Everyone can benefit from burning more body fat from each Pilates class. We are living in a world where all of us have too little time and too much to do; getting the max out of your Pilates class is greatly appreciated by all clients. We are looking at efficiency and effectiveness. How do you spend the same amount of time and get the greatest result? Getting out of the fitness plateau may also be the motivation you need to keep at your fitness regime.
Tip 1: Use Heavier Props
At Pilates Fitness, all our classes utilize Pilates props such as tonning balls which act as hand weights, Pilates Ring (or the Circle of Death), foam roller and more. Unless you are still nursing from injuries, try to step up on the weight of the props you use. The green tonning balls and the purple rings are heavier as compared to the rest. Same movement, heavier weights equals more fat burn. Try it the next time you come to class and observe the difference it makes to your regular Pilates class.
Tip 2: Complete Each Movement with Control
If you are extending your arms or legs, fully extend, hold for 3 seconds then return to starting position with control. Many times, I observe clients either using momentum or move too fast. In fact, when you are extending your limbs or hips, it’s the last 0.5mm of the final extension that truly tone your muscle and strengthen your core. Note that on the reformer, we are working against resistance, only when we are fully extended do we experience maximum resistance given our body proportion. We will burn more body fat when we stay for a few seconds holding maximum resistance.
Each movement should be performed with this sequence – out and hold (for at least 3 seconds), back and hold (when the carriage stop moving for at least 3 seconds). It is important to let the carriage return fully and let the muscles rest for a second or two before you go for your next repetition. This ensure each repetition is done with correct engagement of the intended muscles rather than just powering through the movement. Performing a Pilates exercise correctly burns a lot more body fat and calories as compared to seemingly doing a Pilates exercise without engaging all the right muscles throughout the journey of the movement.
Tip 3: Focus On Maintaining The Right Form For Each Exercise
The other way to maximize fat burn is to use as much core muscles as you can to ensure stability as you perform your movement. Ensuring the spine stays stabilized when you lift your arms up against resistance not only work your arms but also the muscles supporting your spine.
Visualize how a plank works. You are not moving when performing planks but you are working really hard just to maintain your form. In fitness, we call it isometric exercise. If you can maintain your form by activating other muscles while doing the Pilates exercise, you are working doubly hard. You are working hard to perform the movement and you are working hard to ensure other body parts are not moving.
This is also feedback I often get from Pilates newbies. They will comment that they feel nothing at the end of the class and question me if they should be perspiring at the end of a Pilates class. My standard reply is – look around you. The person who is perspiring or panting is probably the most experienced participant we have from this class. The reason why newbies are not “perspiring” is because they are simply doing the movement without maintaining the right form and without using the right muscles. So, next time, burn more body fat by focusing on stability before mobility.
Tip 4: Put Your All In During Foot Work
The trick to burn more body fat for any type of exercise is to focus on lower body work – legs and glutes. This is also why squats and jumps are the most commonly suggested exercises in HIIT and bootcamps classes. The reason to focus on legs and glutes is because they are our biggest muscle groups in our body. Look into the mirror, look at the size of your right arm versus your right leg. If you spend next 30 minutes training your right leg, you will be burning more body fat as opposed to working only your right arm since there is less to burn from your right arm anyway.
Glutes is one of the biggest muscle groups and generally ignored. Clients who want to work their bums are clients who wanted a perky nice, toned bum. Clients who want to lose weight will not think about working their bums. This is incorrect. Think about efficiencies, you will burn body fat if you focus on legs and glutes workout.
So next time when you are doing your Pilates footwork exercises, put your all into those few sets. No cheating. Take no breaks. Ensure Tip 2 and Tip 3 are followed. If you want to intensify the body fat burning, grab heavier tonning balls as you perform your footwork.
Tip 5: Intensify Your Workout By Attending A Variety Of Classes With Different Instructors
Lastly, tip 5 is something that I’ve been nagging for a while. Change is the only constant. Do not accustomed to any class type or instructor.
Try below class suggestion for 2 weeks:
- Monday – Body Aches
- Tuesday – Weight Loss
- Wednesday – Abs Burn / Jumps / Weight Loss Plus
- Thursday – Flexi Stretch / Body Aches
- Friday – Abs Burn / Jumps / Weight Loss Plus (do not repeat the class on weds)
- Saturday – Abs Burn / Jumps / Weight Loss Plus (do not repeat the class on weds & fri)
Start with an easy class and build to an intermediate class by Wednesday. Tune down with an easy class and build up again. It’s like running outdoors on a terrain is much more effective than running uphill all the time or running on flat ground all the time. Always let your body warm up and then challenge it before letting it wind down again.
Best is if you could attend different instructor class and use different reformer at every class. Do not let your memory to set in during the 1 hour of Pilates class so that you are 100% focused and engaged.