Should I Add Pilates Workouts To My Training?

Pilates Criss-Cross

People often ask me whether they should include Pilates workouts or Yoga in their weekly training routine? And, are they one of the same? … Since I have taught both modalities for over 20 years, I believe I’m in a non bias place to share my opinion. Consequently, my answer is always “No they are not the same!!” and “Yes, you should do BOTH!!”

Because this article is purely about Pilates workouts, I will save for another time the key differences between Pilates & Yoga!!

What Is A Pilates Workout?

Pilates is a total body exercise that was developed almost one hundred years ago by Joseph Pilates. It was originally designed to help rehabilitate injured WW1 soldiers and later, for the strength and conditioning of dancers. In the 1960’s, Pilates became a favourite exercise option of the elite in New York. 

Over the past decade, Pilates has made a resurgence as an exercise of choice for many people. Now widely accessible, it can be practiced in many ways; from the traditional “Joseph Pilates” method through to various hybrid styles that combine Pilates with everything from cycling to boxing.

Joseph Pilates’ traditional method is low-impact, focusing on flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. Exercises are performed with an emphasis on …

  • Precision techniques
  • Balanced postural alignment
  • Core strength
  • Controlled & flowing movements
  • Use of the breath to centre the mind.

Direct Benefits Of A Pilates Workout

There are so many benefits to practicing Pilates. Because it’s designed to give you better functional control of your day-to-day activities, some of the direct benefits include: 

  • Stronger abs – While Pilates works every muscle of the body, there is a particular focus on core strength and engaging those deep abdominal muscles. With every session, you’ll find your core muscles getting stronger & stronger.
  • Easing of back pain – A stronger core equals a stronger & better back!! And Pilates is a good exercise for people suffering from back pain.  It strengthens the deep abdominal & pelvic floor muscles, which provide major support to the back. Regular Pilates practice has been found to reduce chronic back pain as well as the disability many people suffer when they have chronic back pain … A stronger core equals a better back!!
  • Greater strength & flexibility – Pilates lengthens & stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance & body awareness. Pilates aims to create practical muscle strength & flexibility that will enhance & compliment your every day activities by allowing the body to stretch & bend to meet the flow of daily life.
  • Improved posture – As Pilates is designed to focus on core stability, flexibility, strength, breathing, and movement control, all of these aspects underpin why Pilates workouts are great for those with poor posture; giving long-lasting relief from postural pains & strains.

Additional Benefits Of Pilates

Some of the other benefits sort of sneak up on you and those that practice Pilates regularly can experience: 

  • Less pain when working out – Because of it’s slow & controlled movements, Pilates creates minimal impact on the joints … Great for people suffering from pain!!
  • Sharper focus – Not only does Pilates benefit your body but it also improves your mental health. Practicing Pilates encourages you to focus on your breath, your body, and how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration to coordinate all of the body movements & correct breathing together.
  • Promotion of weight loss – If your goal is to solely lose weight, Pilates can not do this alone!! But, in combination with higher intensive activities, Pilates training can certainly help!! With the strengthening & toning of the muscles (especially around your midsection), the body projects, over time, a much leaner appearance. After all, that is the reason many people want to lose weight!!
  • Enhancing your sex life – Pilates workouts are great for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Having a strong pelvic floor can increase pleasure in the bedroom … An unexpected but welcome benefit!!

Is A Pilates Class Right For You?

Throughout my 20+ years of teaching Pilates, I have seen the huge transformations many of my students have experienced with a consistent Pilates practice. Naturally, the human body is designed to work both the body & mind through a variety of movements & activities. Regrettably many people’s current lifestyle habits prohibit this. A Pilates workout is a great compliment to a well balanced, all-encompassing, healthy exercise routine. It should be practiced at least weekly, and in conjunction with regular movement and mindfulness practices.

“In 10 sessions you will feel a difference,
In 20 sessions you will see a difference,
In 30 sessions you will have a whole new body”

– Joseph Pilates –

About Our Pilates Workouts

At Pure Yoga you will experience a fusion style of traditional Pilates and Barre Movements, that I’ve called “Pure Core”. Pure Core also combines many aspects of Yoga, Strength & Functional Training. Ultimately resulting in one of the best Pilates Workout going around!!

Our Pilates workouts involve the use of a variety of small apparatus – Pilates Flexi-ring, foam roller, theraband, small ball, and light weights. The use of the Pilates equipment can increase the intensity and add a high degree of variety & interest to the Pilates workout.

  • Online Pilates Community – Since March 2020 we have available a “Virtual Pilates Studio” which we call our Online Pilates Community. It offers a variety of classes – themed (Pilates For A Better Back, But Burner, Etc), 30 minutes (Pilates Blast), 45 minutes & 60 minutes. For further information on this & how it can help with your regular Pilates practice, please click HERE.
  • Studio Pilates Course – Our Studio Pure Core program runs over 10 weeks which progressively increases the difficulty & complexity of the movements. Most of the workouts are performed on a Pilates mat, however, twice throughout the series, a circuit is taught where the larger pieces of Pilates equipment are used. These can include the Pilates reformer, wunda chair, Flexi rings, foam rollers, spine corrector & more. This is the ultimate core challenge and is a great all-over body Pilates workout. Unfortunately, because of the current Covid restrictions, this program is currently on hold.

How We Can Help With Your Pilates Workouts?

The below video will give you a sample of our Pilates workouts!! If you would like to find out when the next 10 week Pure Core Series will commence, please send me an email (lthornthwaite@pureyoga.com.au) or contact me on 0410 472 983 so we can place you on the “announcement list”.