Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Pilates Blog 21 minute read

Pilates is a great way to get in shape, but there are so many myths about what it does for your body. One common question that we get asked all the time is "does pilates help you lose weight?"

Pilates include a variety of exercises that have been shown to create long, lean muscles and improve flexibility. For this reason, some people think pilates isn't a weight-bearing workout, but that simply is not true.

If you are wondering whether or not pilates will help you lose weight, read on for the answer.

Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Pilates is the exercise of choice for many people who want to lose weight. Up until 2017, there was no conducive research that could directly connect Pilates and weight loss which made people skeptical about the claim that Pilates is effective for weight loss.

However, in 2017, a small study was conducted in which 37 overweight or obese women ages 30 to 50 participated to practice Pilates for eight weeks. At the end of the study, it was observed that doing regular Pilates was effective for:

  • Weight loss
  • Lowering BMI
  • Toning the waist
  • Decreasing abdomen and hip circumference

The Pilates program focuses on strengthening and toning muscles, which helps burn fat instead of muscle. This can lead to a reduction in waist circumference, better posture, and improved flexibility.

Pilates also increases your body's metabolism rate so that you spend more energy throughout the day than usual. You will definitely notice an improvement in your digestive system as well.

To put it together, yes, Pilates can help you lose weight but it's not as effective as other cardio exercises such as running or swimming.

Practicing regular Pilates can, however, help you maintain weight, improve core strength, and build lean muscle mass.

How Many Calories Do Pilates Exercises Burn?

Pilates is great for burning calories because it works all parts of the body by using slow movements like lifting weights or holding positions while breathing normally. It allows you to focus on each movement without any distractions, making sure that every part gets equal attention and care; this prevents injuries from happening during workout sessions too.

As we discussed earlier in this post, the amount of calories you'll burn doing Pilates depends on three important factors:

  • Your weight
  • Level of difficulty
  • And if the class is a mat or reformer

In general, if a person who weighs 150-pounds performs beginner-level Pilates for 50-minutes, he/she shall lose around 175 calories. Moving up to advanced level Pilates will help burn as much as 254 calories for the same duration.

Pilates Weight Loss Exercises

Here are some Pilates exercises that can help you lose weight at home or in a studio:

1. Lunge Warm-Up

How to: Stand upright, grab 3-pound hand weights, and form a “Y” with your legs by putting one heel into the other foot's arch. Then lunge out onto a bent leg while raising the weights above your head quickly. Make sure to keep the back leg straight. After ten repetitions on each side, change sides.

Target areas: Hamstrings, deltoids, and quadriceps.

2. Pilates Push-Ups

How to: Raise your hands and bend over until your palms touch the floor, then walk your hands out to a plank position. Do five push-ups before walking your hands back to your feet and standing up. Repeat at least three sets.

Target areas: The core, shoulder, and back muscles.

8 Ways Pilates Can Help You Lose Weight

Pilates isn't the most effective method if your goal is to lose weight but it can help in various ways to speed up weight loss and help you achieve it. Below are eight ways Pilates can help you lose weight:

1. Body Shaping

Pilates focuses on toning your body and strengthening your core, making it easier for you to burn calories because of the lean muscle mass that Pilates builds. Your muscles are also more efficient at using up energy so you can last longer in an exercise session.

2. Better Digestion

Performing Pilates exercises regularly helps improve digestion. This is because Pilates works the internal organs, which results in improved nutrient absorption. The body also gets rid of toxins through sweat so you'll feel fresher day after day.

3. Improved Posture

Pilates can help improve your posture by strengthening your core muscles, making it easier for you to maintain better alignment of bones even without the help of a Pilates trainer.

4. Focusing on Your Breathing

When you perform Pilates exercises, you will notice that your breathing is very steady and relaxed because you focus more on mastering each breath than rushing to complete an exercise. This also means that you'll feel less stressed throughout the day as well.

5. Building Strength

Pilates exercises help you build strength in areas you don't usually train when working out. This means your lower back, inner thighs, and even your calves. If ignored, these muscles can become weak easily due to lack of activities but Pilates helps you combat that effortlessly.

6. Flexible Movements

You'll also find that Pilates exercises require a lot of movements that help you bend and stretch your body comfortably. This is not only great for improving flexibility but it helps with weight loss too because the more flexible you are, the easier it is for you to perform various activities.

7. Keeping You Active

Pilates is not only great for your body but also for your mind. When you work out, you focus more on having a strong body rather than doing it to burn calories which is why working out with friends or someone who can motivate you keeps you more active so you don't get lazy afterward.

8. Better Attitude

While working out is great for your physical health, Pilates can help you improve how you feel about yourself by making it possible for you to look and feel better.

This helps in loosening any tension that could otherwise hinder you from having a positive outlook towards life which can affect all areas of your life including work, relationships, and family.


So, does Pilates help you lose weight? Yes, it absolutely does. However, to lose weight using Pilates, you need to make sure that your Pilates sessions are performed consistently with the proper diet plan.

If done right, Pilates will not only give you long-term results but also if done properly it is safe and effective especially if it is used as part of a full-body workout along with resistance training and other cardio exercises such as running or swimming.

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