I tried swapping my usual workout for a Pilates routine. Here’s my honest opinion, as someone who likes to lift weights

One writer puts a 15-minute Pilates routine to the test

Woman doing glute bridge at home on a yoga mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I work out regularly, going to the gym and lifting weights most mornings before work. But sometimes, when life gets busy, it can be difficult to fit a full hour of exercise into my day.

So I'm on the hunt for short routines that still pack a punch as an alternative to my usual gym sessions and I recently came across a 15-minute workout from Pilates instructor Katy Bath.

I've dabbled with Pilates, taking the odd class or doing an at-home Pilates routine, and I'm always impressed by how much Pilates can challenge me. Not only is it great for building strength, but improving posture, coordination and developing core stability too.

Bath's routine promises to target the entire body in just 15 minutes, so I thought I'd give it a go during my lunch break.

How to do Katy Bath's 15-minute Pilates routine

A post shared by Katy Bath | Pilates by Katy

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There are seven moves in this routine, which you'll complete for 10 repetitions each (on both sides of the body for unilateral exercises). Complete the entire workout twice.

How I found Katy Bath's 15-minute Pilates routine

I'm used to lifting heavy weights, but Pilates poses a different kind of challenge. Exercises such as the bridge crunch and the slow mountain climbers require balance, stability, and muscular endurance.

To maintain the correct form, I contracted my core throughout these exercises, which meant my muscles were under constant tension.

Moves like the side lift also targeted my lower body, the glutes in particular, as well as the obliques (the muscles along the side of the abdomen). The bridge crunch also engaged my calves.

This workout certainly made my core muscles burn. However, it didn't target my entire body. My shoulders were engaged during some exercises but this workout didn't target my arms or back.

Although plenty of exercises engaged the glutes, I don't think my quads or hamstrings—two of the major muscles in the thighs—had to work particularly hard.

While this session might work as a core finisher at the end of a full-body workout, I didn’t feel it was sufficiently challenging for all of my muscles.

As such, I plan to keep lifting weights to build and maintain my full-body strength and turn to Pilates to boost my bodily awareness and coordination.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.