Is 20 Minutes of Pilates a Day Enough? (2024)

Is 20 Minutes of Pilates a Day Enough? (1)

We could all use some more Pilates in our lives—but do we have the time? Most of us think we don’t. The result? A lot of aspiring Pilates students never make it to the mat. If you want to set a sustainable Pilates goal for yourself, you might be wondering… Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough to get results? The short answer is… absolutely! Keep reading to learn how to incorporate 20-minute Pilates challenges into your routine for a consistent and beneficial Pilates practice.

Is 20 Minutes of Pilates a Day Enough?

Typically, experts recommend Pilates students practice three to four times a week for a full 45 minutes. This is because Pilates isn’t just a physical exercise, but also a workout for your mind. Practicing for longer makes it easier to fully connect to your breath and reap the major benefits of the Pilates mind to body connection. Delving into those deeper workouts also makes it easier to build up your endurance and achieve fluidity in your movements.

That being said, a longer class isn’t the only way to gain the benefits of Pilates. The reality is that most of us don’t have the time for full workouts. When you add up the time it takes to get ready, commute to a studio, and shower afterward, the whole ordeal usually takes around 2 hours. That’s 2 hours too many!

One way to combat this time-suck is to set up your own home Pilates studio. It’s surprisingly easy to do—all you technically need is a Pilates mat and a good virtual Pilates program. The switch from in-studio to at-home Pilates means you can work out whenever and for however long you want, making Pilates much easier to integrate into your life and routine.

But we’re getting side-tracked. Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough? If you’re following the right workouts, absolutely! 20-minutes a day is plenty to get you in Pilates shape. And if the alternative is not doing Pilates at all, then it’s even better (you gotta work with what you’ve got).

The key to Pilates is consistency, so if you’re able to develop a fruitful Pilates routine around quick 20-minute workouts, you’ll be on your way to your dream Pilates bod in no time. Commit to a 20-minute Pilates practice regularly, and you’ll see improvements in your overall fitness and focus. And yes, Pilates, unlike weight lifting or some other exercises, is safe to do every day!

How To Maximize Your 20-Minute Pilates Workouts

You asked, and we answered. Yes, 20 minutes of Pilates a day is enough to get Pilates fit. But before you google any old Pilates workout and roll out your mat, you need to make sure you build your 20-minute Pilates routine around high-quality at-home videos! Especially because you’re shortening the traditional Pilates class length, it will be key to find at-home videos that are balanced. We don’t want you to accidentally only focus on one or two areas of the body, that would be very un-Pilates of you!

A great place to start is with Pilates Master John Garey, who has put together a full library of 20-minute Pilates workout videos. John Garey TV instructors are fun, precise, and know what they’re doing! John Garey offers it all, from Pilates mat workouts to Pilates reformer challenges. Take your pick from the options below to get started on your 20-minute daily Pilates routine. If you’re feeling a little lost, learn the benefits of Pilates and Pilates reformer workouts.


To get started, check out John Garey’s 4-week 20-minute fitness challenge. This is a great option to get you started on your Pilates journey. Following John Garey TV videos means you don’t have to jump and skip between unsequenced Youtube videos that don’t target all your muscles equally to give you that full workout.

Week one will take you through workouts for the upper body, glutes, core, full-body strength, and of course, some cardio. In week two, you’ll take it up a notch with some high-intensity strength and medicine ball strength. Week three and four? You’ll have to check it out to find out! Oh, and if you get really into it, there are some bonus workouts available for you to try. And don’t forget that if you’re feeling like you need more, feel free to do 2 or 3 workouts in one day. Pilates is fun, so don’t get bogged down in the “rules”!


These 20-minute Pilates mat workouts are great for all levels and only require one piece of equipment: a Pilates mat! Psst, it doesn’t even really need to be a “Pilates” mat. If you practice yoga or have a mat for other kinds of fitness, that’ll do! Just plop open the computer, sign in to your John Garey TV account, roll out your mat, and 20 minutes later, you’re done!

Need a mat? Try our favorite XL fitness Pilates mat. It’s amazingly large.


If you’ve got a Pilates Reformer at home as part of your at-home Pilates studio, choose from these 20-minute Pilates Reformer workouts for a quick daily Pilates boost. Pick from your level of difficulty to get the right workout—but if you ever find yourself in a “too challenging” virtual class, just modify and do your best.

As a quick reminder, Pilates reformer classes, like Pilates matt classes, are all about resistance. The main difference is that Pilates reformer classes employ strings for resistance instead of body weight. But you can still control the resistance level by attaching different amounts of strings and using different sized strings.

Interested in getting your own Pilates Reformer? Check out our favorite Pilates Reformers (we use these ones in our classes!).


A Pilates Chair is another great tool to boost your Pilates workouts. Like the Pilates Reformer, Pilates Chairs add difficulty to your Pilates workouts. Based on how difficult you want it to be, you can adjust the chair’s strings and pedals. Some muscle groups are easier to access on the chair than on the mat, so if you’re invested in getting those hard-to-target muscles, and quick, you’ll love these 20-minute Pilates chair workouts.

We have a favorite Pilates Chair too! Check out the EXO® Chair from Balanced Body®.


Even the benefits of Cadillac workouts can be felt after just 20 minutes! What’s a Cadillac? It’s what you get when you add a Pilates Tower to a Pilates Reformer! This contraption allows you to hang upside down, lift yourself up, and perform any and all Pilates poses. Ready to workout? Try a Cadillac 20-Minute Workout.

Intrigued by the Cadillac? Learn more about all the Pilates equipment you need for a full at-home studio.

