Pilates for weight loss: an elegant path to perfection

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a training system aimed at strengthening the body, developing correct posture, developing flexibility, and improving the smoothness and accuracy of movements.
Additionally, this workout focuses on building the mind-body connection. The exercises at the heart of the system involve gentle, leisurely movements and are performed with complete control over the body - you must constantly focus on your breathing and be aware of how your body is moving.

Regular Pilates classes will not only help you develop posture, but will also have a positive effect on the condition of your spine and help you control your balance.

This training system was developed at the beginning of the 20th century by the German sports doctor Joseph Pilates. Pilates was a strong proponent of the inextricable link between physical and mental health. He created the training while trying to help soldiers who were injured in the war. The method was successfully used in rehabilitation and later received the name of its creator. Today it is a popular training system that many celebrities are passionate about.

Classes are conducted at three levels of training, which are divided into initial, basic and advanced. The movements are performed smoothly and slowly - they start with easy and simple movements, which gradually become more complex. The loads are static, there is no overexertion or increased heart rate.

It is best to do Pilates in comfortable and comfortable clothes made from natural materials. Myprotein offers a large selection of yoga and pilates clothing.


Pilates is a fairly young fitness trend that originated at the beginning of the 20th century. Despite some external similarity with yoga, it is precisely training, and not a spiritual practice with the addition of gymnastics.

The goal of Pilates as a form of fitness is general development and strengthening of muscles. This type of gymnastics itself was developed to help in rehabilitation after injuries and injuries, but now it can also be used for weight loss. Pilates includes strength exercises, but they are not aimed at getting rid of excess weight, but at returning to optimal shape.

The primary goal of Pilates is to strengthen muscles. The workouts included include squeezing, stretching, bending, twisting, relaxing and tensing the muscles. In addition, the set of exercises is designed in such a way that after the rehabilitation course the muscles not only become stronger, but also begin to work as they should. “They got into place.” Of course, this has a positive effect on the bones, on the musculoskeletal system as a whole, and on the psycho-emotional state of the athlete.

Pilates exercises are aimed at strengthening all muscle groups. During the training process, various items of sports equipment can be used if the activity requires it. However, Pilates includes a huge number of exercises, and therefore each subsequent workout may be different from the previous one.

The sports equipment used for Pilates is the simplest. These can be rubber or other elastic bands, fitballs, or other “improvised means” such as dumbbells.

Thus, Pilates can be used for weight loss. But, since it is not focused on weight loss, the effect will be very mild and unnoticeable. To achieve the desired result, Pilates will take much longer than other types of fitness.

In general, Pilates is characterized as follows:

  1. This is a set of exercises, and extremely varied. It is devoid of a spiritual component, but special rhythms, breathing exercises and moderate physical activity allow it to be combined with meditation or self-hypnosis practices to improve the psycho-emotional component;
  2. Strength training is uncommon. Pilates focuses on restoring the natural health and condition of muscles and achieving overall physical health, rather than improving strength or endurance. However, they are there, and in one session you can complete at least several strength exercises;
  3. Aimed at achieving overall physical health. The muscles also become more elastic, elastic, and contract and relax easily. Fat is “burned”, but less efficiently than in some other cases;
  4. Suitable as initial physical practice for those who want to lose weight. To achieve better results after some time, it is recommended to supplement Pilates with aerobics, CrossFit or similar activities.

A variety of activities that combine more or less relaxing exercises and almost strength exercises helps you not feel tired after training. In addition, once you have thoroughly studied the movements and techniques, you can practice Pilates at home.

Now let’s highlight the main “pros” and “cons” of Pilates for weight loss.


  • Variety of workouts. Strength exercises are combined with relaxation exercises, so there is no feeling of fatigue after exercise;
  • The workouts are aimed at all muscle groups. Within the framework of one lesson, gymnastics of all muscles on the human body takes place;
  • General improvement of the body. Pilates is a type of recreational gymnastics, therefore, after long and regular exercises, your well-being significantly improves, new strength and good spirits appear;
  • Greater effectiveness for weight loss than yoga, since the training includes regular, full-fledged strength exercises.


  • Less effective for weight loss than fitness or similar “exclusively strength training” or “exclusively cardio training”;
  • Lack of spiritual practices. Pilates is gymnastics, not a set of exercises aimed at achieving harmony.

