Does Pilates Tone Your Body?


Pilates is a form of exercise invented by Joseph Pilates and it offers many benefits. The most well known benefits being increased core strength and improved muscle tone. But really, these benefits are just scraping the edges!

The goal of Pilates exercises is to create strong muscles, improve flexibility and range of motion. Pilates classes, whether they are done on a mat or on the Pilates reformer, are going to simultaneously stretch and strengthen the muscles while creating balance in the body.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Pilates?

We know for sure it can take just a couple of weeks of Pilates to feel many of the physical and mental benefits. But the amount of time it takes to see the effects of Pilates is going to depend on a few factors:

  • The number of times you practice Pilates per week, we talk more about this over here.
  • Your current physical health status, like whether you are recovering from an injury, or if you’ve exercised before.
  • Defining your desired results. 

That last point is a big one. For a long time, we used our exercise as a method for weight loss alone. 

We were completely obsessed and brainwashed by Diet Culture. We were forever yo-yo dieting, trying the newest fads, disorderly eating and continually thinking we were not good enough. 

‘Lose weight’ seemed like the logical answer to our problem, but actually, this goal was causing the problem. It wasn’t until we became aware of it and then welcomed in a self-acceptance practice that we were able to see things clearly.

Why is a ‘toned body’ even on the goals list anyway? Isn’t gaining muscle strength better? Isn’t feeling healthy better? Isn’t feeling energized and vibrant better? Ahhhh! 

This doesn’t mean we are ‘anti-health’ or ‘anti-weight loss’. It just means we don’t believe that thinness = beauty or health. 

We still exercise most days and eat a healthy balanced diet (which now actually does include pasta!) and guess what, we’ve never felt better! Not only physically but our mental health, especially around food, diets and self-image, is the best it’s ever been. 

This is all thanks to linking up our Pilates (and Yoga) practice with our self-acceptance practice. This is what we teach inside our online Yoga and Pilates Studio, we call it MerryBody. 


What Does Pilates Do for My Body?

The short and long-term effects of Pilates can be very significant. Pilates is a low impact exercise that can improve your posture, change your body composition and improve flexibility.

But, we care most about the FEELING Pilates creates and we encourage you to focus on this too!

Pilates helps you feel stronger and more confident with a greater sense of body awareness. Literally, you can go from a bad mood to a good mood with just 10 minutes of Pilates!

Pilates is adaptable to any fitness level

You can do Pilates exercises, no matter what age you are or what your fitness level is. Everyone is different and has different needs, and a trained Pilates instructor will be able to help you identify what your limitations and needs are. This is why we are always available for our MerryBody Members, so we can give them more individualised advice.

Pilates improves your posture and body awareness

Strengthening your core muscles and your back muscles will lead to an improved posture and a more confident appearance. But not just appearance… standing tall with your shoulders back and your gaze forward will actually make you FEEL more confident within. Posture is POWERFUL.

Pilates works the entire body

The exercises performed during Pilates classes are not specific to any one body part or muscle group. Instead, the Pilates exercises will give your entire body a good workout and challenge. 

Pilates improves flexibility

Just like Yoga, practising Pilates will help you safely stretch your muscles and improve your overall range of motion, making you more flexible and more mobile in your everyday duties. Each and every Pilates move stretches and strengthens a certain part of your body. Read more here.

Pilates improves circulation 

Pilates can help to increase blood flow around the body due to the positive impacts on posture along with the focus on the breath. Better breathing and better posture lead to better circulation. 

Pilates improves your core strength

We believe the least important part of core strength is the 6 pack toned look. A strong core creates better posture, it helps to reduce back pain and even prevent injury. It allows you to feel more comfort and ease in every day activities. 

Loss of core strength is widespread among older adults, and a weak core is a factor contributing to falls amongst the elderly. Together a strong core and better posture, improve your balance and therefore reduce falls that lead to serious injury like a broken leg or pelvis. 

The best way to experience the benefits of Pilates is to try out a class! We’ve got a free 20 minute mat based Pilates class waiting for you. Pilates really is an amazing exercise, with consistent practise you can see great positive changes to your strength, posture and flexibility. 


Sign up here and we will send it straight to you!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla 

If you are recovering from any injury and using Pilates as treatment, make sure to seek medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your doctor before starting your Pilates journey.


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