General Pilates Education

Are There Rest Days in Pilates?

Joseph Pilates recommended that Pilates exercises be performed every day. And the great thing about Pilates as an exercise modality is that you can perform it every day and still rest certain areas of the body (if desired). You don’t have to work the same areas of the body every day and you have the flexibility to add more mobility and stretching exercises in if clients are tired from back to back classes. You can also substitute to more basic activation exercises rather than harder exercises if needed.

Pilates is not just about strengthening – it is about connecting the mind to the body and activating muscles in the body which tend to be switched off and underactive. These postural muscles can be worked every day, and to retrain them to automatically work more effectively, it is ideal to train them daily. Essentially the more you practice activating these muscles, the better, and the more likely your brain will be to choose the correct muscles to stabilise the body and perform the movements effectively.

It is important to note that Pilates works differently to weight training. Weight training is pure power/strength work in which you challenge the muscles to maximum fatigue over a few sets of a small number of repetitions. This causes more muscle micro-damage and the muscles do need rest days to recover. In Pilates, we focus on longer sets of endurance and strength work which causes less muscle micro-damage and therefore less need for rest days.