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What is Cardio Pilates?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Cardio pilates is a fitness program in which specific kinds of cardio activities are added to a pilates routine. Conventional pilates focuses on range of motion, muscle work, and flexibility, but does not traditionally offer a lot of cardio training. Adding cardio to pilates ensures that fitness participants can get the benefits of a heightened heart rate while enjoying pilates activities.

A typical pilates program involves moving the body into various poses or stretches. This can help tone and work muscles, improving the body's "core" that supports the spine. Pilates trainers use a wide variety of tools. Most pilates programs rely only on a pilates mat and a few small tools like a pilates magic ring or a pilates band.

In a cardio pilates routine, there may be a need for additional equipment to generate cardio training opportunities. The simplest cardio pilates will involve a range of aerobic activities for getting a high heart rate without bulky machines. Other types of cardio pilates might include a reformer jump board. A pilates reformer is a larger machine that helps pilates participants do a greater variety of exercises. With a reformer jump board, the individual can pursue a "jump routine" that will add cardio training to the pilates regimen.

In some pilates routines, adding cardio can be as simple as running in place. Users may step onto other machines like stair climbers to get their cardio training. They may also rely on some specific swift "calisthenic" movements or extensions to make their daily routine a cardio booster. These additions will often be cataloged in a fitness journal or agenda to show that the person is receiving a cardio workout in a pilates session.

No matter what pilates equipment is used in a cardio pilates routine, a good program relies on expert input from trainers or other professionals. Those looking for the best "power pilates" or cardio pilates routine can use a variety of books and videos for remote training. There may also be cardio pilates classes offered at a local gym.

Cardio training is great for promoting good health in those who are in good physical condition. Some heart issues and other health concerns can make cardio training dangerous. Individuals should talk to their physicians before starting out on a cardio pilates training routine to make sure that they are healthy enough for adding this kind of program to their fitness schedule.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Andras — On Jul 01, 2011

I have a whole mini library of pilates dvds. I am looking to get in to some cardio mixed with pilates. I have been thinking about just doing some kind of cardio circuit mixed in with the pilates dvds I already own. Maybe jumping rope or jogging in place. I like the idea of having a jump board or maybe one of those step platforms like they use in step aerobics classes.

By mantra — On Jul 01, 2011

So many of the people I know underestimate the importance of good cardio fitness. I have had friends who are always trying some fad diet and complaining because they aren’t getting the results they want. I think we all pretty much know that eating right and exercising is the real ‘secret’ to achieving healthy weight loss.

For me, adding cardio to my pilates has been a great way to increase the amount of calories I burn. I do cardio every other day to have lower impact on my joints. Heck, I usually take Sundays off completely and it still works for me.

By OhDeDoh — On Jun 30, 2011

When the pilates craze caught on, I got on board. I have enjoyed doing pilates for a while and decided it was time to take it up a notch. Adding cardio to my pilates routine was the perfect way for me to do this.

Like most people, I don’t seem to have enough time in the day. I got a cardio pilates dvd that only adds a little more time than my normal pilates routine. It is great for me. I love the convenience of a home workout and now I am getting good cardio along with my favorite form of exercise.

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