If you are somebody who enjoys feeling and looking fit, but just cannot get into the weights section of the gym, don’t have time to hit the gym, or are working on a budget, Pilates might just be the workout routine for you!
You can see results from Pilates in as long as 8 weeks or as little as 3 weeks. The best results can be expected if you do Pilates up to 4 times per week. However, you may want to ease into a routine gradually and start with 2 sessions per week because that is enough to see results in the beginning.
Are you intrigued by the idea of Pilates and want to learn about its benefits, as well as before and after analysis? If so, stay with us!
- Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?
- How Often Do I Need to Do Pilates to See Results?
- Can Pilates Change Your Body Shape?
- What Muscles Does Pilates Work?
- Pilates Before and After
- Pilates Twice a Week Results
- Pilates Before and After 1 month
- Pilates Before and After 3 Months
- Pilates Body vs. Gym Body
- Benefits of Pilates
- Does Pilates Give You Abs?
- Related Guides
Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?
Any exercise that is done consistently can help you lose weight over time, and Pilates is no exception to this general rule of thumb.
Pilates may not be as affective for weight loss as cardio-based exercises such as swimming, running, or high intensity interval training (HIIT). However, it has its own benefits.
This popular low-impact exercise option is great for those who have issues with their joints, are recovering from an injury, or just want to do some slower, mindful workout routines.
How Often Do I Need to Do Pilates to See Results?
Speaking of losing weight over time, you’ll also see many other results thanks to Pilates.
To see results doing Pilates, it is recommended to practice three to four times per week, for 45 minutes.
|Frequency of Pilates Practice||Duration||Results Over Time|
|2-3 Times a Week||10 min||· Boost in circulation|
· Reduction of fatigue
· Improvements in brain function
|Once a Week||45 min||· Improvements in body awareness|
· Better balance
· More core strength
· Higher muscle mass
· Better balance
· Less back pain (in those who had been experiencing back pain)
|Twice a Week||45 min||· Same benefits as once a week|
· Significant weight loss at 5 months of twice weekly practice
|Three-to-Four Times a Week (Ideal Frequency)||45 min||· Same benefits as once and twice a week|
· Greater strength in the upper and lower body
· More lower body flexibility
· Better overall physical mobility
|Every Day||45 min||· Same benefits as other frequencies|
· Ability to vary Pilates routines and work on form and other skills (Potential to overtrain if you do not vary your routines)
You may be looking to add Pilates into your already-established workout routine, or you may be planning on making this your main exercise practice. Either way, it’s important to compare how results might look based on how often you practice Pilates.
Pilates workouts are typically 45 minutes long, but even shorter 10-minute practices can have great benefits when done consistently.
Can Pilates Change Your Body Shape?
Pilates can help change your body shape by making your body leaner and more sculpted. The exercises involved in Pilates work from the inside out to align your body.
You can expect the following areas to be targeted through Pilates:
While your overall composition might not drastically change, your appearance will be that of a more toned, fit person.
What Muscles Does Pilates Work?
Pilates primarily works on the core muscles of the body, like we mentioned above. What does this look like, though?
- Core: Pilates’ main objective is to strengthen your core. The core impacts much of our bodies’ stability, posture, and balance, and helps us keep our backs strong and pain-free. It can also aid us in all sorts of physical activity throughout our daily lives.
- Glutes: these muscles encompass your buttocks and your hips, which are quite targeted by Pilates movements. It is these 3 glute muscles that contribute to good posture, flexibility, balance when walking, and good overall mobility.
- Abs: more than just the abs, Pilates works the transverse abs which are a deep layer of the core. These muscles not only help to promote balance and good posture, but also help to stabilize the pelvis and spine.
- Lower-Mid Back: many Pilates routines incorporate forward extensions. However, those that help to extend the back muscles are especially beneficial when it comes to strengthening the muscles that help to protect the spine.
Pilates Before and After
You probably hear about the great benefits of Pilates, but how do you know what the results will really look like?
Let’s compare ‘before and after’ Pilates in three different scenarios to see just what you might expect.
Keep in mind, results will vary depending on the person, the diet, and other factors that change from person to person, but this is a good way to get an idea of how Pilates can impact a person.
Pilates Twice a Week Results
If you practice Pilates twice a week, you’ll begin to see that your abilities are improving, and your body feels different.
In contrast to practicing just once a week, the consistency of twice weekly practice allows your body to become more familiar with movements and poses. This allows you to focus on improving and growing as opposed to always trying to ‘get it right.’
