How Pilates Can Improve Your Strength Training

How Pilates Can Improve Your Strength Training

Not sure whether to grab your cute athleisure set or your lifting shoes? Pilates and strength aren’t mutually exclusive. With some planning, you can get the benefits of both.

Incorporating a mixture of diverse forms of exercise is proven to aid fitness whilst driving motivation. Try combining a mixture of both strength training and Pilates for optimal results. Overtime it will help you build a strong mind-muscle connection, increase flexibility, relieve stress, improve form and posture, and prevent injuries. 

Keep reading to find out why diversifying your training style could be beneficial for you.


Is Pilates a form of strength training?

To improve your muscle strength, you need to be practicing the principle of progressive overload. This is the process of gradually increasing the stress placed on the body through increased load, which ultimately forces your muscles to adapt. Progressive overload - the foundation of muscle growth - can be achieved through a number of methods: increasing resistance, changing the number of reps or sets, working out at a higher intensity, or adding new exercises to the mix.

During a Pilates workout, our body recruits the slow twitch muscle fibres, which are resilient to fatigue and use oxygen for energy, leading to increased muscle endurance. Typically, exercises are performed at a slower tempo, focusing on the eccentric (lowering) phase of movements in which your muscles are in a lengthened position, increasing your time under tension. Pilates involves accessory work that challenges small muscles through movements that require a broader range of motion with a lighter load... all while relying heavily on core engagement.

Through incorporating heavy-resistance, low-rep weightlifting combined with lower-resistance, high-rep Pilates into your weekly routine, you’ll enjoy the benefits of both types of training.


Using Pilates to enhance your strength training.

Pilates is the powerhouse for muscle recruitment and endurance. Pilates exercise target and find muscles you never knew existed. But how will this improve your ability to lift heavy?

Pilates focuses on building core strength and stability, which allows you to create a solid foundation of muscle strength and control. More stability whilst performing a movement means that you can complete more repetitions, thus allowing you to improve your strength and increase how much weight you can lift. The core strength and stability you gain in Pilates can support your performance in all other areas of training, especially when completing big compound lifts such as squats or deadlifts.

As an added benefit, Pilates is proven to assist injury prevention. Adding Pilates into your workout routine will help you to improve muscle and joint mobility, promote blood flow to your joints, and improve muscular endurance and tissue capacity. A combination of Pilates and strength training will enable you to engage your entire body. With a structured routine, your body will be strong and sound to tackle anything.  


How to incorporate Pilates and strength training into your routine.

Pilates can be performed as little as one or two times a week, and strength training at least twice a week to see health benefits. Pilates is a great complement to strength training, whether it be for muscle activation or mobility, flexibility or to aid recovery. Pilates can be used pre or post strength training, and even on your rest days to promote active recovery, helping to alleviate fatigue and reduce lactic acid buildup while increasing blood flow to the muscle and joints.


We have mapped out a typical weekly schedule to show how you can easily incorporate both Pilates and Strength training into your week. Access your free downloadable example weekly schedule PDF by clicking here