If you’re someone who takes Pilates, (maybe only occasionally, or multiple times a week,) you may wonder, “how often do i need to do Pilates?” Let us help you answer that question!
At Physio Logic Pilates in NYC, we dedicate ourselves to perfecting the lesson of Pilates and giving our clients the best results for their individual selves.
Joseph H Pilates said,
“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit. In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.”
So, when asking yourself, “how often do I need to do Pilates?”, the average number of Pilates lessons most of our students take per week and feel major benefits are: 1-3.
Our advice is this: quality over quantity, and apply the work to life’s activities. Basically, do the work and use the work!
Pilates and Outside Life
If you apply the principles of pilates to life outside the studio: awareness, breath, balance, concentration, control, centering, precision, harmony and flow. The benefits will overflow.
You need to learn ideal alignment and wake up the true core muscles of the entire body. This improves posture naturally and access efficient muscles while you walk and do your daily functional activities.
Pilates includes major muscle groups of:
As well as other stabilizing muscles that support these groups.
While moving the legs, you learn how to stabilize your pelvis. Therefore, you tone the muscles in your hips and butt.
You should carry this into the way you do other exercises, such as walk or run. Use the muscles in your legs to walk while you use your newly practiced pelvic stability. This way all of the movement doesn’t happen from your back.
Let the benefits you feel in the studio carry you at home, while you sit at your desk, or play a sport. Feel the difference with Pilates and then you will see the difference. “You are the machine, working on a mat or apparatus.”
Make The Commitment to do Pilates
Pilates, whether on the mat or on the equipment, does not work if you only do it
every once in a while.
You have to commit to a minimum of once a week. Here’s why:
1. Pilates has a steep learning curve. It requires regular practice and lots of
concentration. There are over 500 exercises to learn. Each exercise has a name
and a purpose (often several). The equipment setup is important for safety and
must be learned.
2. Even the simplest Pilates exercise focuses on multiple things – breathing,
coordinated muscle contractions, balance, control. As a beginner you tend to
focus on one or two things. As you get more advanced you begin to integrate
multiple levels of an exercise. The better you get, the more you get out of it.
3. Pilates exercises have a distinct progression from beginner to advanced. The
same exercise can be made more difficult by performing on one leg, adding/
subtracting a spring, changing your position. How will you know how to make the
exercise safe and appropriate for your level?
Ideally, Pilates is something you do 24/7. Joseph Pilates was all about the mind body
connection. Focusing on Pilates concepts everyday can help change old postural
habits (e.g., slumping in our seats, rolling our shoulders forward, standing in one hip)
The more you do it the more natural positive postural habits become.
Pilates builds a body awareness that translates into everything you do. So my
response to the question “How often should I do Pilates?” is this:
Once a week is great, 2 times a week is better, and 3 times a week is amazing! And
remember, Pilates doesn’t have to be your only exercise: commit to movement
How Often Do I Need to Do Pilates?
It’s a great question and a hard one to answer. In my opinion any movement daily is a good thing for the mind and body. Focusing on Pilates daily is even better and it doesn’t have to be a long session.
Most people do an hour’s Pilates class a week. This is great, they feel the benefits and know that if they did more they would feel even better especially if the reason they started was due to an injury.
Why don’t we do more?
For most people it’s time, not prioritising or not having the motivation. Even though they know the benefits of Pilates will be great for us.
As human beings, we like to set goals and strive for an outcome. It brings us clarity and keeps us accountable and motivated. My concern is with the original intent of that goal, which can lead to an unhealthy journey towards the result.
At Physio Logic Pilates, we urge you to set goals but I encourage you to question what you are truly seeking.
Many people fall into a habitual loop of feeling bad about their body, starting an exercise program and hoping for results right away. This causes them to fall off the good habits after a few weeks and at the end of it they feel like a failure.
This feeling of failure has much deeper consequences for that person and months or years later, they go through the same unhealthy cycle.
How Often, By Session
- 1 session per week consistently for maintenance, alongside other activities, is great. 1 session will aid recovery from a specific injury, it will help & educate you in further prevention of injuries.
- You will get great stress relief, but please do not look for a six pack or fast results. Flexibility & strength will improve incrementally, layer by layer. Other activities, homework & additional classes are highly advised.
- 2 sessions per week consistently will give you subsequent big changes in strength, stability, mobility, flexibility – it will aid performance. 2 sessions per week will also help you tackle specific injuries & movement restrictions better – deeper more profound work.
- 3 sessions per week consistently – here the Pilates promise comes to life – optimal Pilates results – you get a transformed body! I am not promising a whole new surgically enhanced you. We are talking about visible changes in how you carry yourself and how your clothes sit on you.
- It will carry over into performing daily tasks and activities with more efficiency. You will notice significant improvements in posture, mobility, strength and flexibility. Additional benefits include improved mental concentration & control.
Good Pilates instruction is worth taking the time and expense to pursue, but we understand that time and funds are not always tangible. If you find that committing to three Pilates sessions per week is not for you, we have some suggestions that our clients have found to be helpful to keep you in great form, week on week.
- Do daily Pilates work, it will make a huge difference. Ask your teacher to give you specific Mat exercises as homework at your next Private session. At Physio Logic, we even provide on demand sessions from home.
- If you do group classes, with practice in class & the help of a book you can also memorize Classical Mat Intermediate sequences and do it at home or anywhere.
- Another idea: pick a couple months a year where you partake in more Pilates than usual. To encompass a Pilates studio, rotate your practice with as much variety as possible. You can add Mat, Tower Trios, Duets & or Privates to boost results & reset the system that is your body & mind.
And remember, Pilates doesn’t have to be your only exercise! Commit to movement everyday – walking, cycling, weights, swimming, hiking, dancing. Do what you love, you name it! Pilates just happens to be a very fun and effective way of doing it! Join us and unwind at Physio Logic in NYC.