In principle, Pilates can be used for weight loss if the goal is to lose 5-7 extra pounds. If we are talking about higher degrees of obesity, it is suitable for “warm-up” and preparing the body for strength and cardio exercises in other areas of fitness.

For what?

As mentioned, Pilates focuses on strength, posture and flexibility. This means that this system of exercises will help maintain health for as long as possible or even restore it.

Let's take a closer look at the benefits you can get from doing Pilates.


Pilates will teach you how to achieve and maintain good posture. Exercise requires your body to be aligned at all times. They are especially useful for those who suffer from back pain.

Muscle tone

The exercises use muscles that are inactive in normal everyday life. At first, of course, you will feel pain in the muscles you worked, but later you will notice how much their tone has increased. This will be especially useful for older people and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, since muscle tone decreases with age and a sedentary lifestyle.

Slim stomach

Pilates focuses on strengthening the core, which includes the abdominal muscles. Well, one of the benefits of Pilates is getting that coveted “flat stomach”!


As we age, we lose the flexibility we had in our youth. Pilates can restore lost flexibility.1 With each session, you will be surprised to notice how much your body “becomes young again,” that is, flexible. Flexibility is important for health because a flexible body is resistant to injury, such as from falling.

Balance, or the ability to maintain balance

Balance in movement or static condition is perfectly trained with the help of Pilates. You will become much more aware of how your body moves. Good balance not only affects your posture, but also has a beneficial effect on your emotional state.

Inner peace and self-confidence

Slow meditative movements, even breathing, concentration on movements will lead to inner peace. A 12-week study of people with an average age of 57 found that Pilates increased participants' self-confidence and helped them relieve tension.2

By doing Pilates, you will feel how you get rid of stress, how your thoughts are freed from worries and worries. Pilates is the best medicine for people leading a busy lifestyle.

If we summarize the points above, it becomes clear that we are talking about psychophysical balance, which will improve after the first Pilates lesson! Changes in overall well-being will be concrete evidence of the benefits obtained from this effective exercise system.

What areas of the body does Pilates work on?

Pilates primarily targets the core muscles, including the abdominal area and spine. That is why this training system has a beneficial effect on people suffering from back pain.

In addition to the core, Pilates strengthens and tones the legs, especially the thighs and buttocks.

Pilates also helps people with arthritis keep their joints flexible. Pilates strengthens the thigh muscles, which is important for preventing arthritis and knee injuries.

Training for specific problem areas

In the first part of the article, we offer you Pilates workouts for 10-20 minutes, which will help you work on individual problem areas. You will tone your upper or lower body muscles depending on the video you choose. The workouts are low-impact and suitable for people with joint problems, varicose veins and other limitations.

Ready-made programs for girls (without equipment):

  • General home programs: 100 exercises + 4 ready-made plans
  • Express training for 10-15 minutes without jumping (for 5 days)
  • Program for Brazilian buttocks without jumping (3 days)

See our selection of exercises:

  • Top 60 Best Cardio Exercises
  • Top 50 best leg exercises
  • Top 50 best exercises for buttocks
  • Top 50 Best Abdominal Exercises
  • Top 30 best arm exercises

How to do it:

  • You can use the suggested videos as a short addition to your main workouts.
  • You can combine several videos for a full program for 30-45 minutes.
  • You can train for 10-15 minutes in several approaches throughout the day.
  • Or exercise 10-15 minutes a day during periods of acute busyness.

Abdominal workout (8 minutes)

This Pilates workout includes a set of floor exercises that are aimed at strengthening the abdominal and back muscles, including the deep ones. You'll perform a variety of arm planks, forearm planks, side planks, and variations of abdominal exercises done while lying on your back using your elbows. No inventory needed.

Workout hips and buttocks on the floor (10 minutes)

This is a great Pilates workout for the hips and butt that is also done entirely on the floor. The program offers a variety of leg swings in the bridge position, on the side and on all fours. Classes are complicated by pulsating exercise options. The first half is performed on the right side, the second half on the left. No inventory needed.

Training thighs and buttocks with a fitness band (10 minutes)

To perform this Pilates workout, you will need a fitness band - a very useful equipment for strengthening the muscles of the thighs and buttocks. This program offers a set of exercises that can be divided into two halves. In the first part, you will train while standing, performing squats with an elastic band and light jumps with legs apart (can be replaced by walking). The second part of the workout involves doing exercises while lying on your side.

