week mark. This is because at this stage your body has started to make more efficient neural (nerve) connections into the muscles, so that when the muscles contract, they can better match the force required. As a result, even though there has not been a change in the size of the muscles, the strength has improved.

The next most significant changes at the 13 week mark. At this stage, the growth of the muscles has begun to occur (hypertrophy), which has resulted both more muscle and stronger muscles. Your muscles continue to grow and become stronger from 3 months to 12 months, but at a slower rate.

Improvements in posture from Pilates

One of the most noticeable outcomes of Pilates is an improvement in posture. Pilates not only enhances your posture but also makes you look taller and more confident.

This is achieved by focusing on alignment, balance, and core strength, which together create a strong foundation for your body.

As you become more aware of your body’s alignment, you’ll naturally start to maintain a healthier posture, which can lead to a more positive body image.

How Long to See Results from Pilates (2)

Improvements in flexibility from Pilates

Another significant benefit of Pilates is increased flexibility.

The exercises involved in Pilates stretch and strengthen your muscles simultaneously, resulting in a more flexible and supple body. The interesting contradiction from Pilates is that as you impprove the stability of your joints (with improved stabilising muscle activity around the joints), your body feels more in control, so you are able to move through larger ranges of movement and gain flexibility. More control = more flexibility.

This increased flexibility can lead to a greater range of motion, reduced muscle stiffness, and an overall more graceful appearance.

As your body becomes more limber, you may find that your body image improves as well.

Furthermore, Pilates focuses on developing a strong and stable centre, which includes the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis.

A strong core is essential for maintaining balance, stability, and overall body strength. As you progress in your Pilates practice, you’ll notice leaner and more toned muscles, leading to a more defined and sculpted physique.

This enhanced physical appearance can contribute to a more positive body image.

How Long to See Results from Pilates (3)

Mental Benefits of Pilates

The mental and emotional benefits of Pilates can be just as significant as the physical ones. Many practitioners report feeling more relaxed, focused, and in tune with their bodies after a session.

These mental benefits can be experienced relatively quickly, often after just a few sessions.

As you continue your practice, you’ll likely notice even more significant improvements in stress management and overall mental well-being.

Frequency and Duration of Practice

If you’re looking to build muscle through Pilates, consistency and dedication are essential. That’s why I recommend committing to:

  • 2-3 Pilates sessions per week (To give your body the right stimulation to grow and improve AND the appropriate amount of rest)
    • (Rest is a very important part of the program. Your muscles grow when you rest, NOT when you exercise. Having enough time for recovery allows for the best results https://mdhealth.com.au/the-importance-of-rest-and-recovery/)
  • For at least 13 weeks.
    • (The minimum amount of time for real changes in muscle strength and growth)

During this time, your body will undergo a gradual process of muscle growth and adaptation, as your muscles become stronger and more toned with each session.

By sticking to a regular schedule and pushing yourself to try new exercises and challenges, you’ll see even greater results in terms of muscle development and overall fitness.

Each session should last between 30 minutes, allowing enough time for a full body workout that targets all major muscle groups.

As you progress through your Pilates program, you may find that you need to increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts to continue challenging your muscles and seeing results.

This can involve adding more weight, reps, or variations to your exercises, or incorporating new equipment like resistance bands or weights.

Ultimately, the key to muscle growth through Pilates is to stay committed, stay consistent, and stay open to new challenges and experiences. With time and practice, you’ll develop stronger, leaner muscles that support your overall health and well-being.

Individual Variation

Everyone’s journey with Pilates is distinct and factors such as age, fitness level, and overall health have a considerable impact on how quickly you’ll notice progress.

For example, younger individuals with a higher starting fitness level are likely to see results more rapidly than older adults or those managing health conditions.

However, this should not discourage anyone from embarking on their Pilates journey. The true secret to success lies in patience, perseverance, and consistent, quality practice.

How Long to See Results from Pilates (4)

Measuring Results

To track your progress, physiotherapists, osteopaths and exercise physiologists can provide expert assessments, determining how much stronger you’ve become as you continue to practice.

As, focusing on increasing strength is crucial in Pilates, as it is an excellent method for building overall body strength, particularly in your core muscles. In addition to strength,

Pilates encourages increased mobility and flexibility in your joints, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably.

