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5 Pilates Myths – Busted!

Can Pilates help you lose weight? Is Pilates a full body workout? Do you need special machines for a good Pilates workout? Get-Fit Guy tackles the most popular myths about Pilates.

By
Ben Greenfield
March 13, 2012
Episode #083

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In the article What Is Pilates? you learned exactly what to expect from this very popular form of exercise favored by everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Madonna to seven-foot-tall professional basketball players.

But can Pilates help you lose weight? Is Pilates a full body workout? Do you need special machines for a good Pilates workout? In this article, I’m going to tackle 5 important Pilates myths so you can make an informed decision about whether Pilates will meet your fitness needs.

Myth 1: Pilates is a Good Way to Lose Weight

In the article Does Yoga Burn Calories you learned about multiple studies that have shown Yoga to be relatively ineffective in burning calories or causing significant weight loss. While Pilates has definite benefits, weight loss is not its strongest suit. As a matter of fact, a 2006 study found that body weight and body fat percentage was not significantly affected in adult females using a regular Pilates routine. A 2004 study found that while Pilates does indeed help to improve flexibility, it does not significantly affect body composition, even after 6 months of practice.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Pilates can’t indirectly help you lose weight. Because it does such a good job strengthening your core, reducing your risk of injury, and improving your flexibility (which is why many famous athletes like it), Pilates may help you “stay in the game” longer when you’re working out, and keep you from getting sidelined with an injury. People who do Pilates regularly may also be more likely to engage in other forms of exercise, since you often find yourself visiting or joining a gym or health club to take part in a Pilates class.

But when it comes to pure calorie burning and fat loss, running on a treadmill, riding a bike, or lifting weights will be more effective than Pilates.

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