Upper body workout (10 minutes)

This Pilates workout takes place entirely on the floor. The complex is aimed at working the entire upper body: arms, shoulders, chest, stomach, back. Some exercises also work the buttocks and hamstrings. You will perform variations of push-ups, hyperextensions, hand and forearm planks, side planks, reverse push-ups, and back rolls. No inventory needed.

Arm workout with dumbbells (10 minutes)

To perform this workout, you will need light dumbbells (up to 1.5 kg). You can use water bottles instead of dumbbells. All exercises are classic: shoulder raises, triceps overhead presses, triceps extensions, biceps curls. But the workout is complicated by multiple repetitions, minimal rest and pulsating variations.

Standing hip and butt workout (8 minutes)

And another very effective Pilates workout for slender legs and toned buttocks. The exercise is completely performed standing, no additional equipment is needed. Classic and sumo squats are waiting for you, including pulsating ones for better working out the muscles of the lower body. In the second half, you will perform leg kicks back and to the side to get rid of problem areas on your legs.

Upper workout with elastic band (10 minutes)

To perform this Pilates workout, you will need an elastic band. This inexpensive piece of equipment is great for toning the entire body, but especially the upper muscles. The elastic band gives a great workout to your muscles - your arms will be burning throughout the entire 10-minute video. At the same time, training with a band puts minimal stress on the joints and connective tissues, which reduces the risk of injury.

Thigh and butt workout (10 minutes)

This short workout for the hips and buttocks offers a rather interesting selection of exercises. Most of the class takes place on the floor. You'll perform a variety of quadruple and plank leg swings, as well as kneeling lunges. Get ready to effectively work your gluteal muscles. No inventory needed.

Abdominal workout (15 minutes)

This is an excellent Pilates workout to strengthen the abdominal muscles, including the deep ones. This video offers a classic set of effective low-impact exercises. Be sure to try this program if you are just starting your acquaintance with Pilates. This video will be useful not only for a flat stomach, but also for a healthy back. No inventory needed.

Legs and buttocks training with elastic bands (18 minutes)

This program is a little longer in time and will definitely appeal to all fans of training with a fitness band. The first half of the program is performed standing: lunges, squats and their variations. The second half of the workout is performed on the mat: various leg swings on all fours and interesting variations of bridges.

Is it possible to lose weight with Pilates?

Since Pilates helps strengthen muscles, you can certainly use it to improve and tone certain areas of the body, especially the stomach, legs and buttocks. Classes can be tailored to the individual needs of the client - offering a gentler exercise program to develop strength, flexibility and balance, or a more rigorous full-on workout.

Remember that Pilates is not considered an aerobic workout, so to lose weight, in addition to doing Pilates, you should follow a healthy diet and regularly do some aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling.

Pilates workout for the whole body

In the second half of our article, we offer you Pilates workouts for the muscles of the whole body. This means that the proposed programs are aimed at working the muscles of both the upper and lower body. But before that, let's remember once again what the benefits of Pilates are.

Benefits of Pilates:

  • Working out and strengthening the muscles of the whole body.
  • Strengthening the spine and reducing back pain.
  • Improving posture and preventing scoliosis.
  • Development of strength, endurance and coordination.
  • Reducing stress levels and getting rid of insomnia.
  • Formation of a beautiful physique.

Classic Pilates (20 minutes)

This is another version of classic Pilates, which is great even for beginners. All exercises are performed on the floor and effectively work out problem areas of the body. Particular attention is paid to the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, legs and back through exercises such as a hundred, rolls, leg raises, leg pull-ups, planks, and glute bridges.

Classic Pilates (10 minutes)

And another version of classic Pilates on the floor, only shorter in time. In 10 minutes of training you will work out problem areas, paying special attention to the muscles of the middle part of the body. A very enjoyable workout of moderate difficulty that you will definitely want to repeat.

Dumbbell workout (11 minutes)

To perform this workout, you will need light dumbbells up to 2 kg. In the first half of the class you will find multi-joint exercises that involve both the upper and lower body. In the second half, the exercises are performed on the floor. This program will effectively work all the muscles of the body: arms, legs, buttocks and abdomen.