Professional assessments by experts will help you monitor the improvements in your range of motion, ensuring that you’re on the right track in your Pilates journey.

Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help you measure your progress in this area and provide tailored guidance to ensure you continue to improve.

Lastly, enhancing your flexibility is a vital aspect of Pilates.

A regular practice will lead to greater flexibility in your muscles and connective tissues, allowing for more fluid movement and reducing the risk of injury.

How Long to See Results from Pilates (5)

Sticking with the Practice

By sticking to a consistent routine, you’ll be unlocking a myriad of benefits that will positively impact your overall well-being.

One of the most significant advantages of maintaining a regular Pilates practice is the increased flexibility and range of motion you’ll experience.

With each session, your muscles and connective tissues will gradually become more supple and elastic, allowing for smoother, more fluid movements.

This increased flexibility will help prevent injuries and make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable.

But that’s not all! As you continue to immerse yourself in the Pilates world, you’ll also notice a remarkable improvement in your overall strength.

The unique exercises in Pilates target deep muscles that often get neglected in traditional workouts.

By fortifying these muscles, you’re effectively building a strong foundation for your entire body, making you more resilient to injuries and promoting better posture and alignment.

Moreover, as you develop your Pilates practice, you’ll find that your range of motion improves significantly.

This increased mobility will not only make you more agile but will also help reduce the risk of injury.

In fact, many athletes and fitness enthusiasts turn to Pilates as a way to enhance their performance and protect their bodies from potential harm.

How Long to See Results from Pilates (6)

The Benefits of Pilates for Overall Physical and Mental Health

The benefits of Pilates go beyond the physical realm, It is far more than just an exercise routine for sculpting a toned body. It boosts your mental well-being as well.

One of the ways Pilates positively impacts your mental health is by aiding stress management.

The emphasis on deep, mindful breathing in Pilates helps alleviate stress and anxiety. As you become more in tune with your body, you’ll find it easier to let go of tension and feel more relaxed in your daily life. Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This is the opposite to effects adrenaline (your fight or flight reasponse). As a result, you

  • Reduce your heart rate
  • Slow your breathing
  • Dampen down your fight and flight response

Pilates also enhances self-awareness by encouraging you to listen to your body and understand its signals.

This heightened self-awareness can help you make better choices for your health and well-being, both on and off the mat.

Furthermore, many practitioners report improved sleep quality after incorporating Pilates into their routines.

The combination of physical exertion and mental relaxation can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more restful slumber.

Conclusion

In summary, you can expect to see results from your Pilates practice within a few weeks to a few months, depending on various factors.

Remember that consistency, quality instruction, and patience are essential components of your Pilates journey.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Pilates and how it can benefit you,

I invite you to visit MD Health or get in touch with one of our friendly physiotherapists or exercise physiologist.

We’d be more than happy to help you explore the world of Pilates and guide you on your journey to improved strength, flexibility, and balance.

Embrace the process, stay committed, and enjoy the numerous physical and mental benefits that Pilates has to offer. Happy practicing!

Do you have any questions?

  • Call us on (03) 9857 0644 or (07) 3505 1494 (Paddington)
  • Email us at admin@mdhealth.com.au
  • Check out our other blog posts here

Our clinical staff would be happy to have chat if you have any questions.

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*Please note only the Full Body Assessment is a FREE service. The Full Body Assessment is for new clients at MD Health or returning clients who haven’t been in for 6 months or longer who intend to particpiate in our 13 Week Clinical Pilates Program**.

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How Long to See Results from Pilates (2024)

FAQs

How Long to See Results from Pilates? ›

While individual experiences will vary, many people begin to notice physical improvements within a few weeks of consistent Pilates practice (usually the initial results within about 3 weeks) This is because even in the first few weeks, your ability to activate the correct muscles and be aware of your posture begins to ...

How often should I do Pilates to see results? ›

It can also help you lose weight and tone your body. However, like any exercise routine, the results you get from Pilates will depend on how often you do it. If you want to see noticeable results from Pilates, you need to be consistent with your workouts. This means doing Pilates at least 3-4 times per week.

