Kala Pilates— Online Pilates Platform & Pre/Postnatal Specialist (2024)

About Pilates

Pilates is a low-impact workout focusing on building your core muscles through slow controlled movements and breathing techniques. Since its invention in the 1920s, it's continued to grow in popularity and style over the last 100 years.

I know I said movements were slow and controlled, but this doesn’t mean that pilates is easy. Instead, pilates is deceptively challenging, as each move has different intensity variations.

You’ll find that pilates delivers a whole-body workout and gets your blood pumping, activates your muscles, and burns calories, which is essential if you want to lose weight.

Can pilates help you lose weight?

In short, yes, but not if you're looking for immediate results. Pilates is a low-impact activity, so it won't get your heart racing like a cardio-based activity. If you're looking for fast weight loss results, combine pilates with a cardio-based exercise like running or swimming, along with eating a healthy balanced diet.

However, it has been proven that even pilates on its own can help with weight loss - In a study where thirty-seven women aged between 30 to 50 were split into two groups, one performing 90 mins of pilates for three days per week and the other half performing no exercises.

After eight weeks, the group who had done regular pilates exercises had a noticeable change in body composition, such as reduced hip circumference and a reduction in fat percentage and overall weight.

How many calories do you burn in a pilates class?

To lose weight it's important that you burn more calories than you consume, we refer to this as a calorie deficit. Calories are the energy we get from our food that are essential to support our basic bodily functions like:

  • Respiration

  • Digestion

  • Cell processes

  • Circulation

On average, you burn around 2,000 calories per day on normal daily function, so any activity you do on top of this burns more calories.

On average, you can burn between 170 to 250 calories in a 1-hour mat-based beginner's pilates class - and up to 480 calories if you're doing an advanced pilates workout. If you want to track the calories you burn in your regular pilates classes, you can use a calorie tracker like an apple watch or a fitness band.

Healthy eating and Pilates

Although I’ve mentioned that having a calorie deficit is important to lose weight, you must ensure your body has sufficient energy and the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to keep your body going throughout the day. Otherwise, if your calorie deficit is too high, you can find yourself putting on weight, as the body retains fat. To avoid this, it’s always best to follow a healthy balanced diet.

How can pilates help you lose weight?

Pilates can help you lose weight by toning your muscles, improving core strength, and encouraging you to get your body moving.

Pilates gets your body moving

To lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit, which means you need to expend more calories than you take in. You burn roughly 2,000 calories every day without extra activity, so any additional activity you do can help with your calorie deficit.

Overall, getting your body moving in any form, whether walking, pilates, or taking the stairs, helps burn extra calories.

It improves your core strength

One benefit of pilates is that your core strength will improve through regular classes. In addition, by improving your core and abdominal muscles, you'll feel that your midsection is more toned and your stomach is tighter.

You’ll see an improvement in posture

Pilates works wonders for your posture and helps you sit, stand, and walk straighter. By adopting a better posture, your muscles will be better balanced, which will help with the efficiency of your exercise and ultimately aid you in your weight loss journey.

It builds muscle strength and stamina

The more regularly you practise pilates, the stronger your muscles will become, and you'll quickly see an improvement in your stamina.

By building stamina and improving your muscle strength, you unlock the ability to perform longer and more intense workouts, which helps to push your body further and help burn more calories.

How often should I do pilates?

Pilates Exercises For Weight Loss

Below I've added my favourite pilates moves that will get your body moving and help with weight loss. Make sure you do a quick warm up before you start any exercises, as it’s important to get your body warmed up to avoid the risk of injury.

Do each exercise for the recommended reps and do three rounds of all 5 exercises for a quick full-body pilates workout.

Pilates Lunges

Targets: Pilates lunges are perfect to start your workout and get your glute muscles activated

  1. Start on your mat standing in parallel, feet hip-width apart, with your shoulders relaxed.

  1. Step your right leg back as you bend both knees to roughly a 90-degree angle - only go as low as you feel comfortable.

  2. Keep your back and core muscles engaged and your hips and shoulders facing forwards, return to standing by pressing into your front foot and stepping your back leg back to the starting position.

  3. Repeat the lunge 20 times on each side.

Optional: Hold dumbbells to advance your glute strength.

Pilates Squats

Targets: The pilates squat is a classic move that will fire up your glutes, quads and engage your abdominals

  1. Stand with your feet in a wide position, a little wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Inhale as you bend your knees and hinge from your hips to a position you feel comfortable - your knees should go directly over your toes - Imagine you are going to sit down on a chair.

  3. Exhale as you engage your core, and push the floor away. Straightening your knees to return to standing.

  4. Repeat the squat 20 times

Optional: Wear a strong loop resistance band around your thighs to challenge your glute strength further.

Pilates Plank to Pike

Targets: A classic move to help build core strength, the plank also works your arm muscles and stamina.

  1. Starting in an all-fours position with your arms under your shoulders, step your legs back into a high plank.

  2. Keeping your core engaged and maintaining a steady breath, hold the plank for 15 seconds.

  3. Return to all four positions and repeat 5 times.

Optional: If you found the plank easy, try a variation into a plank pike - when you’re in the plank position push into your arms and push your hips up and back to try and touch your left ankle with your right arm, return to the plank position. Repeat 10 times to the left ankle, and then 10 times to the right (using your left arm).

Pilates 100

Targets: One of the original Joseph Pilates moves - the 100 - works deep into your abdominals, builds stamina, coordination and works on your body-to-breathe connection.

  1. Lying on your mat, float your legs up into a tabletop position (your knees should be stacked on top of your hips and your shins parallel to the ceiling).

  2. Nod your chin in toward your chest, exhale to engage your core, and lift your shoulders off the mat with your arms straight out against your sides.

  3. With your shoulders off the mat, steadily begin to beat the arms up and down as you breathe in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts. Imagine you are bouncing a ball under your hands, maintaining a dynamic pulse.

  4. Repeat the inhale and exhale cycle 10 times to make up 100 beats.

  5. Once you’ve done 10 breath cycles slowly lower yourself back down to the mat.

Optional: If you want a more advanced version of the one hundred, take your legs out straight and hold at a 45 degree angle while you beat your arms.

Pilates Push Ups

Target area: Push ups target your chest muscles and arm muscles. If you’re looking for a complete arm workout, check out my guide for toned arms.

  1. Start in a plank position with your arms slightly wider than your shoulders ( If you’re new to push-ups you can leave your knees on the floor).

  2. Inhale as you gently bend your elbows to a 45 degree angle and lower your body half way down to the floor, maintaining your plank position.

  3. Exhale as you press into your hands to extend your arms straight and bring your body back to its starting position.

  4. Repeat 10 - 20 times.

Summary - Can Pilates help you lose weight?

Regularly practising pilates can help you feel more toned, improve your posture, and help you lose weight. However, combining pilates with another cardio-based exercise like running or swimming is best if you want faster weight loss results.

If you're ready to kick start your weight loss journey today and want to try 7-days of pilates for free, you can sign up for the Kala Pilates free trial here.

Kala Pilates— Online Pilates Platform & Pre/Postnatal Specialist (2024)


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