Chair workout (14 minutes)

This is a great chair Pilates workout for targeting problem areas, especially the lower body. The program begins with pulsating chair squats and continues with a variety of back and side leg kicks. These exercises are especially effective if you want to work your buttocks and hamstrings. In the second half, you'll perform chair-supported planks and reverse push-ups.

Leg weight training (15 minutes)

In this workout, the exercises are performed with leg weights. Weights are equipment that can make absolutely any Pilates workout more challenging. For example, swings and leg raises are not always possible to perform with dumbbells, while leg weights are almost always appropriate. In this video you will find exercises that take place on the floor, including lying on your side, on your stomach and on your back with minimal load on the knee joints.

Elastic band workout (12 minutes)

This resistance band Pilates workout not only gives you upper body exercises, but also lower body exercises. As we noted above, with an elastic band it is more convenient to work out the arms, shoulders, chest and back, but there are also a couple of useful exercises for the buttocks and abs, which you can see in this video.

Chair workout (13 minutes)

And another great chair workout that offers effective Pilates exercises for the entire body. The first half includes a variety of leg swings to build lean legs and long muscles. The second half of the program features interesting modifications to side planks, as well as chair-supported glute bridges.

Full body stretch (15 minutes)

This is a great full-body stretch that will relieve tension and relax your muscles. It can be performed after training or on a separate day. Most of the exercises are done standing and do not require you to have good stretching skills, so the program is suitable even for beginners and inflexible people.

Full body stretch (17 minutes)

And another stretching option for the whole body that can be done on a regular basis. This enjoyable and leisurely program will help you stretch your muscles and relieve tension in your body. Particular emphasis is placed on stretching the muscles of the legs and buttocks.

Training with a massage roller (12 minutes)

Foam roller exercises are a form of myofascial release (MFR). The cost of the video is only 500-1000 rubles, and it is very easy to practice with it even at home. With the help of a massage roller, you can relax your body, improve blood circulation, get rid of pain and tightness in muscles, improve mobility and integrity of joints, and increase range of motion. Doing this video workout for 10 minutes at least once a week will seriously improve your body.

Training plan for beginner girls:

  • Mon: Workout for slender thighs and firm buttocks
  • VT: Interval training for body tone and weight loss
  • CP: Low Impact Cardio Workout for Weight Loss
  • TH: Upper body workout (arms, stomach, back)
  • PT: Circuit training to get rid of problem areas

Who is it suitable for?

Pilates takes into account the individual physical characteristics of those who practice it. Therefore, this training system is suitable for almost everyone.

Pilates is an excellent solution for those who, for various reasons, are contraindicated in shock training. These may be joint diseases, vascular disorders. The possibility of injury is practically reduced to zero - low impact load, smooth movements allow even older people to exercise.

Pilates is also great for those who want to find a beautiful body and sculpt the desired shape without having to do grueling workouts. By exercising regularly, you will strengthen your muscle corset, improve your posture and achieve the desired shape.

Another advantage of Pilates is that it can be practiced not only by advanced athletes, but also by beginners in the sport. Well, for advanced athletes, Pilates can be an excellent recovery program.


The big advantage of Pilates is the low intensity of the workouts. Thanks to this feature, classes are recommended for people of any age and for those who are prohibited from heavy physical activity. Still, in some cases it is better to refrain from exercising. Those who have recently undergone surgery, people suffering from osteoporosis or diseases of the musculoskeletal system during an exacerbation should not start training. Expectant mothers with a normal pregnancy can do Pilates (there are even special groups for pregnant women). However, intense training is contraindicated for them.


Pilates is a comprehensive practice based on a deep philosophy. It will give you a healthy body and inner harmony. With its help, you can sculpt your body to achieve the desired shape and increase your awareness. If you decide to start exercising, the main thing is regularity. Start classes under the guidance of a qualified trainer who will create an individual program for you, taking into account your goals and wishes, as well as medical indications. Believe me, your dream body is a completely achievable goal, and with such a pleasant practice as Pilates, this goal is achieved with pleasure!

Articles on our website are presented for educational and informational purposes only. We do not recommend using article materials as medical advice. If you decide to take dietary supplements or make fundamental changes to your diet, first consult with a specialist.

Pilates workout just for you:

Pilates training for the prevention of flat feet and stretching the insteps:

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