Originally developed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates workouts are designed to strengthen the body and increase flexibility, mobility and balance. Pilates exercises can be done on the floor or on specially designed equipment.
Pilates exercise helps build muscle
Pilates was not designed as an aerobic exercise where you burn large amounts of calories in a short period of time. Instead, it was designed to tighten and tone the body. When you build muscle and improve your posture, you appear slimmer and taller even though your weight may not change.
Pilates burns calories
A 145-pound person doing beginner Pilates for one hour will burn approximately 240 calories. An intermediate Pilates workout for the same person will burn approximately 340 calories. At the advanced level, the same person will burn approximately 420 calories.
Pilates exercises are designed to build physical strength. One of the basic Pilates exercises is One Hundreds. One Hundreds can be performed on the floor or on the apparatus. To perform One Hundreds you lie face up and, while pulling in your abs, slowly raise the legs. Head and shoulders come up from the ground and your hands are next to your thighs. As you inhale for 5 counts you press your hands up and down next to your thighs, exhaling for 5 counts. You continue to do this until you reach 100. As you become stronger, you will be able to perform this exercise with legs lowered even further. Some other basic Pilates exercises include leg circles, roll ups, planks, open leg rockers and hip circles.
The gains of Pilates carry over to other exercise
Pilates should only be performed under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Regardless of whether you are taking a Pilates class or working on the Pilates apparatus, you will burn more calories as you improve. Because Pilates is an exercise that improves your core strength, you will also be able to perform other activities more effectively. As a result, you are likely to increase your metabolic rate, thus increasing the number of calories you burn daily.
Pilates as part of an exercise routine
Doing Pilates as part of a comprehensive workout routine and eating healthy is the best way to achieve maximum physical fitness. An hour of beginner Pilates will burn about the same number of calories in an hour as would walking at 3.5 miles per hour.