How Many Calories Are Burned in a Beginner Pilates Class?

Pilates exercises involve muscular contractions that burn calories, focusing on increasing strength, flexibility and endurance, as well as improving posture by strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and the back. A Pilates workout is considered low impact, with less strain on the joints. Pilates can be performed on the floor with an exercise mat, without using any specialized equipment.

People are in a pilates class together. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Pilates Movements

Common Pilates movements combine squats, crunches, lunges and pushups, which are done slowly and maintaining the proper form precisely, rather than with increased speed and number of repetitions. These movements focus on individual muscles and muscle groups. You will tone your muscles and help to prevent injuries to your muscles, as well as help improve some common pain due to bad posture and inactivity, such as chronic lower back pain.

Estimated Calories Burned for Beginner Class

The number of calories burned in beginner class depends on your weight and height. Taller and heavier exercisers will likely burn more calories, assuming correct exercise form. It is also dependent on the length of time that you exercise. According to, one hour of beginner Pilates exercises will burn calories based on a person’s weight as follows:125 lbs., 120 calories; 150 lbs., 252 calories; 175 lbs., 294 calories; and 200 lbs., 336 calories.


On mat exercises, the number of muscles used during the routine has an effect on the number of calories you will lose. When lying on your back or in the supine position, the exercises are simpler, which equates to fewer calories burned. When you use muscles and muscle groups that you do not regularly use, you can expect to burn more calories.


Pilates is considered a low-impact exercise routine, and beginner Pilates exercises may not burn that many calories. According to an article in "O" magazine, a 50-minute Pilates workout for beginners can burn 175 calories. Building endurance, strength and flexibility of the core muscles -- hips, abdominals and back -- are the main benefits of Pilates. The length of your muscles will improve, your stomach will be firmer and flatter, and you will develop a strong back that will improve your posture.

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