Will I feel sore after a Pilates workout?
This is a question I have been asked more often recently, particularly by new clients who haven’t ached after their Pilates session and wondered if they should have and if they have worked hard enough.
I believe that you shouldn’t feel sore after a Pilates session. However, if you are new to Pilates, have tried out a new exercise, or worked a little harder than normal, you may find that because you have been using muscles that you haven’t used before (or in a different way) that you do feel some muscle soreness a day or two after your session. After a Pilates session your body should feel lighter, taller and stronger.
In Pilates we don’t work muscles to the point of exhaustion as working in this way can actually tear the muscle fibres. Other types of exercise that have a goal of ‘bulking’ do this intentionally to build muscle. Pilates aims to create long lean muscles and avoid muscle tears.
The order of Pilates exercises are designed to work a muscle group, then stretch that muscle group to prevent stiffness, soreness, and create a long muscle. The number of repetitions of each exercise is specific and kept to a minimum. Normally we work in sets of 4-10 reps, keeping reps low allows you to keep your form and the quality of the movement throughout each exercise.
Pilates is a form of exercise so you should work as hard and as deeply as you possibly can, but just remember that not feeling sore the next day doesn’t mean you haven’t worked hard enough.