How long does it take Pilates to change your body? ›

Once you get into a steady workout habit, how long does it take to see results from Pilates? While individual results may vary, most people can see noticeable body changes within just three weeks. However, those who do Pilates less often may take up to eight weeks to see noticeable results in their bodies.

Can Pilates change your body shape? ›

Ways Pilates can Change your Body & Improve Overall Well-being: Builds muscle: Most Pilates exercises focus on building up the deepest layer of muscle, which can develop and hone long, lean muscles that will help create a stronger inner and outer frame. This has a dramatic impact on your overall body composition.

How long does it take to see weight loss results from Pilates? ›

Still, most people start seeing results within a few weeks. Pilates can help you improve flexibility, build strength, or lose weight. As a mind/body approach to fitness, Pilates will make you feel and look better!

Do Pilates help lose belly fat? ›

Does Pilates help you lose belly fat? Pilates Prahran can definitely help you lose belly fat, but it's important to note that targeted weight loss is not possible, meaning that if you want to lose belly fat, you'll need to aim for overall weight loss.

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough? ›

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough? If you're following the right workouts, absolutely! 20-minutes a day is plenty to get you in Pilates shape. And if the alternative is not doing Pilates at all, then it's even better (you gotta work with what you've got).

What is better, Pilates or weight training? ›

Simply put, if your goal is to maintain a lean, toned, yet strong, and active body shape, Pilates is ideal for you. But if you want to get bigger and bulkier, then weight training is the right choice. But to support both, you have to adjust your diet accordingly.

Is 30 minutes of Pilates a day enough to lose weight? ›

If you want to lose weight, it's recommended to do around 150 mins of moderate exercise per week which equates to an average of five 30-minute pilates classes per week.

Do you lose weight with Pilates? ›

Unlike many high intensity workouts, Pilates does not burn a significant amount of calories, but studies have found that it can reduce body weight. A 2021 study found Pilates to effectively reduce body weight and body fat percentage in participants with overweight or obesity.

Is it better to do Pilates in the morning or at night? ›

Improved Metabolism: Exercise has been proven to raise your metabolism, so the earlier you workout, the longer you'll enjoy a metabolism boost throughout the day. Fewer Distractions: The morning is great for conducting Pilates exercises in peace and free from distractions.

How does Pilates change your appearance? ›

Pilates Corrects Poor Posture

A better posture can dramatically transform your body through lengthening of the spine and neck, broadening the shoulders, re-aligning the hips and pelvis, and tightening the core. A better posture will correct a rounded back, tech neck, and other physical appearances.

What kind of body does Pilates give you? ›

Health benefits of Pilates

increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the 'core muscles' of your body) balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body. enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs. improved stabilisation of your spine.

How much weight can you lose in a month with Pilates? ›

To lose one pound of fat, you have to burn off 3,500 calories more than you consume. That means if you didn't alter your diet, and assuming you practice pilates every day, you can expect to lose one pound about every 16 days. Pilates are not as vigorous an exercise as other intense forms of cardio, such as cycling.

Why am I not seeing results from Pilates? ›

One of the main reasons you may not be feeling or seeing the results of your Pilates workouts is your consistency, or lack thereof. While you may be getting some benefits from yo-yoing from 5 classes one week, to a two week break, you'll find far greater results from building a solid foundation from the get go.

Is 20 minutes of Pilates enough to lose weight? ›

If you're ready to develop core strength, postural alignment and a toned physique, Looney's 20-minute, at-home Pilates workout will take your weight-loss workouts to the next level. Although fat burn isn't the focus of Pilates, this workout will help with building muscle definition.

How often should you do Pilates to lose weight? ›

The optimal range of Pilates classes is 3-4 times a week. Beginners can aim for 2 times. Still, you should see results even by practicing Pilates once a week. Combining it with cardio or high-intensity training can help you lose weight and alter your body shape.

Is 30 minutes of Pilates a day enough? ›

30 minutes of Pilates a day is more than sufficient. While Pilates was designed to be safe for daily exercise, for beginners two to three sessions a week in 30-minute intervals is a high enough frequency and duration to produce desired fitness results.

How many times a week should you do Pilates to see change? ›

How Long Will It Really Take to Notice a Difference In How You Feel From Doing Pilates? If you really want to notice a difference in how you feel from doing Pilates, Anna recommends doing it at least three times a week.

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