What is pilates, a strengthening and Toning Challenge
6 min read

What Is Pilates

A Strengthening and Toning Challenge
What is pilates? This is such a common question — and an important one! Below, we’ve done our best to provide a succinct answer.

What is Pilates?

What is pilates? This is such a common question — and an important one! Below,what is pilates two women doing pilates on pilates mats we’ve done our best to provide a succinct answer.

Pilates (or the Pilates Method) is a form of exercise that was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates.

The method revolves around maximizing core strength with precise and controlled movements. While at the same time matching breathing to your body work.

Of course, there are other central principles at play as well, such as:

Is Pilates the Best Cardio Workout?

what ism pilates girl laying on her back doing pilates with pilates ballDoes pilates count as a cardio workout? You’ll find that many instructors disagree on this point, and a more telling question might be: What is cardio?

Debate whether pilates can get your heart rate up (like common cardio exercises), then the answer is yes. Pilates can definitely increase your heart rate, make you sweat, and even make you feel out of breath.

But if you're speaking about the traditional way the practice was developed. Referencing the typical categorizations of exercise: Strengthening, flexibility training, and cardio. Then pilates would be considered a strengthening exercise, not cardio.

We’ll just note here, though, that you shouldn’t assume pilates won’t wear you out! It can certainly be challenging, and it’s also generally more of an intense workout than yoga.

In some places, you may be able to find special hybrid pilates classes, which incorporate cardio moves with pilates.

Pilates addresses the body’s natural balance through focused and controlled movements.These lengthening and strengthening movements intend to keep your body mobile, whether it be for functional everyday tasks or for a level of sporting activity.
― Carla Anahana Wellness Instructor

Benefits of Pilates

Take a look at these amazing pilates benefits:

  •          A stronger core
  •          Leaner muscles
  •          Improved posture and balance
  •          Improved flexibility
  •          Greater stamina
  •          Burned calories
  •          Injury prevention
  •          Deeper, more mindful breathing
  •          A better mind-body connection

Burn Calories with Pilates

Check out some pilates before and after photos online. You’ll immediately notice what is pilates girl laying on pilates ball doing pilates exercisesthat pilates can certainly reduce excess fat. You can see results in the waist, upper arms and thighs, and streamline a person’s contours overall.

This is not done through strength training alone, of course. Even though pilates is not considered a traditional cardio workout, it definitely burns calories.

If you’re interested in losing weight with pilates, the practice can help by creating a larger daily calories deficit. A deficit means consumed calories per day minus burned calories per day.

A general way of achieving weight loss is to create a safe and healthy calorie deficit each day. Ideally, when a deficit of 3,400 calories is achieved. You’ll lose one pound (considering the metabolic factor of the individual as well).

Start Your Pilates Journey

Frequently Asked Questions About What Pilates Is?

What type of workout can I expect from pilates?

Pilates provides an excellent balanced body workout. While you are generally stationary during a pilates workout, your heart rate can still go up, and you will likely sweat.

The greatest effect of pilates is the conditioning of all muscle groups. It increases flexibility, provides better balance, and improves core strength.

Is pilates for everyone — young and old, beginner and pro?

Yes! There are pilates for seniorspilates expecting mothers or those who have just given birth, athelets, teens or beginners, who want to try it for the very first time. for Anyone can do pilates. You’ll get fabulous training in core strength, balance, and flexibility, while also improving your mind body balance. Not sure if pilates is what you are looking for or if yoga would suit you better. Our Pilates vs. Yoga piece covers the aspects of both.

Can I lose weight doing pilates?

Yes, pilates can definitely help you lose weight. While most people use cardio for weight loss such as swimming, running, or biking.  Pilates workouts are actually the better option because they provide more toning and balanced fitness.

If you’re considering pilates for weight loss, we’d recommend investing in your own reformer. Merrithew makes a number of high-quality options, including STOTT Pilates reformers or any other type of pilates equipment

How often should I do pilates?

The more you do anything, the better you will become. Of course, this doesn't mean you need to be heading to the pilates studio every day.

In fact, if you’ve been asking “where can I find a pilates studio near me?” and your frustration with coming up with nothing. Is this what’s got you stuck, you should think about going online for your pilates instruction!

Using our digital platform to take your own in home pilates classes. This allows you to do pilates as much or as little as you want — whenever it's convenient for you.

Is pilates a good cardio workout?

Pilates is not considered a traditional form of cardio like running, swimming, or biking. Instead, it focuses more on strengthening and toning. Still, for those looking for a great at home cardio workout, pilates can definitely be incorporated. It is also an excellent tool to use if you are doing some injury treatment where you can do rehab on that injury. 

If you have unique physical concerns or restraints, you can speak with your personal pilates instructor for guidance as well. 
Shyla Weatherbee

Written by Shyla Weatherbee

This proud mother of two is a former start-up consultant turned wellness professional, turned Wellness Start-Up Project Manager. With a diverse skill set and experience portfolio, Shyla understands the needs of both a growing business and the importance of balancing a demanding career with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Shyla is a level II advanced pilates instructor teaching matwork, reformer, and special populations. Shyla is passionate about maternal wellness; guiding pregnant women through strong workouts as well as helping new mothers ease back into movement safely and effectively.

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