Pilates and Menopause

Sep 12, 2023

Empower Your Journey Through Perimenopause and Menopause with Pilates

Dear Readers,

As we embrace different phases in life, it's crucial to prioritise our well-being and vitality. For women going through perimenopause and menopause, the changes in our bodies can be both physical and emotional. That's why I want to highlight how Pilates can be a transformative practice to support you during this transitional period.

Benefits of Pilates During Perimenopause and Menopause:

  1. Strengthening Core and Posture: Pilates exercises, enhance core strength and promote better posture. Remember, a strong core supports your spine and overall stability. Joseph Pilates once said, "You are only as old as your spine."

  2. Joint Health: Perimenopause and menopause can impact joint health. Pilates can help maintain joint stability and flexibility exercises can be tailored to your specific needs.

  3. Upper Body Strength: Kneeling push-ups or wall push-ups are excellent for building upper body strength without straining your wrists. This strength is invaluable for everyday activities and maintaining an active lifestyle. There are many exercises that we can do in the Pilates studio to enhance your upper body strength and if you would like exercises to do at home, just ask.

  4. Flexibility and Relaxation: Cat-cow stretches and child's pose stretches improve spinal flexibility, alleviate stiffness, and provide relaxation, especially during times of heightened stress. Again there are loads of Pilates exercises that can help put you into your parasympathetic nervous system. 

  5. Mind-Body Connection: Pilates places a strong emphasis on the mind-body connection, helping you manage emotional well-being during this phase of life. Diaphramatic breathing that we place emphasis on in Pilates can help you to relax, and to engage those deep core muscles.

    Targeting the "Muffin Top" with Pilates:

    One common concern during perimenopause and menopause is the accumulation of excess fat around the waist, often referred to as the "muffin top." Here is one exercise to help you to tone and tighthen your oblique muscles.

    Pilates Criss cross exercise, oblique crunches
    Julz - Pilates Criss Cross Exercise

    Pilates Criss Cross (Side Crunches):

    How to Perform:

    1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale.
    2. Place your hands behind your head, elbows wide,  lift your head, neck, and shoulders slightly off the ground. Exhale.
    3. Engage your core muscles to lift your right shoulder towards your left knee while extending your right leg diagonally towards the opposite corner. Inhale.
    4. Keep your left elbow wide and your left shoulder blade off the ground. Don't forget to breathe.
    5. Return to the center and switch to the other side, lifting your left shoulder towards your right knee and extending your left leg diagonally.
    6. Continue alternating sides in a controlled, twisting motion for the desired number of repetitions. Try your best to breathe throughout the exercise.

    Why It Helps:

    • Oblique and Tummy Toning: The Pilates Criss Cross targets the oblique muscles (side abdominals) and the rectus abdominis (front abdominals). This exercise effectively tightens and tones the oblique and tummy muscles, helping to reduce the appearance of the "muffin top."

    • Core Engagement: As with all Pilates exercises, core engagement is crucial. By strengthening the core, this exercise enhances stability and posture, which is vital during perimenopause and menopause.

    • Calorie Burn: The twisting motion involved in the Pilates Criss Cross can help burn calories and contribute to weight management, a key aspect of addressing the "muffin top."

    Incorporate the Pilates Criss Cross into your Pilates routine to target your oblique and tummy muscles, promoting a more toned and tightened waistline. Maintain proper form, and gradually increase repetitions as your strength improves. If you have disc or neck pathologies, I would NOT recommend this exercise. As always please check in with your Qualified Pilates instructor or health practitioner to find out what is appropriate for your body and its needs/requirements.

    Blly Fat-Busting Smoothie Recipe:

As we move into the warmer months, here's a delicious smoothie recipe designed to help reduce belly fat:

Green Belly Fat Buster Smoothie


  • 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup water or almond milk
  • Ice cubes (optional)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Why It Works: This smoothie combines fiber-rich greens, which aid digestion, with the natural sweetness of pineapple and banana. Greek yogurt provides protein for satiety, while chia seeds offer omega-3 fatty acids and additional fiber to help control appetite.

Remember, a healthy diet complements your Pilates practice, contributing to your overall well-being. As always check in with your health practitioner if you have any health or dietary concerns.

Health Tummy fat burning smoothie
Green Belly-Fat Buster Smoothie

In conclusion, Pilates offers a holistic approach to navigate the changes during perimenopause and menopause. Stay tuned for my ebook launch on Pilates for perimenpause and menopause. 

If you have any questions or want to explore how Pilates can benefit you further, feel get in touch with me.

Stay active, stay empowered!

In Good Health,

Julieanne Hazen