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Best Reasons To Do Pilates

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I discover the best reasons to do pilates, what it is, how it helps, and how to get started.

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Feeling overwhelmed by the time commitment of traditional workouts? You’re not alone. Between juggling work, family, and the ever-present to-do list, squeezing in gym time can feel like an impossible feat. But what if fitness could be a peaceful practice in the comfort of your own home?

In 2024, I’m hoping to become stronger and leaner, with improved mental focus, and even maybe alleviate some of my general aches and pains. That’s why I’m learning all about pilates. This low-impact practice, beloved by celebrities and everyday heroes alike, requires no fancy equipment, just a mat and a willingness to explore the hidden potential within.

Online searches for Pilates are currently at the highest they have been in five years, proving just how keen people are to start the New Year off on the right foot and learn more about the benefits of Pilates exercises and how they affect the body.  

To help me out, experts at Mirafit have sent a guide to Pilates, sharing industry knowledge on its benefits, who it is ideal for and how it can aid you in maintaining your fitness goals this new year. 

What is Pilates? 

Pilates is a low-impact exercise system focused on strengthening your core, improving flexibility, and building balance. It uses controlled movements and precise breathing to engage your deep muscles, leading to a stronger, leaner, and more pain-free body. It’s often done on a mat, but can also be practiced with equipment like reformers and chairs. It is a great abdominal workout but also helps to strengthen and tone the glutes, lower back and hips. 

Think of it as a mind-body workout that combines strength training, stretching, and mindful movement. While it can be challenging, it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, as you can adjust the intensity and exercises to your needs. So, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, Pilates can be a great way to get strong, flexible, and feel amazing!

Best Reasons To Do Pilates

Helps to align posture

Prevents hunching in the back by engaging core muscles, back and pelvic floor, allowing complete relaxation in the upper parts of the body, such as the neck and shoulders. It works to take away the pressure on your hips, which, therefore, improves your posture. Overall, this workout will get the parts of your body that hold your spine in the correct alignment to stay straight and improve posture. 

Gives more definition

Although Pilates does not help gain muscle, it can work the muscles through dynamic stretching to tone and define the body.  

Practices mindfulness

Pilates encourages your body’s limits and can be a great form of motivation. The breathwork needed to execute many of the exercises correctly is tough but very rewarding, leaving you in touch with your body whilst building strength. 

Improved balance, mobility and stability

Through Pilates, your body gets to work all the areas which might be tight by opening them up. This benefits those who work long hours sitting at a desk or hunched over. 

How to start Pilates

There are so many options out there for local classes, online classes, courses, and videos, which is why it is important to go for the option that makes you feel the most comfortable and where you can put your all into the class without distractions. 

Take part in local classes 

Classes are a great way to get instant help regarding form, technique and motivation. Forget the intimidating gym atmosphere, pilates classes foster a welcoming, supportive environment where you’ll find encouragement, motivation, and a sense of belonging. You’re not just working out; you’re joining a tribe of like-minded individuals who celebrate each other’s progress and journey together.

Find a class that suits your pace and experience, and join the community of Pilates warriors who are rewriting their fitness stories, one mindful movement at a time.


There are plenty of paid-for and free guides and videos online which will help you delve into the world of Pilates. If you prefer to workout in your own space, then this is the option for you. In fact, online searches for ’28 day wall Pilates challenge free’ skyrocketed just days into 2024 by 315%, proving just how keen people are to get focused on a challenge that requires not taking part in a class.

No need to squeeze into workout leggings and battle the busy carpark – roll out your mat in your living room, PJs optional! Fit Pilates into your naptime window, between laundry loads, or when you’re relaxing after a busy day of work. Your schedule, your rules. Online classes offer a comfortable, pressure-free environment where you can focus on yourself and your movements, away from any self-consciousness.

This is also a great option if you would still like to go to the gym but follow an online guide on your phone without being in front of an instructor.

Pilates App

Learning Pilates through an app offers a revolutionary approach to fitness, one that prioritizes convenience, flexibility, and personalized experiences. Picture this: sculpting a stronger you, boosting your mood, and finding inner peace, all from the comfort of your own living room, on your own schedule.

Track your progress, set goals, and receive modifications tailored to your needs and limitations. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, pregnant, or a complete beginner, there’s a program designed to guide you safely and effectively.

Many apps offer interactive features where you can connect with other users, share your experiences, and motivate each other. This virtual community fosters a sense of belonging and keeps you accountable, even when you’re sweating it out solo.

What do you need to do Pilates at home?

To do Pilates at home, the absolute minimum you need is just a space to move and your own body! It’s a low-impact exercise, so you don’t need fancy equipment or a dedicated gym setup. However, depending on your comfort level and desired intensity, there are some things that can enhance your experience.


  • Space: You’ll need enough space to lie down with your arms and legs outstretched comfortably. A living room floor, bedroom carpet, or even a firm, level patch of grass outdoors can work.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable clothes that allow for freedom of movement, like leggings and a loose-fitting top. Avoid baggy clothes that might get caught or restrict your movements.
  • Water: Stay hydrated throughout your workout. Keep a water bottle within reach.

Optional Equipment:


While not essential, a Pilates mat provides padding and grip, especially on hard surfaces. Look for a non-slip mat that’s at least 6mm thick for comfort.

