Any kind of physical exercise is good for your body and mind. But, some activities are better than others when it comes to reaching specific goals.
Pilates benefits you in many ways, and one of them is toning your body. Besides looking nice, strong muscles can improve your physical health.
If you have been wondering is Pilates good for toning, the answer is YES, it is! Regular exercise can increase your muscles, make them lean, and it can even help you lose some extra weight. All of that will also result in an improved posture and beautiful look.
Many people like to compare it with yoga, which is also highly beneficial for body and mind, but Pilates, especially if practiced on a reformer, is better for toning.
Of course, different types of Pilates exist, and some will tone your body faster than others. Here I will tell you more about this, and the reasons that make this exercise good for toning.
All of these reasons are a great motivation to start practicing today!
Table of Contents:
First Things First: Is Pilates Good for Toning?
I already answered is Pilates good for toning, but here are a few more details about it. First of all, lets define toning. It is a process in which your muscles are gaining strength through exercise. Toning also means getting some firmness in your body.
Pilates focuses on various aspects of exercise, including stretching, improving range of motion and balance, but most importantly, it focuses on strengthening your muscles, especially the core. With regular exercise Pilates will activate all of your muscle groups and after some time you will be able to feel and see the results.
Of course, if you are looking for very large and developed muscles Pilates won’t be enough, but to get that nice, lean, and healthy-looking muscles, Pilates is excellent. It will also improve your posture, which will make you stand upright and seem taller and thinner.
How Long Does it Take to Tone With Pilates?
Answer to this question highly depends on you. Your fitness level, health, age, lifestyle, and diet play a huge role in it. How often you practice and how effective your practices are is important too.
Average person, under supervision of certified instructor, while practicing three times a week, can get visible results in about 12 weeks. Of course, you shouldn’t stop when you reach your goal, and you have to keep practicing to maintain your results.
Pilates before and after 3 months can be described as “having a new body”. At that time, you will feel better both physically and mentally. Any kind of pain you had will be reduced, your mobility and flexibility will be much better than before, and stronger muscles will support your body. This is why Pilates is one of the best exercises for those who have improper posture and back pain caused by it.
And I have good news for those who are impatient. You can see the first result within the first month of exercising, which is a great motivation to keep going!
7 Reasons Why is Pilates Good for Toning
To be honest, we all like our bodies to look nice and be toned, but it should actually be the last thing you think about. Toning is health-related and has many great benefits that may not be visible, but they can be felt. Regular exercise can really improve quality of your life.
Now when you know is Pilates good for toning it is time to list the reasons why, and what makes it better for toning than other forms of exercise which will just make your muscles stronger, without additional benefits.
#1: It strengthens your deep core muscles
Many people decide to exercise in order to strengthen their muscles and get a toned body. Many will go to the gym or participate in carious fitness classes. Don’t get me wrong, that is great, but these activities do not have the ability to target even the smallest and the deepest groups of muscles. Core muscles are extremely important for supporting your body, and to get the most of it, you have to activate them all. Pilates focuses on that a lot. And with strong deep core muscles, your toned body will look and feel even better than after “regular” exercise.
#2: With stretching it makes your muscles leaner
Activating your muscles without warming up, cooling down, and stretching is not a good idea. First of all, it can lead to injuries, and secondly, it can`t give you the best results. You all know how weight-lifters have “bulky” muscles. With Pilates, your goal is to have nice, healthy, and lean muscles. To get that, a lot of stretching has to be done in combination with certain exercises. Pilates offers the best combination of exercises that simultaneously strengthen your muscles and stretch them.
#3: It adds up to your balance, flexibility, and mobility
Have you ever wondered why so many celebrities do Pilates? The reason is nicely toned body, and balance, flexibility, and mobility. Those three benefits will enable you to move with ease. Well-toned body looks and feels even better if your joint movement is not restricted.
This will also reduce possibility of injuries while practicing with a goal to strengthen your muscles. This low impact exercise should be done while breathing properly and doing controlled motion. It will also provide you with excellent body control and spatial awareness. That can help you a lot in everyday life.
#4: It enables you to use various props
Working out should be fun! Repetitive classes or gym sessions can make you loose motivation. Pilates can be done on a mat, reformer, or with help of numerous props (like rings, bars, etc.). This variety is excellent for getting out of the routine workout.
Besides, all these options will enable you to reach your goals faster. Props are great for targeting specific muscle groups which are otherwise hard to activate.
Toning is not an easy process, and you have to stay motivated and focused. Regular exercise is the key! And I already mentioned body/movement control, but it is applicable here too. You can activate your muscles in various ways. During a gym session you will just load them. During Pilates, you will do it with control and precision. When it comes to looks, results can be the same, but with Pilates, many other benefits will come too.
#5: It improves your posture in addition to toning
Toned body will only look and feel good if you are standing upright and you have a good posture. Your spine is the main part of your body. Pilates focuses a lot on strengthening muscles that support it.
Not only this will reduce pain caused by improper posture, but it will also make you look taller and leaner. If toning is your goal, this should also be something to think about.
Also, core muscles will make your waist firm and that is something that many of us want!
#6: Results are visible fast
You can exercise for years without visible results if you are doing it wrong, or the activity you have chosen is not right for you.
The best thing about Pilates is that exercise plans can be tailored to meet everyone’s needs, no matter the age, health, or fitness level.
With a good instructor, results can start showing after just 2-3 weeks! Within the first month, you will definitely notice improvement in your body.
Getting toned is a process and can`t be done overnight, but visible results that show up fast make the best motivation!
#7: It improves the quality of your life, body, and mind
Having a toned body is nice, but it is even better if you gain all kinds of other benefits too. Did you know that Pilates can help you sleep better, and it can significantly reduce stress levels? That is mostly because of breathing exercises. No other activity except for yoga focuses on breathing as much as Pilates.
Every movement is done with specific breath, and it has a huge impact on your physical and psychological wellbeing.
Toned muscles will show, and you will look beautiful when you see yourself. It will make you feel great, and all of that will improve your life!
Imagine waking up in a morning, and feeling light, calm, without pain, and well rested. Pilates can get you there.
What Type of Pilates Exercise is Best for Toning?
Pilates benefits will come no matter which type of Pilates you practice, but if your goal is toning, you should think about reformer.
First of all, repetitive movement is crucial here. Although you can do a lot of repetitions in certain exercises on a mat, reformer will provide you with additional resistance.
Springs add load, and your muscles have to work harder for the same motion. This means that you will gain strength faster, and the results will be visible sooner.
In addition to that, due to springs and resistance, you will get better results. And the best thing about it is that it is low impact, fun, and also provides all other benefits of Pilates!
Which One Is Better for Toning: Pilates or Yoga?
Both Pilates and yoga are excellent forms of exercise. Both will improve your health and looks, but there are also many differences between these two. If your goal is toning, Pilates is the way to go.
Besides reformer, Pilates can be done with stability balls, elastic bands, Pilates rings, and similar props that add resistance and make your muscles work harder. All of this enables quicker and better results.
Yoga is focused on using your own body weight, and while that is great, adding a bit more load is more efficient in this case.
Is Pilates good for toning is a common question, and now you know that it is, and why is that important. Having a healthy and beautiful, well-toned, body has many benefits.
From pain reduction to improved posture, there are numerous reasons why you should start practicing. Even if you are a complete beginner, you can expect to get visible results very fast!