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Why Pilates Does Not Work For Everyone

We’ve all heard great things about Pilates, how it’s good for posture, toning up, preventing injuries, reducing aches and pains. Many people will do Pilates but not reap its benefits. Why do some people get great results and others do not? Pilates does not work for everyone.

Pilates exercises strengthen the deeper stabilising muscles in the body. These are important in maintaining good posture, supporting the joints and have a key role in preventing injuries. These muscles maintain the joint in its position so the movement muscles such as your deltoid, biceps etc. can do their job. There are many of these deep muscles in the body.

The more popular ones are your core, scapular stabilisers, gluteal and pelvic floor muscles. In majority of the clients I see, the movement muscles are always more overactive resulting in tightness around the neck and the hips. The body is good at performing the same movement but using different muscles to move. So, a person can be doing Pilates but miss the mark completely.

The biggest challenge in Pilates is to not only activate these deep muscles but to use them to perform the exercises. Often people do not know how to activate these muscles.  Why can some people use these deeper muscles yet others have no clue?

Activating the deeper muscles requires a lot of awareness in the body. Our mind has drifted away from our body in our busy lifestyles. We are not present. We have lost the connection from our mind to the body. Hence, we have lost control over these key muscles that are important for a healthy body.

When the mind and body are connected, the neural pathways to these muscles are strengthened. You can control these muscles more easily. So Pilates will only work for you, if you have good awareness of your body, you are present, you feel all your muscles work, you have aligned your breath during each movement. The awareness is in the present moment of here and now…. Seems hard work?


Simran Choudhary

Physiotherapist, Pilates trainer, Ergonomist, Enthusiast Meditator

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