The non-slip surface helps you maintain balance and stability, especially for challenging poses. It protects your joints and spine from harsh floors, making workouts comfortable and safe. The defined space isolates your practice, minimizing distractions and allowing you to focus solely on your movements and breath.

Yoga blocks

Yoga blocks are versatile props can be used for support, modification, and added challenge in various exercises. Blocks can prop up knees, heads, or hands, making exercises more accessible and comfortable, especially for beginners.

Feeling ready to push yourself? Blocks can add a touch of instability to exercises like lunges and side planks, engaging your core and balance further. Need to square your hips in a side plank? Prop one under your lower hip. Want to deepen a stretch? Place a block under your hands or feet.

Yoga strap

A yoga strap helps with stretching and lengthening exercises, particularly if you have limited flexibility. Use the strap to lengthen your reach in poses like forward folds and tricep extensions, allowing you to safely dive deeper into your stretches.

Ready to spice up your routine? The strap opens up a world of creative possibilities! Wrap it around your ankles for more challenging variations of leg exercises, or loop it around your hands to explore different arm balances. Don’t let those core muscles off the hook! A yoga strap can add a subtle challenge to exercises like planks or side planks. Loop it around your legs and feel your core ignite as you work to maintain stability. It’s a subtle twist that can make a big difference in your strength and control.

Pilates ball

A small inflatable pilates ball can add instability and challenge to core exercises, improving balance and coordination. An all-in-one exercise tool, pilates balls can be used to enhance core strength, sculpt abdominal muscles, optimize posture, boost endurance, and improve balance and flexibility. They’re suitable for strengthening, rehabilitation, and toning exercises.

Unlike heavy weights or machines, the Pilates ball is a gentle and adaptable tool. Beginners can use it for support and modification, while advanced practitioners can find endless challenges in its instability. It’s a tool that grows with you, offering benefits no matter your fitness level.

Pilates ring

This magic circle strengthens your upper body and core while adding variety to your workout. A pilates ring adds gentle, targeted resistance to your exercises, activating and strengthening deep muscles you didn’t know existed. Squeeze it between your thighs in leg circles, press against it in chest presses, or use it to intensify your core engagement in planks – your muscles will scream “thank you” later!

Beginners can use it for support and modification, while advanced practitioners can find endless challenges in its resistance and versatility. It’s a tool that grows with you, offering benefits no matter your fitness level. Use it to gently open your chest in backbends, lengthen your spine in twists, or even stretch your inner thighs by placing it between your knees. You’ll discover hidden depths of flexibility, all with the gentle assistance of your ringy friend.

How often should you do Pilates? 

If you want to see significant changes to your body with purely Pilates workouts, you should practice it at least three to four times per week. Rest days in between will allow your body to recover, adapt and gain strength. You can increase the number of exercises and time you do in these workouts as you get stronger.  

If you are just starting or want to see a little difference alongside your other workout routines, committing to a 20-minute Pilates workout daily will make you fit and toned in no time! 

For Beginners:

  • 1-3 times per week: Start slow and allow your body time to adjust to the new movements and challenges. Consistency is key, so aim for regular sessions throughout the week.

Intermediate Level:

  • 3-5 times per week: As you gain strength and flexibility, you can increase the frequency. Listen to your body and take rest days when needed.

Advanced Level:

  • 4-6 times per week: You can safely do Pilates most days of the week, incorporating rest days and lower-intensity sessions for recovery.

General Tips:

  • Don’t overdo it: Overtraining can lead to injury, so make sure to build up your intensity and duration gradually.
  • Rest is essential: Allow your body time to recover between workouts. Take a rest day or choose a gentler, restorative class when you’re feeling fatigued.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during or after your workout. Modify exercises or take a break if needed.
  • Variety keeps things interesting: Try different Pilates variations like reformer or chair classes to keep your workouts engaging and challenge different muscle groups.
  • Focus on quality over quantity: It’s better to do a shorter, well-executed workout than a longer one with poor form.

Pilates is an excellent form of exercise that will help you tone your body, keep you in tune with your muscles, and significantly improve your posture. Pilates has seen an incredible amount of interest online in the past few years, reaching an all-time high just in the past week alone. 

Online searches for new workout challenges have become popular around the start of the new year, and interest in Pilates challenges has also increased. Searches for the ‘Pilates challenge’ have increased by 1,032% over the past five years, proving how keen people are to set a monthly goal to start the year. 

Pilates could be the perfect way to help introduce fitness into your daily or weekly routines, so it is worth trying either alongside your other workout routines or solely on its own.

-A spokesperson from Mirafit


For me, this isn’t about sculpted abs or toned arms. It’s about reclaiming my body, about rediscovering the strength that lies dormant beneath the layers of motherhood and exhaustion. It’s about learning to feel confident in my own skin, moving with purpose and grace, even amidst the whirlwind of daily life.

And so, I step into 2024 with a renewed sense of hope. Hope that this Pilates journey will lead me to a healthier, happier me. Hope that it will become not just a workout, but a sanctuary, a space where I can find peace amidst the chaos, where I can reconnect with myself and emerge stronger, both physically and mentally.

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