Pilates, Yoga, or Barre: Which is the Best Option for You?

Pilates, Yoga, or Barre: Which is the Best Option for You?

The fitness industry is burgeoning in Australia, and that spells good things for the citizenry at large; such a trend reflects that Australians care about exercise and that young and old alike are willing to invest in their personal health and wellness.

Happily enough, there’s also a lot of variety in the available exercise options. If you walk into your neighborhood fitness center, you can expect to see more than a familiar host of treadmills, stationary bicycles, and weights machines—perhaps you’ll also see schedules for Pilates, yoga, and barre classes.

Are you curious about these three forms of exercise, what sets them apart, and what positive change any one of them may enact on your workout routine? Get to know Pilates, yoga, and barre through this short briefer before choosing which one to try out!

Pilates: Achieving Balance and Overall Strength

Pilates is the invention of a German physical trainer, self-defense instructor, and former athlete named Joseph Pilates. Pilates believed that a number of modern illnesses were rooted in incorrect posture and breathing technique. As such, he developed the Pilates discipline and first adapted it as a rehabilitation routine for injured athletes.

If you’re thinking to enroll in Pilates classes in Melbourne, here are some quick facts that you should know about the form.

  • Core Areas for Workout: The practice of Pilates will focus mostly on core, proper posture, the strengthening of individual “powerhouse” muscles, and improving one’s balance.
  • Who Should Practice Pilates? Pilates can be for everyone! Perhaps Pilates will suit the kind of gym-goer who doesn’t like endlessly repeating reps, and who wants to complete a certain routine at their own pace.
  • What to Expect: One of the most recognizable differences between yoga and Pilates is the latter’s use of equipment other than mats. Pilates incorporates a machine called the Reformer, with components like sliding bars and pulleys, to train your muscles for better resistance. But a certified instructor should be able to ease you into the routine without you incurring much difficulty.
  • Benefits of Practising Pilates: Longtime practitioners of Pilates say that it has relieved ailments like back pain, migraines, and headaches. Aside from added strength and leanness of muscles, Pilates students also cite a more positive outlook to going about their daily routines because they’ve learned focus, control, and attention to detail.

Yoga: Fostering a Connection between the Mind, Body, and Universe

Yoga has had something of a renaissance in the ‘00s, but truth be told, yoga has been in practice in Ancient India since 500 BCE. In the language of Epic Sanskrit, yoga is defined as having the aim of uniting the spiritual consciousness with the divine consciousness. The term you may know best from the Western practice of yoga is the asana or the individual postures that yield physical and spiritual benefits.

If you’re interested in achieving a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a consciousness of the world beyond you, then maybe yoga will appeal to you. Here are some quick facts about yoga.

  • Core Areas for Workout: As you may already know from how it’s advertised, yoga helps achieve the flexibility of the body and of the joints. But it also increases strength, ups endurance, and establishes better control over one’s breathing.
  • Who Should Practice Yoga? Yoga is good even for those who don’t regard themselves as “athletic” per se. Even non-sporty types can enroll in a yoga class and begin at a level that suits them.
  • What to Expect: There are several types of yoga, and hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced in the West.  But for most classes, you can start out with nothing more than your own mat and some comfortable workout clothes. You can also do individual practice at home or in an outdoor space.
  • Benefits of Practising Yoga: The most commonly cited benefits of practicing yoga are its combined physical and therapeutic effects. Aside from becoming more flexible, students of yoga report better sleep and greater mindfulness toward other aspects of their life, like their diets. The non-competitive aspect of the exercise can also make it feel very personal and comfortable.

Barre: Marrying Grace and Strength into One Workout

Barre is a relatively new innovation as far as exercise goes, dating back to 1959. German Ballerina Lieselotte “Lotte” Berk sought to combine her routines with the ballet studio’s eponymous bar with some elements of rehabilitative therapy. Some of Berk’s celebrity students in this practice were the actress Joan Collins and the singer Barbra Streisand.

Want to know why this intensive form has surged in popularity? Here are a few interesting facts about barre.

  • Core Areas for Workout: Barre is meant to be a form of intensive strength training, but it also helps a practitioner achieve the flexibility and balance that real-life ballerinas are known for.
  • Who Should Practice Barre? Contrary to any impression you might have, you don’t have to have a dancing background to try out barre. Be forewarned, however, that it’s best to be at a certain level of physical fitness before attempting the more strenuous techniques in barre.
  • What to Expect:  Since the hallmark of barre exercises are the ballet bar, you can expect a barre class to take place in a ballet studio. But aside from the bar, equipment such as weights and resistance bands can also be incorporated into the workout. Your trainer will start you off on slow movements, but these can get more challenging over time.
  • Benefits of Practising Barre: Among the three forms of exercise listed in this comparison, it’s probably barre that will help you burn a lot of calories. This is definitely something you can do to keep the weight off your body. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll become more interested in the art of dance!

Ultimately, however, the perfect exercise form is about your health needs, your preferences, your time, and your individual fitness goals. Don’t hesitate to ask your local health club, gym, or community center about what each new class entails, and don’t forget to secure clearance from your doctor before you shock your body.

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