Practicing Pilates twice weekly is a great way to increase your flexibility, strength, and even your stamina.
While calories burned will vary per person and their weight, on average you can expect anywhere from 100-200 calories burned in a session.
How long before you begin seeing results from these biweekly practices?
Pilates Before and After 1 month
If you are practicing Pilates twice a week for a whole month, that will give you about 8 sessions, give or take.
If we go back to the calories burned per session, this means that you will burn about 800-1,600 calories in 8 sessions of Pilates.
You realistically won’t be losing weight by practicing Pilates twice a week for a month. However, you will be building muscle tone and adjusting the way your weight is carried on your body.
Pilates Before and After 3 Months
After 3 months, and about 24 sessions, you’ll expect to have burned anywhere from 2,400-4,800 calories. You may have lost a few pounds (likely less than 5) but the progress goes beyond weight loss.
You will be stronger, more flexible, and more able-bodied when it comes to other exercises that will help you lose weight faster, if that is your goal.
Pilates Body vs. Gym Body
It is difficult to compare a Pilates body to a gym body.
Pilates is its own full sector of exercise. Also, a ‘gym body’ can mean a body focused on machine work, cardio work, strength training, or any combination of workout types.
|Pilates Body||Gym Body|
· Deep muscle work
· Toned physique
· Mental focus & clarity
· Mental focus
· Muscle work
· Weight loss (often)
|Workout Types||Bodyweight or small weight centric, focuses on movement and deep muscle work||Focuses on combining cardio, weights, machines, and other equipment, that may offer more surface-level results|
Less of a focus, more of an added bonus to the toning and leaning of the physique
|Depends on the type of workout and combination of exercise types, can be easily attained in some cases and more difficult in others|
|Equipment||When it comes to Pilates, all you really need is a mat and your body weight.|
You could use the following:
|You can opt for a variety of equipment at the gym, like:|
· Free weights
· Machines for each part of your body
· Cardio equipment
· A mat
Overall, a Pilates body will see consistent results with consistent practice, whereas a ‘gym body’ typically has more to consider in order to look a certain way.
Benefits of Pilates
You now know that Pilates helps to target core muscles like abs, as well as back muscles. All of these help to correct and maintain posture, balance, and stability.
On top of all of that, strengthening all of these various muscles at the center of your body helps protect one of the most crucial pieces of your physical body: the spine.
Main Benefits of Pilates:
- Increased flexibility
- Deep muscle engagement
- Toned physique
- Strength throughout the body
- Better balance
- Lessened fatigue
- Boosted circulation
- Increased brain power
Since Pilates is low-impact, injuries are rare. Instead, these workouts help you to gently but deeply condition your body to be stronger, more adaptable, and better protected against injury.
Pilates is great for those trying to find a routine without all the cardio and fast-paced movement that can so often hurt the joints.
In the same way that it helps prevent injury, Pilates can also be used to recover from injury thanks to its gentle but effective nature.
Does Pilates Give You Abs?
A frequently asked question when it comes to Pilates (and most other workouts, really) is ‘does it give you abs?’
Often, the answer is more complex than yes or no.
With Pilates, the answer is a clear yes. Pilates does give you abs.
This exercise strengthens all the muscles that make up our vision of ‘abs’ as it targets the core and abdomen so deeply.
On top of seeing toning over the rest of your body, Pilates will also help you carve the abs that you may desire, over time and consistent practice.
