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What Does a Pilates Body Look Like?

Posted Jun 13 2013 4:03pm

There has been a lot of talk (buzz) about the Pilates body. What is it?

First, it’s a terrible misnomer. There is no exercise program that would result in one “body type,’ since everyone’s body is so different. Take a look at the Fuse teachers. We’re all doing the same basic workouts, yet we look different because of how we build
muscle (some people get more “cut” than others based on diet, genetics, and bone structure, for instance). Plus some of us are short, and some of us are really tall.

But, in general, because of how Pilates works, there are some generalizations you can make:

1. Pilates builds strength and tone, without building bulk. That’s why the “Pilates body”
and “dancer’s body” look so similar. However, Pilates doesn’t abuse your body the way professional dance does, so although our bodies might look the same, the Pilates body probably feels a lot better.

2. Since we work a lot on the smaller, stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked in traditional workouts, your body shape can begin to change. By focusing on the hip muscles for instance, your glutes can get a rounder, perkier shape (score!).

3. Pilates is a full-body workout, and we don’t miss anything. The goal is to develop even musculature. That means we’re working your arms, which you might be inclined to skip at the gym because you “don’t like it” (yet).

4. Pilates builds great posture, which makes you look taller. You actually might even “become taller,” as you strengthen your core musculature and expand the space between your vertebrae or straighten out a crooked spine or uneven pelvis. Plus, the compliments you’ll get on your muscle tone will help you stand even straighter.

5. Pilates core work focuses on the deepest layer of core musculature, teaching your abs to pull inwards to your spine and stay there. Flat abs, anyone?

6. Pilates builds strength, balance, and flexibility, which helps you move (in every activity) with greater ease. So, you look more graceful (because you actually are).

So, that’s the recipe. Apply it to your frame and genetic makeup, do it regularly, eat right, and voila – your very own “Pilates body”!

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