Pilates is beneficial for bodies of all ages, shapes and sizes, but for a plus size woman, it can be difficult to find the confidence to sign up for a class. We often imagine that a pilates class will be full of tiny lithe women, performing physical feats closer to circus tricks than exercise. The truth is, pilates classes are among the most welcoming, and most appropriate classes for bigger bodies.
To start with, Pilates was designed as a rehabilitation technique. Joseph Pilates invented the program in an internment camp during WW1. The exercises were designed to prevent muscle wastage, and maintain physical fitness in the limited space of the camp. It was even used on bedridden soldiers, as part of their recovery. So the very philosophy of pilates is about supporting all types of bodies, regardless of what condition they’re in.
In fact, everyone can do pilates. And the types of pilates practice that look the scariest are actually the best for a plus size woman. The apparatuses used in clinical pilates are designed to compliment the natural movements of your body, to guide you to move safely, and to support you so you can extend yourself comfortably. So if you are afraid you will be physically weaker than your classmates, keep in mind that apparatus work will make this less obvious than it might be in a body pump class.
But the truth is that a plus-size woman is rarely physically weak. Larger bodies require more muscle mass to complete daily tasks, and this functional muscle is exactly what is targeted by pilates exercises. Pilates will enlist the muscles you already have, and allow you to better engage them. This means less pain in your daily life and less risk of injury. The improvements you’ll gain in general fitness
So if you’re thinking about trying a new exercise methodology, give pilates a try. There are several types of classes available, from group classes of mat work, to one-on-one reformer sessions. There is a class out there that’s perfect for you.