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How long does it take to start seeing results from Pilates? ›
10) How long do I need to do Pilates before I start seeing results? To quote Joseph Pilates: “In 10 sessions you will feel better, in 20 you will look better, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.” If you are doing 2-3 classes a week, you should start to see results in 10-12 weeks.How many times a week do you need to do Pilates to see results? ›
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on your individual fitness goals and schedule. However, most people who do reformer pilates on a regular basis find that 2-3 times per week is the sweet spot in terms of seeing results without feeling too overwhelmed or overworked.How long does it take to lose weight with Pilates? ›
One small study in 2017 observed 37 overweight or obese women ages 30 to 50. The researchers found that practicing Pilates for eight weeks was effective for: weight loss.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.Can Pilates change your body in 2 weeks? ›
Physical results from doing Pilates will be noticeable within three to eight weeks, depending on how often you work out. Mental changes will be felt much sooner, with most people feeling more energised, alert and happier after each Pilates session.Does Pilates tone your body quickly? ›
Pilates can most certainly tone your body. However, toning your body doesn't mean what you might think it means. By definition, Tone means to give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a muscle). So, simple answer to the question is yes, Pilates can tone your body.Will Pilates help me lose belly fat? ›
To Recap, Can Pilates Give You a Flat Stomach? Yes! By doing Pilates to strengthen core muscles, increasing the fat burning efficiency of the body, and by reducing stress in your life. In fact Pilates combined with another form of cardiovascular workout can provide huge weight loss benefits.How many times a week should I do Pilates to lose weight? ›
“In my 10-plus years of teaching, I've learned that students who have a strong Pilates practice see results quicker, as they're able to perform their other workouts more effectively,” says Brennan. She recommends doing Pilates two to four times per week for the best results.Does Pilates change your body shape? ›
Pilates can change your shape through toning and its emphasis on alignment and improving posture. It's known for working from the inside out and can give you the appearance of being taller and slimmer. While you can work up a sweat from Pilates, on its own it isn't the most effective way to lose weight.What happens to your body when you do Pilates everyday? ›
It is possible to do Pilates every day providing you vary the workout to avoid overtraining certain muscles. The benefits of a regular practice of Pilates, such as improved balance, coordination, core strength, and mental health, means regular practice will improve your quality of life.
Will you see results from Pilates a week? ›
Once a week is not ideal, but you will see some benefits regardless. You will will learn the exercises and gain some confidence in creating access to your core support. If you continue working out once a week for several months, you will begin to create some change in your movement patterns.How do you know if Pilates is working? ›
- You Feel Balanced Between Your Left and Right Side. ...
- You Feel More Mobility in Daily Life. ...
- You're Feeling Stronger. ...
- The Exercises Are Getting Easier. ...
- You're Engaging Your Core. ...
- Your Body Is Relaxed. ...
- You Feel a Connection Between Breath and Movement. ...
- Your Posture Is Improving.
Joseph Pilates recommended that Pilates exercises be performed every day. And the great thing about Pilates as an exercise modality is that you can perform it every day and still rest certain areas of the body (if desired).How many Pilates classes make a difference a week? ›
3-4 classes per week is ideal for someone who wants the strength benefits of Pilates as it will provide your body with enough stimulus for the muscles to get stronger, leading to improvements in posture and fewer general aches and pains.Does Pilates slim your legs? ›
“Pilates requires grace, balance, flow, and control, which targets all of the muscles in the leg, including small intrinsic musculature and weak muscle groups. The concept keeps legs long and slim as they're being toned.”What should I eat after Pilates? ›
- A chicken and quinoa salad.
- A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.
- Salmon with roasted vegetables.
- Greek yogurt with berries.
By providing variety within the workouts, ensuring not to over-stress one particular body part in a single session, and not repeating the same routine over and over again, Pilates provides a regime that can be safely undertaken daily. Now having said that, you don't HAVE to do Pilates every day to get results!Can Pilates help tighten loose skin? ›
The Pilates exercises don't necessarily “tighten” loose skin on your body – what they actually do is tighten the muscles that are under your skin. If you have lost a significant amount of weight and as a result are dealing with a large amount of loose skin – Pilates alone will not tighten that skin.Can Pilates be my only form of exercise? ›
Traditional Pilates can be a great point of entry to exercise for those without a history of exercise. Someone who does not have a regular exercise routine already established will most likely note both strength and some hypertrophic improvements from many forms of exercise, Pilates included.What are the disadvantages of Pilates? ›
The Cons of Mat Pilates
If you're used to working out in a gym, mat Pilates can be more difficult than aerobic workouts such as running or indoor cycling. This is because your core muscles are not only supporting the movement of your arms and legs – they're also holding your body upright without the help of weights.
