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Should Obese People Do Pilates, Is It Possible?

Should Obese People Do PilatesShould obese people do pilates, this is something that has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. It’s easy to feel intimidated by starting up Pilates as a heavy person because when you think of this form of exercise you envision Pilates’ classes that are for slim, toned, and athletic bodies. It’s too easy to think that you might not fit in. While anyone can technically do pilates, should an overweight person take the time to learn this exercise?

Honestly, I must state that if your main goal is to lose weight, Pilates may not be the best exercise for you. But, if your goal is not only losing weight but also toning up and slimming, then Pilates could always be a part of your weekly routine.

Since 1980, the number of obese population has doubled due to our modern lifestyle, low physical exercises, and poor diets. Factors such as availability of labor-saving devices and cheap fast foods play significant roles in this epidemic.

Obesity increases your risk of health complications such as heart attack, strokes, diabetes, and chronic heart diseases. Therefore, the need to curb this trend calls for some form of action. Whether that action is Pilates or not, is entirely up to the individual. How much one person values their health will determine how much action they are willing to take.

So Is Pilates Suitable For Obese People?Obese Women Doing Pilates

First, you need to look at some of the benefits of Pilates to determine if this is the right exercise for you. Some of the benefits include: helps you to improve overall posture, toning up, relieves stress, and building lean muscle. This exercise is suitable for all body sizes, shapes, and ages. Among many benefits, it increases your body strength and increases flexibility, muscle tone, and balance.

Execution of these tasks is on a mat or equipment such as reformers and towers. In both cases, Pilates is either done lying down, on your knees or sitting on the floor/chair. These positions make these exercises suitable for plus-sized people who cannot comfortably stand for long periods. But on the flip side, getting up from the floor is very difficult as a heavy person, so you need to choose the Pilate positions wisely.

Additionally, Pilates can be modified to suit your individual needs to cater to your body fitness.

For extra overweight people, it is advisable to seek private lessons to help the instructor find suitable modifications for you. It also helps him identify the best classes and appropriate equipment adjustment that comfortably works for you. That way, the instructor may modify the exercise or adjust the equipment in a way that helps you improve progress. Because as we all know, progress is what we need to stay motivated.

Pilates for Weight Loss- Is It Suitable For the Heavy Person

Despite the world seeing obesity as an epidemic, not all heavy people want or even need to lose weight. But in saying that, these exercises can help you live a healthy lifestyle if that is what you desire. One of the reasons this form of exercise is good for overweight people is that it does not neglect certain body parts. Pilates focuses on your full-frame and works on it as an integral whole.

It is vital to note that these exercises are not for individuals seeking to lose weight as their primary focus. On the other hand, Pilates is very encouraging in weight loss. The right combination of Pilates exercise, cardio exercise, and a proper diet can give you the best results.

How Pilates For Overweight People Helps In Weight Loss

  • Movement

One of the basics of weight loss is keeping your body in motion. Pilates plays the introductory part in the world of movements. How? Well, these exercises are known to improve your body balance that enables the body to move gracefully. For that reason, weight loss exercises are more comfortable.

  • Activity

Apart from movement, weight loss requires a lot of body activities. The more your body is active, the more it burns calories. As Pilates help you keep the body busy, it aids in weight loss.

  • Building Strength

Generally speaking, to lose weight, you need to be capable of undertaking exercises. It is evidenced that many obese people wish to lose weight but often struggle with the actual performance of the movements involved in the exercises. Therefore, it is essential to undertake activities that ease the struggle of cardio exercises for a compelling journey.

Pilates helps increase flexibility, building body strength, and toning up. These exercises also help you relieve back pains. With that, the ability to undertake weight loss activities becomes less complicated and more comfortable.

The Dangers Involved With Pilates for an Obese Person

Just like any other exercise including yoga, Pilates exercises pose potential risks of injuring your muscles and joints. Since most of the equipment activities involve balancing, participants are prone to falling. Also, heavy people are more likely to fall due to excess body weight making holding their balance more difficult. Therefore, the instructor should choose exercises that match each individual’s level to avoid this risk.

Pilates is relatively safe for people with no physical disadvantages. As mat exercises insist on rounding the back, people with fragile bones, can find Pilates considerably dangerous. However, people diagnosed with bone-related conditions can carefully practice these exercises with the guidance of a trained instructor

Obesity is known to weaken the ligaments and structure of your pelvic floor.

Since Pilate abdominal exercises are on the pelvic floor, any defect around this area renders these activities dangerous. Therefore, you must avoid tasks that involve raising either legs or your head off the mat as well as weight-bearing through your hands and legs only.

Additionally, these exercises are associated with the following side effects.

  • Muscle soreness
  • Pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Flushing
  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue

Some Simple Pilates Routines for the Overweight PersonAlternatives To Pilates For Obese People

The main reason why Pilates is gaining popularity worldwide is that it is easy to perform and requires minimal equipment. As it helps burn calories, it helps in weight loss while it is also beneficial for the mind.

Pilates can be less challenging to execute for most people; hence they are good workouts for heavy people. But when movement is very limited, the use of a heavy-duty treadmill may be a safer alternative. The following are five easy Pilates for overweight people intending to lose weight.

1. Roll Up – this mat exercise strengthens your pelvic muscles and burns down belly fat.

2. The Hundred – it warms up your body and strengthens abdominal muscles. Coordination of breaths and movements plays a significant role in the excellent results of this workout.

3. Swimming – well, you don’t need a swimming pool for this exercise. This move helps in stimulating butt muscles as well as lower back and the core.

Swan – this classic Pilates position helps strengthen butt muscle as well as muscle on the back of the legs. Also, it helps in stretching out the chest and abdominal muscles.

4. Rolling Like a Ball – this Pilates move helps massage back muscles as well as improve balance. It also helps stimulate the spine, relieve tension, and control body movement.


While each body type, size, and shape is capable of doing exercises, it is much more challenging for an obese person. But this is not to say an obese person should just give up entirely, but to take baby steps and go from there. Pilates for obese people helps create an introduction into the world of workouts, which is can be the kick start to weight loss, if that is what you are after.

Although Pilates is not primarily targeted towards weight-loss, it can play a significant role in the journey towards losing weight through positivity, mindset, motivation, and greater flexibility in movement. These practices create a base as they prepare your body for cardio exercises. Some of the moves and positions may result in weight loss, although they are not as effective as cardio exercises.

In conclusion, the right combination of cardio exercises, Pilates, and weight-loss diet results in a successful journey toward beating obesity. At the end of the day, it’s best to consult your Doctor to discuss a plan catered to your specific capabilities.


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