Pilates and weight training may seem like they are two different worlds of fitness, but Joseph Pilates, the creator of Pilates himself, lifted weights.
In fact, there are archival photographs of him using dumbbells on the Wunda Chair.
There are major benefits to both Pilates and weight training. When combined, you get a total body workout that promotes proper posture, balance and strength for improved health and quality of life.
Benefits Of Pilates & Weight Training
Pilates is a unique, systematic and integrative approach to body conditioning made up of over 600 exercises and variations. The Pilates method utilizes body weight and resistant springs to strengthen, stretch and realign ones’ body. It’s a compressive program that progresses a person from simple fundamental movements to very advanced skills on multiple Pilates apparatuses.
The Pilates practice is widely considered therapeutic as it brings you back to balance, proper posture and grounds you in your center. It’s often recommended by doctors for overall health and rehabilitative purposes as well as injury prevention.
Pilates itself is a full-body workout—it improves fitness, endurance and increases longevity. Studio Be is a one-stop-shop for the average person looking to save time and improve their overall wellbeing. We love to mix it up and use various types of resistance to tone and sculpt the body, so we use a lot of props in our classical Pilates classes, including weights like dumbbells and ankle or wrist weights.
Weight training, on the other hand, uses free weights or weight machines to build muscle mass, strength and endurance. It can help reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently than other workouts, such as cardio-based workouts.
Weight training is great for the development of stronger bones since it increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. It’s also helpful for weight loss or management since it increases your metabolism and burns calories efficiently.
At the end of the day, weight training can help you become stronger, which allows you to perform daily tasks much easier—whether it be carrying bags of groceries or running around with your children or grandchildren. All of this to say we still need some weight training in our fitness repertoire.
Combining Pilates & Weights
I believe using weights in Pilates can be easier on the body than tradition weightlifting, which often occurs standing vertically holding the weight. In this case, you must adapt to the external weight by positioning your body to align and adjust the weight into your center. In other words: it’s easy to fall into poor form.
Pilates itself is rooted in proper posture and balance, so as you lift the weights, you are already focused on excellent form and thinking about your overall body alignment.
Not to mention, when you incorporate weights into Pilates, you get it all in one place—you don’t have to go to gym or lift weights at home to get your weight training in. Joseph Pilates intended Pilates to be a one-stop-shop. If performed correctly, you shouldn’t need any additional fitness activities. This is especially true when we add weights to our classical Pilates classes.
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About The Author
Fitness has always been a guiding force for Kathy Lopez, owner of Studio Be. Her inherent drive for health has naturally translated into helping others achieve strength, balance and wellness. Kathy has been voted Ventura's best Pilates instructor nine years in a row. Learn more...