Can Pilates Help with Weight Loss?

Pilates is a form of exercise developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates. He was a German gymnast and carpenter who formed various routines to help injured soldiers and dancers recover.

The repetitive exercises performed for Pilates are now considered beneficial in controlling breathing and strengthening the core muscles.

Pilates is somewhat similar to Yoga, focusing on balance and posture. At the same time, it’s a strenuous exercise that improves movement by focusing on muscle groups repeatedly.

Nevertheless, there’s a low chance of a person getting injured during Pilates. It focuses on strengthening the connection between mind and body to improve the overall health of a person. However, can Pilates help with weight loss and burning calories?

Can Pilates Help with Weight Loss?

Pilates is a tough exercise, but it does not get boring for people who like challenges. Research has been conducted to support the use of Pilates for weight loss.

In 2017, a study of 37 overweight women aged between 30 and 50 showed the results of eight weeks of Pilates. The women lost weight, toned their waist, and had a lowered BMI. It did not affect their body mass.

Strenuous workouts can keep your mind and body engaged in increasing the number of calories you burn per session. However, Pilates alone can’t help with weight loss. You need a combination of various exercise routines combined to attack the stored fat in your body.

An ideal combination would be Pilates, strength training, and cardio. To burn maximum calories in a workout session, you need targeted movements. Pilates can help your efforts to lose weight by targeting various muscle groups.

Can Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Impact of Pilates on Your Body

Pilates does not help with weight loss without the help of other strenuous forms of exercise and a healthy diet. Regardless, it has a positive impact on your body that increases your chances of losing weight eventually. Here are the benefits of Pilates:

●  It Strengthens Your Core

When your core is strengthened, it stabilizes your body and supports the regular and painless movement of limbs and muscles. Pilates helps improve your core strength, so your overall energy is increased. With a strong core, you can expect less hip and back pain and decreased pelvic floor dysfunction.

Pilates and body health

●  It Stabilizes Your Back

Pilates work on your deeper abdominal muscles to strengthen your core and pelvic floor. The result is a strong back and hip muscles. This contraction and release of pelvic floor muscles ensure your organs are supported, and the body does not suffer due to back pain.

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●  It Improves Blood Circulation

With effective movement patterns and focused breathing, Pilates improves blood circulation and the flow of oxygen. It also stimulates your feel-good hormones so that you feel inclined to return and practice more. Pilates does not make you tired after a workout, yet it slowly works on your overall body strength to boost your energy.

●  It Heightens Your Awareness

Pilates is the practice of connecting mind and body through movement. The exercises are focused on breathing to enhance your body awareness and guide you through the pain in different muscle groups.

As mind and body connect, Pilates improves your awareness of stimulus and responds accordingly to avoid injuries and falls.

●  It Lowers Your Stress Levels

The focus on breathing during Pilates stimulates your body to relax and connect with the movements.

As you let the worries floating around in your head go, Pilates revives your nervous system by lowering the cortisol levels and decreasing your stress.

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●  It Improves Mobility

Pilates enhances your flexibility and strength to improve your mobility. With the pain-free movement of joints, you can expect better health for your muscles and core.

Pilates for core strength

Best Pilates Exercises to Lose Weight

Combining the following Pilates exercises with other routines, you can see weight loss results. Pilates will tone your core muscles and improve your mobility to make losing weight easier. Here are the best exercises for Pilates:

●  Pilates Push Up

Pilates pushups are perfect for burning calories and improving muscle strength. You can do this exercise every day as part of your routine. The rigorous movements will seem impossible to do at first. You will, eventually, get the hang of it. With practice and perseverance, you can do Pilates pushups to lose weight, brace your core and improve arm strength. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Start with a standing position on your mat.

Step 2: Lift your arms over your head as you take a deep breath.

Step 3: Lower your arms as you exhale, and place your hands on the mat near your feet.

Step 4: Move your arms three steps forward and take the plank position. Make sure your shoulders, hips, and heels are aligned.

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Step 5: Lower yourself for a pushup by bending the elbows and brushing your arms with your ribs.

Step 6: Return to the plank position quickly as you finish a pushup.

Step 7: Retrace your three steps back to a standing position with your hands on the mat.

Step 8: Return to a standing position with your hands on your side.

Step 9: Repeat this 5 times.

● Kneeling Sidekicks

Kneeling sidekicks are amazing for burning fat and toning your buttocks and thighs. The exercise also engages your core which strengthens it gradually. It’s an effective mat Pilates workout that you can perform by following these steps:

Step 1: Stand in the center of your mat and kneel down.

Step 2: Keep your back straight as you place your right palm on your side on the ground. Make sure it aligns with your hip.

Step 3: Raise your left leg and extend it to your left side. Make sure it’s hip level.

Step 4: Inhale and swing your left leg backward.

Step 5: Exhale and swing it forward in a sidekick. Make sure the alignment of your chest and hips is not affected during the movement.

Step 6: Repeat the process 8 times.

Step 7: Switch to the other leg and repeat.

Pilates exercises for Weight Loss

● Pilates Plank Jacks

This exercise is the fusion of jumping jacks and planks. Therefore, quite effective for someone working out to lose weight. You need an exercise mat to perform plank jacks. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Face your mat as you stand at its foot.

Step 2: Inhale and lift your arms over your head. Note that your waist is lengthened, stretching your entire body upward.

Step 3: Exhale and bring your head back forward with your arms shoulder-width apart in front of you.

Step 4: Roll your spine and bend forward to place your hands on the mat. Make sure you are not folding your hips.

Step 5: Walk your arms forward and take a rigid plank position. Your wrists will not go past your shoulders.

Step 6: Balance yourself on your tiptoes before doing jumping jacks by moving into an open and close-legged position 6 times.

Step 7: Walk your hands backward and return to the original standing position. Repeat the entire process 3 times.

● Jogging Knees

You must be tired of various plank positions by now, so here’s a different Pilates exercise to keep the calories burning. The steps of jogging knees are:

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Step 1: Start with a standing position and keep your elbows on your side.

Step 2: Engage your core by pulling your abs in and up.

Step 3: Lift your knees for jogging and bring them to your hip level. Make sure the elbows stay on your side.

Step 4: After eight hip lifts, switch to kicking your bottom with heels without breaking the stride. Repeat this 8 times too.

Step 5: Continue the cycle of jogging knees and reduce reps with each round. Do six jogging knees after eight reps, then four, and finally, end with two reps.


Hope you enjoy this 20-minute full-body Pilates workout that you can do at home – no equipment needed!


Pilates does not drench you in sweat like a HIIT workout session, but it targets your core strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility. Each exercise brings you closer to an overall healthy body with mental control. Pilates doesn’t only aid in strengthening your body but also helps improve your chances of losing weight. You can combine the workouts with other forms of exercise and a healthy diet to achieve desired results.

Can Pilates Help with Weight Loss – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often Should I Do Pilates to Lose Weight?

For beginners, the ideal sessions per week for Pilates would be 2 or 3. If you have no experience in working out regularly, it’s better to have 10-minute sessions from Monday to Friday as you build your strength for longer Pilates workout sessions.

Will I Lose Weight If I Do Pilates Every Day?

 Pilates is not a rigorous exercise compared to other HIIT and cardio routines, so you won’t lose fat as quickly as you’d like. If you alter your diet and workout regularly, including Pilates in your training, you are likely to lose about one pound every 2 to 3 weeks.

Why Am I Gaining Weight Doing Pilates?

Pilates may be a low-impact workout, but it requires a significant amount of energy to perform the movements. It can make you hungry quickly, and you might end up eating more than you want.

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