When you envision a Pilates workout, the chances are that words such as ‘core’ and ‘abdominals’ will sooner come to mind as opposed to ‘calorie-burner’ or something similar. Granted, traditional Pilates moves may not burn as many calories as, for example, power walking or going to a spinning class.
This being said, there are many Pilates-inspired moves that will pleasantly surprise you in terms of the number of calories that they burn. When it comes down to burning calories, you want to do exercises which target several muscle groups at the same time. The moves also make use of small muscle groups which most of us don’t access on a routine basis. This prompts the body to work harder and the heart rate to rise, which burns increased numbers of calories as a result.
Pilates is all about slow, controlled movements as we said in the beginning. However, its fitness and health rewards are supercharged. Whether you go for a class on a mat, using gravity for resistance, one on a reformer (a flat, bed-like machine with muscle-strengthening springs), or a more contemporary variation with equipment like spring-loaded chairs and larger Megaformers, you’ll walk away with feel-better benefits on day one.
4 Pilates moves that incinerate calories
We’ve put together a list of four Pilates moves which will help you in terms of calorie burning. Here they are!
Grab some weights between 1 and 1.5 kg and stand tall. Make a “Y” shape with your feet and stand with one heel into the other arch. Lunge out onto a bent leg raising your arms briskly overhead. Your back leg stays straight. Drag your front leg back to its starting position as you lower your arms. Repeat 8 to 10 times and change sides.
Muscles targeted: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Deltoids
Stand tall and reach overhead before rounding over and walking your hands out to a push-up or plank position. Perform between three and five push-ups then walk your hands back into your feet and roll up to standing. Do between three and four sets.
Muscles targeted: Back, Core, Shoulders
Stand with your feet a bit narrower than your hips in parallel. Cross your arms crossed genie-style. Squat halfway down bending your hips and knees but keeping your spine upright. Hold at the lowest point for three counts. Then stand back up. Repeat between eight and 12 times for one set. Perform two sets total.
Muscles targeted: Gluteals, Hamstrings
Leg Pull Up
The muscles on the anterior aspect of your body are large and dense. Increasing their strength and volume will impact your metabolism. Sit tall. Ensure that your legs are together in front of you and your hands behind your hips. Face your fingers forward. Press your hips up in the air making a straight line with your body. Hold for five breaths. Lower and repeat between five and eight times. As you progress you can add a kicking motion, raising one leg at a time.
Muscles targeted: Gluteals, Hamstrings, Triceps, Latissimus Dorsi
Want to learn more about Pilates and perhaps even become a Pilates instructor yourself? If so, then you need to check out our Pilates Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.