Pilates Workouts

Amp Up the Strength-Building Benefits of Your Pilates Workout by Adding This Unexpected Piece of Equipment

You wouldn't be surprised to encounter a 20-pound kettlebell in a bootcamp or HIIT workout—but to find a weight that heavy in a Pilates workout? Pretty unexpected, considering Pilates typically uses bodyweight, light weights, and resistance. But a heavy kettlebell (or weight) is exactly what you need for the strengthening Pilates workout in this week's Trainer of the Month Club with Clara Baini, physical therapist and founder of Good Day Pilates.

Kettlebells are versatile pieces of equipment, and adding one into any workout is guaranteed to make it more intense. While they're great for full-body conditioning, they can also help isolate specific muscle groups—which is exactly what Pilates is all about.

Baini's workout uses a kettlebell for movements like side bends and split squats to help isolate certain muscle groups. For example, exercises that work your opposite hip and shoulder in tandem hit your posterior obliques, which "help to stabilize our pelvis and our spine from the back as we move, especially when we're walking or running," says Baini. A short set of rows and some kneeling squats round out the kettlebell portion of the workout.

As always, it's important to remember that there's nothing wrong with scaling. So, if the 20-pound kettlebell that Baini uses in this workout is too heavy and sacrifices your form, choose a lighter weight. If you need help determining the weight you should use, this video here breaks it down. Once you know how heavy you should go, grab your equipment and press play on the video above to get the full 25-mintue Pilates for strength workout.

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