Is it possible to get a toned figure with Pilates? YES! Lets start with the abdominals. When a client asks me 'why haven't I got a six pack when I do sit ups every day?' My answer is always the same 'you wouldn't build a house on soft foundations would you?' It gets a laugh but it also allows me to expand further on what I mean by that.
The abdominal muscles are a group of muscles you don't just have the 'six pack' muscle (rectus abdominus). You actually have several layers of abdominal muscles, rectus abdominus (six pack muscle) forms the top layer. If you are wanting a 'six pack' you need to strengthen and tone the abdominals from the inside out.
Your deepest abdominal muscle is the transverse abdominus. This is what we would refer to as the core muscle. Activating and strengthening this muscle takes a completely different technique than strengthening the rectus abdominus muscle. You also have your internal and external oblique muscles. Again training these muscles require different actions to the transverse abdominus and the rectus abdominus. So what is the best way to tone my abs? Work them all together with our toning workouts! If you learn how to activate the core muscle first you can build on strong foundations to achieve toned abdominals.
Glutes are another area most want to learn how to tone. Again the glute area contains lots of muscles. Its not just about the gluteus maximus! Strengthening and toning these muscles in different positions and with different exercises will give you better results. It is also important to consider your posture as you could spend an hour working your buttock muscles and then go spend the rest of the day walking round and standing in a position that doesn't allow for very good glute contraction. If you can work at improving your standing posture you will get much faster results at toning the buttocks, as the muscles will start to function better and more often when you are just simply standing. We have workouts designed to focus more on the glutes. You can try them here.
To achieve a Pilates body you need to focus on working all areas, don't spend all your time just working the abs! Pilates is an amazing whole body workout!
It may seem obvious but just doing Pilates alone wont help you achieve results unless you eat a healthy well balanced diet!
One of the best results I see from Pilates initially is the improvements in how people 'hold themselves'. Learning to stand correctly can make such a difference to the way you look. It can also have amazing results at making you feel more confident. The benefits to Pilates are endless!