Is Pilates Good For Weight Loss 2024?

When you think of weight loss, Pilates is probably top on your list. Is Pilates good for weight loss? Pilates is not only good for weight loss but also for toning your body composition with more lean muscle mass as well as improving your stability energy levels. 

Unlike high-impact exercises that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, pilates provides a more relaxed approach to exercising. You might not get the dramatic results that you might get with high-intensity exercises but consistent pilates could be helpful. In addition, your mind will also probably drift to strict dieting plans and supplements that reduce your calorie intake and help you burn fat. 

Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Pilates is a low-impact workout that could help you improve posture, burn calories, increase muscle strength,[1] and ultimately lose weight.[2] You might not see dramatic results immediately as you would with cardio exercises but with consistency, you will get your results soon enough. You should begin to see the number on your scale begin to drop soon enough when you practice Pilates every day. 

A study on a small group performing pilates daily noted weight loss, toned body, and lowered BMI. This study indicates that Pilates could work for you too. 

Is Pilates Good For Weight Loss? 

is pilates good for weight loss
Consistent pilates provides a more relaxed approach to exercising for weight loss. Photo: Freepik

Generally, Pilates focuses on using a series of slow precise movements to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture and alignment. You might observe that the Pilates effect often targets your core and abdominal muscles. However, it is not restricted to your midsection alone and can involve other body areas too. 

While your movement during pilates class might not be intense, you’re still burning calories and it could help you lose weight. A typical Pilates session that could last 45-50 minutes could help you burn 175 calories, while for an advanced class, you might burn up to 254 calories. To lose each pound, you might need to burn about 3,500 calories.[3] Therefore, it could take a while before you start seeing weight loss results with Pilates. However, in combination with other exercises and a proper diet, you might find that Pilates helps you lose fat.

Consider throwing in a few days for high-intensity exercises such as lifting weights and aerobics into your routine. Reducing your daily calorie intake moderately could also help you get your results sooner. Ensure that you are still getting proper nutrition despite being on a calorie-deficit diet. Sufficient lean protein and fiber-rich foods such as grains and vegetables should feature on your plate. 

The Pilates program is excellent at relieving stress and fatigue. So, your dedication to your pilates classes might help you commit to other workout routines. Your form during exercises might affect how much impact it makes on you. Pilates could help with that. The health benefits of practicing Pilates such as mobility, balance, and stability might help improve your form on other exercises for better results and reduce your risk of injury. A positive mental state is essential if you want to remain consistent with your exercise and dieting routines. 

Best Pilates For Weight Loss 

When it comes to getting weight loss results with your Pilates fitness program, consistency is key. If you like your pilates instructor classes, joining in every day should not be too difficult. The right combination of practicing pilates workouts will not stop at toning your core and muscles but will help you lose weight. You could try these pilates exercises for weight loss:

  1. Swimming 
  2. Plank jacks 
  3. Kneeling sidekicks 
  4. Jogging knees 
  5. Pilates push-ups


Swimming Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

Swimming in a pool is an excellent workout on its own; however, that is not what we are talking about today. In Pilates, swimming is also excellent for toning your abdominal muscles. You will need your yoga mat for this.       

  • Lie down flat, face down on the ground 
  • Extend your hands and legs with your feet pointed and your palms facing down
  • Lift your hands and legs from the ground and hold your position 
  • Alternate between lifting your right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg
  • Ensure you are breathing normally during this process
  • Repeat several times 

Plank Jack

Plank Jack
Plank Jack Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

Plank Jacks look like a blend of jumping jacks and planks. It is also easy to do and you will need that exercise mat. Joining a plank challenge can help you commit to this exercise routine. 

  • Stand at the foot end of your mat, facing the mat 
  • Inhale, lift your arms, lengthen your waist and tighten your thighs 
  • Exhale slowly as you bring your head and arms forward 
  • Ensure your arms are shoulder-width apart as you place your hands on the mat by rolling your spine not folding your hips 
  • Take about 3 1/2 steps with your hands forward till you arrive at a rigid plank position ensuring your shoulders are past your wrists 
  • Balance on your tiptoes in this plank position 
  • Jump into open and close-legged positions like you would in jumping jacks about six times 
  • Walk backward with your hands and return to your standing position 
  • Repeat the entire process about 3 times 

Kneeling Side Kick

Kneeling Side Kick
Kneeling Side Kick Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

Kneeling sidekicks are another excellent Pilates workout for burning fat. Get on your exercise mat, and let us go.

  • Kneel in the center of your mat
  • Place your right palm on the ground at your side in line with your hips 
  • Extend your left leg to your left side at hip level 
  • Place your left hand behind your head
  • Inhale and powerfully swing your left leg backward 
  • Exhale and swing your left leg forward 
  • Repeat this swinging motion about 8 times while ensuring your hips and chest do not change position 
  • Switch to your other leg and repeat the same motion 

Jogging Knee

You will need to get on your feet for this Pilates exercise. It works on several muscle groups to help you burn more calories. 

  • Stand upright with your elbows pinned at your sides 
  • Pull your abs in and up 
  • Lift your knees to his level as you jog
  • Without breaking your motion, after about eight hip lifts, switch to kicking your bottom with your heels as you jog 
  • Repeat the bottom kicks about eight times 
  • You can proceed to another cycle of jogging knees only reducing the reps with each cycle. So, you are going from 8 to 6 to 4, and finally 2 reps

Pilates Push-Up 

Pilates Push-Up 
Pilates Push-Up Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

The Pilates push-up is a full-body workout but it can be challenging to perform right more than other forms. Developing the stability, core, and arm strength you will need to perform this exercise might take some practice. 

Do not be discouraged. Doing the Pilates push-up every day is excellent for burning calories and building strong muscles. 

  • Begin in a standing position facing your mat pilates
  • Inhale as you lift your arms over your head
  • Exhale as you place your hands flat on the mat pilates 
  • Take three steps with your hands to arrive at the plank position ensuring your hips, shoulders, heels, and ears are inline 
  • Bend your elbows so that your arms brush your ribs as you lower yourself to the mat
  • Elevate your body in a single motion from the mat
  • Walk backward with your hands and slowly return to your standing position 
  • Repeat this process about 5 times 


If you already enjoy Pilates, it might delight you to learn that it can help you burn fat and lose body weight. For better weight loss results, you should try combining your pilates exercises with cardio and other strength training exercises. A healthy diet and taking supplements that encourage weight loss is also a great idea. Pilates does not stop at improving your body alone. It is great if you want to improve your mental health.[4] Pilates could help reduce signs of anxiety and depression by encouraging that mind-body connection. 


  1. Júlia Ribeiro Pinto, Cleyton Salvego Santos, Souza, J., Paula, A., Robson Dias Scoz, Filipe, A., Maia, L., Baltazar, J. and César Ferreira Amorim (2022). Is pilates better than other exercises at increasing muscle strength? A systematic review. Heliyon, [online] 8(11), pp.e11564–e11564. doi:
  2. Cakmakçi O (2017). The effect of 8 week pilates exercise on body composition in obese women. Collegium antropologicum, [online] 35(4). Available at:
  3. Thomas, D.M., M. Cristina Gonzalez, Pereira, A.Z., Redman, L.M. and Heymsfield, S.B. (2014). Time to Correctly Predict the Amount of Weight Loss with Dieting. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, [online] 114(6), pp.857–861. doi:
  4. Fleming, K.M. and Herring, M.P. (2018). The effects of pilates on mental health outcomes: A meta-analysis of controlled trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, [online] 37, pp.80–95. doi: