Blog Fitness Pilates How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn? Find Your Way To A Lean Body

How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn? Find Your Way To A Lean Body

Pilates’ popularity in fitness circles makes people wonder – how many calories does pilates burn? Even though losing weight isn’t the goal of many practitioners, it is reasonable to look into the science behind this workout. For decades, men and women have reaped benefits from pilates to maintain weight and stay active. Pilates is a gentle exercise that helps strengthen your core, improve your flexibility, and teach you how to breathe properly (1). If you want to start or continue exercising, pilates might be a good option for you to try. Knowing how many calories are burned during a pilates session is helpful to make the most of these workouts.


For starters, let’s begin with the basics:

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a type of exercise created by Joseph Pilates many years ago to help dancers recover from injuries. It involves focusing on each movement, using your stomach and lower back muscles, moving precisely and smoothly, and breathing in a controlled way.

You can do pilates on a special machine or just on a mat. Pilates is a type of strength training that differs from other strength exercises. It is more about improving muscle tone than building big muscles. It can help make you stronger and more stable, reducing your risk of injury (2). Pilates can also help you look longer and leaner.

Pilates has been around for almost 100 years, but it’s still gaining popularity and attracting new fans. One reason for its popularity is that it can be customized to fit anyone’s health goals, regardless of age, gender, health condition, or fitness level.

How Many Calories Does An Hour Of Pilates Burn?

If you’re new to pilates and do it for an hour on a mat, you’ll burn around 170 to 250 calories. The number of calories you burn depends on your weight – if you weigh 120 pounds, you’ll burn about 171 calories. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll burn around 200 calories; if you weigh 180 pounds, you’ll burn up to 257 calories during a one-hour pilates session. You may burn even more calories if you do an intermediate or advanced pilates workout (3).

See also
The Pros And Cons Of Pilates Vs. Weight Training

Remember that a calorie is a way to measure energy or heat. Your body turns calories from food and stored energy (like fat) into energy for your body to use. This process creates heat, so we say you’re “burning calories.”

Michele Olson, a Pilates expert with a Ph.D. and also part of the American College of Sports Medicine, conducted a study with 12 people to see how many calories they burned during pilates. The study divided the participants into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of Pilates workouts, and they did the exercises on a mat without any extra equipment.

The researchers closely monitored the subjects’ heart rates and found that pilates can help you burn calories, especially if you do intermediate or advanced workouts. The study also found that if you want to lose weight doing pilates you need to do it at least four times a week, for 45-60 minutes each session.

The study found that doing a beginner pilates workout burns about 4 calories per minute, an intermediate workout burns about 6 calories per minute, and an advanced workout burns about 7.5 calories per minute. So, during a one-hour session, you can expect to burn around 240 to 450 calories, depending on the level of your pilates workout (4).

See also
Wall Pilates FAQ: Answers From The Experts

Read More: Can You Do Pilates At Home? A Quick Guide To Pilates Without A Studio

how many calories does pilates burn

How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn In 30 Minutes?

“Calories burned pilates 30 minutes” is one of the most researched queries online. And honestly, there is no exact answer to this question. In a 30-minute pilates session, a person will do different exercises to improve muscle tone, strength, balance, posture, flexibility, and core strength.

Pilates is a great option for a quick exercise routine with many benefits. It’s essential to remember that pilates is just one part of a complete fitness and wellness plan. How many calories does pilates burn in 30 minutes depends on the practitioner’s weight, age, and fitness level.

Normally, an average person can burn 120-240 calories. You might burn a few more calories if you weigh more or do more intense exercises. Doing more challenging Pilates exercises, like using resistance bands, can help you burn over 300 calories in 30 minutes. Ultimately, the number of calories burned will depend on your movements and body type.

Does Pilates Burn A Lot Of Calories?

Pilates is a type of exercise that is gentle on your body and can help you lose weight while also improving your posture, flexibility, and core strength (1). It doesn’t push you to your limits like other intense workouts, such as running, because it involves slow and deliberate movements.

Although it doesn’t burn as many calories as high-intensity exercises, pilates still works for your entire body and can help you lose weight consistently with a healthy diet. It’s a low-intensity workout that can be done regularly without risking injury, making it a great long-term fitness routine. Many people enjoy pilates because it’s relaxing and calming.

See also
Calories Burned Walking 2 Miles: A Key to Weight Loss?

Combining pilates with regular aerobic exercise and a healthy diet can be a great plan to lose weight. Pilates can help you get in better shape by working out all areas of your body, especially your core muscles. More calories are burned during pilates when you combine the routine with aerobics. This combination also helps you maintain good posture and alignment, lowering your risk of exercise-related injuries.

When figuring out the pilates calories burned, you can use some strategies to estimate calories burned. These include:

Heart Rate Calculators

Online tools that use your heart rate to calculate calorie burn can help you track how many calories you burn. However, current technology in activity monitors is not advanced enough to accurately track calories burned during Pilates exercises that involve movements in multiple planes.

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how many calories does pilates burn

Heart Rate Monitor

A heart rate monitor is a primary way to determine how many calories are burned during pilates. This is because when your heart beats faster, your body needs more oxygen to burn calories. That said, heart rate and oxygen demand are linked.

Some heart rate monitors can estimate your calorie burn by considering your resting metabolism rate, your heart rate during exercise, and other details like your weight and gender.

Besides these, you can also look for online calorie-burned calculators to understand how many calories does pilates burn. All they ask for is an input of your details, like exercise duration and body mass index. The answer should not be considered accurate as some calculators don’t consider variables like age and gender.

See also
Calories Burned Swimming 1 Mile: How to Paddle Your Way to a Fitter You

How Many Calories Does Floor Pilates Burn?

Even though pilates isn’t as intense as a standard gym workout, it can help a person shed some extra pounds. Floor pilates is one of the best ways to begin your pilates weight loss journey.

Doing floor pilates can make your body strong and balanced while increasing flexibility. You’ll become more aware of your breathing, concentration, and body when you get better at it. Floor pilates is great for people just starting because all you need is floor space, a mat, and your body.

The number of calories burned doing pilates on the floor relies on two main factors:

  • Difficulty level
  • Your current weight

If you weigh around 150 pounds, a 50-minute beginner-level workout burns roughly 175 calories. If you do an advanced workout for the same duration, you can burn up to 254 calories.

Another important factor that determines pilates calories burned is the duration. Studies show that after a 30-minute workout session, your body can continue to burn calories at twice the rate (5). For example, if you burn 100 calories in the first 30 minutes, you can burn an additional 100 calories for every 15 minutes you keep exercising.

This is because your heart rate stays elevated, which helps your body burn more calories.

Read More: How Often Should You Do Pilates? Get Fit With The Best Pilates Schedule

how many calories does pilates burn

How Many Calories Do You Burn In Advanced Pilates?

Moving to an advanced stage of pilates is often a good idea if the beginner regime has worked well in your favor. You can give a shot to the advanced pilates classes like a pilates reformer class or a combination of pilates and boxing, also called Piloxing.

See also
When To Start Doing Wall Pilates: You're Never Too Old (Or Too Young) For This Gentle Workout

If you want to lose weight, it’s best to take combination classes a few times a week. These classes combine different types of exercises and can help you achieve better results. You can also switch between pilates classes, workouts with weights to build strength, and cardio exercises.

The question of how many calories does pilates burn doesn’t have a definite answer as there are several variables to consider. These include the current weight, duration, and workout intensity. However, on average, a person can burn approximately 250-450 calories per hour doing advanced pilates.

If you want to burn a lot of calories during your workout, keep your body in the correct position and stay within a range of exercises that raise your heart rate. The calories burned in intensive pilates are more than those in a beginner regime. Find out a balanced exercise routine that doesn’t lead you to fatigue and helps you improve your physical health.

The Bottom Line

Pilates is often considered a low-risk exercise recommended for older people or beginners. In fact, it is extremely practical for individuals who don’t want to jump into a strenuous workout regime like weightlifting.

The first question people ask when exploring its potential is, “How many calories does pilates burn?” And while there is no definite answer to this, one should understand that the number of calories burned in pilates is based on multiple factors.  

In conclusion, pilates is like the avocado toast of workouts: trendy, delicious, and oh-so-good for you!



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Pilates (2022,
  2. Pilates vs. Strength Training (n.d.,
  3. How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn? (2022,
  4. Pilates Exercise: Lessons From the Lab (2005,
  5. Which Exercise Burns the Most Calories? Here’s What Science Says (2018,