MONTGOMERY, AL — Pilates doesn't burn a lot of calories, but it does provide toning benefits, according to a study at Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama.
Researchers monitored 10 people during their Pilates workout and found that Pilates moves — particularly the Criss-Cross move — offered more of a workout for external obliques than basic crunches. Other beneficial moves included the Teaser and the Roll-Up, both of which provided more benefit to the rectus abdominis muscle than standard bent-knee crunches.
Some infomercials have touted Pilates as beneficial for weight loss. The study, however, found that how many calories an exerciser burned depended on the level of the workout.
A basic Pilates routine burned the same calories as moderate stretching and a moderate routine burned the same calories as basic stepping. Advanced workouts provided the most calorie-burning benefits — as much as speed walking at 4.5 miles per hour.