Does Pilates help flabby arms? ›
This training method strengthens and elongates your muscles while burning fat. Over time, it improves body composition and gets rid of belly fat, back pain, and flabby arms.How much weight can you lose in a month doing 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.Does Pilates shrink your waist? ›
Pilates is a great option if you want to achieve a smaller waistline, in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. It works all of your abdominal muscles including those in your six-pack, waist and deep muscles. It creates not just smaller waist and washboard stomach, but also good posture and healthier body.What type of Pilates is best for weight loss? ›
What Type Of Pilates Is Best For Weight Loss? You'll burn more calories in any exercise that increases your heart rate, including reformer classes. That is, Pilates done on the machine pictured above, basically a large sliding platform.How many days in a row should I do Pilates? ›
Pilates is safe enough to do every day. Initially you may want to do it every day so you get a rhythm and become consistent; then a good goal is to do it every other day. Joseph Pilates used to say to do it three times a week.What are the best results from Pilates? ›
Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture. Pilates workouts promote strength, balanced muscle development, flexibility, and increased range of motion for the joints.What 3 aspects does Pilates focus on the most? ›
Pilates focuses on core strength and exercises both mind and body to develop stability, stamina, balance and flexibility. There are countless benefits to a regular practice, but in this article, we want to focus on some of the core principles of the methodology that some members might not be familiar with.What parts of the body does Pilates tone? ›
Pilates focuses on targeting key areas, abs, back, glutes, hips, and pelvis, while still giving your body a full workout and building muscle in addition to fixing habitual movement patterns that lead to injury.Should you do Pilates before or after eating? ›
– Don't eat right before: try to eat a good hour or more before your Pilates session, if possible. This will give your body time to properly digest the food so your stomach will be satisfied, but comfortable during your workout.Can Pilates change your face shape? ›
Increased control of facial muscles. Increased tone and volume of facial muscles, which has the potential to change the appearance of your face (note in the before and after photo how my eyes have brightened and the area between the nose and upper lip has plumped). Increased strength and resting tone in the neck.
Does Pilates make you look younger? ›
Pilates is not only a great way to tone the body, but also helps to reduce stress, combat fatigue and improve mental focus and circulation. Doing just a few Pilates mat exercises a day will rejuvenate you both physically and mentally – helping you to look and feel younger.Is Pilates just as good as weight training? ›
Is Pilates or weight training better for building strength? Both Pilates and weight training build strength, but which exercise is better will depend on your goal. Weight training is more effective if you want to lift heavy weights and increase muscle mass.What time of day is best for Pilates? ›
Many experts say that doing a Pilates routine when you first wake up is the best way to prepare for your day. This is because it has lots of great health benefits that will stay with you all day long. These can include boosting your metabolism simply by including exercise before you eat.Is Pilates 3 times a week enough? ›
Pilates, just like many other fitness systems, should be done for a minimum of 3 times per week. However, to further improve your body's strength, flexibility and endurance, you can do up to 4 or 5 Pilates classes a week.Why is Pilates addictive? ›
Mind-body connection: Reformer Pilates emphasizes the mind-body connection and the importance of proper form and technique. The focus on the present moment and the physical sensations of the body can be calming and meditative, which some people find addictive.Is Reformer Pilates 2x a week enough? ›
If you are brand new to Pilates reformer or it has been a while since you have done workouts on this machine, then 2-3 times a week is likely enough. However, if you have time, you can go for more sessions per week.What happens to your body when you start Pilates? ›
Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture. Pilates workouts promote strength, balanced muscle development, flexibility, and increased range of motion for the joints.Should you do Pilates 3 days in a row? ›
Joseph Pilates recommended that Pilates exercises be performed every day. And the great thing about Pilates as an exercise modality is that you can perform it every day and still rest certain areas of the body (if desired).Should I do the same Pilates routine everyday? ›
By providing variety within the workouts, ensuring not to over-stress one particular body part in a single session, and not repeating the same routine over and over again, Pilates provides a regime that can be safely undertaken daily.Can you lose belly fat by doing Pilates? ›
To Recap, Can Pilates Give You a Flat Stomach? Yes! By doing Pilates to strengthen core muscles, increasing the fat burning efficiency of the body, and by reducing stress in your life. In fact Pilates combined with another form of cardiovascular workout can provide huge weight loss benefits.
Is Pilates good for belly fat? ›
Pilates can be a better option to tone down your belly. Pilates is better than gymming for belly fat as it focuses on the deepest layer of abdominals.Is just doing Pilates enough? ›
Traditional Pilates can be a great point of entry to exercise for those without a history of exercise. Someone who does not have a regular exercise routine already established will most likely note both strength and some hypertrophic improvements from many forms of exercise, Pilates included.Does Pilates lean you out? ›
'Pilates focusses on lengthening and expanding the muscles, instead of bunching them up. This therefore allows them to become longer and leaner,' says Mahal. 'You will feel taller and will become longer and leaner. The exercises within Pilates are dynamic stretches, which mean they are active movements.