Come On… You Have 20-Minutes

One of the biggest benefits of a 20-Minute workout is you have no excuse! Most of us can squeeze in a 20-minute workout. But just because it’s quick, doesn’t mean it’s not hard! When you try these exercises, make sure you remember to concentrate and be mentally present throughout the poses. Focus on controlling every body movement, so you’re not just flopping from pose to pose. That’s a sure way to get injured, and to not get the Pilates benefits! Focus on centering your body during the exercises, so you’re not lopsided. And think, precision and fluidity!

Looking for More? John Garey Has All the Workouts

Some of us just can’t get enough Pilates—or at least, that’s how Pilates Master John Garey feels. If you’ve gotten through all of John Garey’s 20-minute workouts (wow!) or are just looking for your next Pilates challenge, there are more workouts to discover at John Garey TV. Get every kind of Pilates workout you’ll ever need with John Garey TV, all from the comfort of your home. But don’t confuse comfort with laziness—these classes will push you to your physical limit! If you’re not sure where to start, take our Pilates quiz to find the best Pilates challenge to fit your lifestyle.

Is 20 Minutes of Pilates a Day Enough? (2024)


Is 20 Minutes of Pilates a Day Enough? ›

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough? If you're following the right workouts, absolutely! 20-minutes a day is plenty to get you in Pilates shape. And if the alternative is not doing Pilates at all, then it's even better (you gotta work with what you've got).

How many minutes of Pilates should I do a day? ›

30 minutes of Pilates a day is more than sufficient. While Pilates was designed to be safe for daily exercise, for beginners two to three sessions a week in 30-minute intervals is a high enough frequency and duration to produce desired fitness results.

How many calories do you burn in 20 minutes of Pilates? ›

Additionally, the results showed that you would burn 4 calories per minute with a beginner Pilates workout, 6 calories per minute, and 7.5 calories per minute with intermediate and advanced Pilates workouts, respectively. That's 240 to 450 calories burned every 60 minutes.

How long will it take to see results from Pilates? ›

While individual experiences will vary, many people begin to notice physical improvements within a few weeks of consistent Pilates practice (usually the initial results within about 3 weeks) This is because even in the first few weeks, your ability to activate the correct muscles and be aware of your posture begins to ...

Can 15 minutes of Pilates a day make a difference? ›

Just 15 minutes a day will make a world of difference to your looks and your health. Pilates exercises give you a longer, leaner shape, better posture, a strong back and more mobility. Other exercise techniques can produce over-developed muscles which Pilates does not.

Can you get fit just doing Pilates? ›

It's possible to strengthen, improve flexibility, and sculpt with Pilates—but as we'll soon see, it's typically not enough on its own to achieve significant muscle gains. At any rate, Pilates helps to maintain muscle since it's a form of resistance training, Aditi notes.

What do 20 minutes of Pilates do? ›

“Even 20 minutes a day can help because pilates activates muscles and wakes things up,” says Helen O'Leary, physiotherapist and director of Complete Pilates. “It also helps you build body awareness, and the best way to do this is little and often.

Can you lose belly fat by doing Pilates? ›

Does Pilates help you lose belly fat? Pilates Prahran can definitely help you lose belly fat, but it's important to note that targeted weight loss is not possible, meaning that if you want to lose belly fat, you'll need to aim for overall weight loss.

Can Pilates change your body shape? ›

Studies have shown that a strong core achieved through Pilates resonates throughout the entire body, giving you long, lean, stabilizing muscles—while also trimming that waistline and sculpting your abs.

Which is better Pilates or yoga? ›

If you want to increase your strength and flexibility, Pilates might be the better choice. If you want to improve your overall wellness, you might choose yoga. Still, much depends upon the particular classes available to you and the skills and qualifications of the instructors.

Why do models do Pilates? ›

Pilates always comes to the rescue! It keeps them working out in a safe way while helping them recover faster. Toning The Muscles: Most of the models and celebrities prefer to have a slender body with lean and toned muscles.

What is better, Pilates or weight training? ›

If you simply want to keep your body moving and feeling healthy, either is good. If your definition of fit involves lifting heavy weights and muscle hypertrophy, weight training will be better for reaching these goals. If mobility and improved functionality and core strength is a bigger aim, Pilates is better.

How often should I do Pilates as a beginner? ›

Beginners should do 1 to 3 Pilates workouts per week to see results. Research shows improvements in balance, strength, and pain reduction with one to three Pilates sessions per week. Two days per week is better than one, and three is better than two, but beyond that, there's not much benefit.

Is 20 minutes of exercise a day enough? ›

Is 20 Minutes a Day Better Than Nothing? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days per week OR engage in 20-minutes of vigorous activity 3 days per week.

Is Pilates and walking enough exercise? ›

If done right, you can achieve amazing results with just pilates and some walking. Of course, your goals also depend. But for relatively any person who doesn't want to look like a big strong person, pilates and walking is the way to go.

Is 30 minutes of Pilates enough exercise? ›

Yes! In fact, it's more than enough according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion which recommends 2.5 hours of exercise per week - or about 20 minutes a day - based on a review of the latest research. More is not necessarily better.

Does 10 minutes of Pilates make a difference? ›

Using deliberate movements, Pilates provides deep muscle engagement. Simply by using your own resistance, 10 minutes a day of Pilates can greatly strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility and benefit your overall physical well-being.

Is daily Pilates enough exercise? ›

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).

Is 5 minutes of Pilates enough? ›

Five minutes a day might not seem long enough to do any genuine exercise but after spending two weeks doing five-minute pilates workouts, writer Sakshi Udavant says that she's never been stronger.

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