When to Use Pilates vs. Yoga and Vice Versa

To many, Pilates and yoga seem like similar exercise routines that deliver similar results. While there certainly are aspects of these two forms of workouts that are alike, there are more differences and different results you can expect from each.

You can expect both Pilates and yoga to train your mind to be better focused. Likewise, each form of exercise will help improve your breathing and can tone your body to different degrees.

When trying to decide when to use Pilates instead of yoga, or vice versa, start with identifying the goals you have for fitness. Give thought to what you’d like to achieve in undertaking a new form of exercise and consider these key benefits that Pilates and yoga offers.

Goal A: Healthy Heart

Looking to increase your heart rate and get the blood pumping? Most forms of yoga offer little cardiovascular benefit and focus, instead, on a calming pose or stretch. Power yoga, a form of yoga that moves quicker between poses, is a closer form of cardio.

Pilates routines, especially the more advanced Pilates classes with an instructor, can increase your heart rate. Advanced Pilates offers positions and movements that will help with improving your cardiovascular system.

Goal B: Lose Weight

Losing a few pounds is often a top reason people look to start exercising. Like most forms of exercise, with both yoga and Pilates you should plan on participating regularly, at least three times each week, to help reach weight loss goals.

You can expect to burn about 145 calories during a 50-minute yoga class or 250 for an hour-long power yoga session. Pilates will burn more calories with an estimated 175 calories for a 50-minute beginner class. For advanced Pilates, you can burn up to 375 calories in an hour!

Goal C: Build Strength

By its very nature, Pilates will help you strengthen the major muscle groups in the body including abdominal muscles. You can also expect to add strength to your back, arms, and legs. Pilates will improve flexibility in your back, hamstrings, and hips.

Yoga offers less in terms of strength or muscle building. You can tone muscles, especially arms and legs, but won’t necessarily achieve increased strength or power. Yoga does help increase flexibility throughout your body.

Goal D: Restorative Benefits

If you are looking to lower stress levels and increase mental focus, yoga is a good alternative. With practice, you can master meditation that, in turn, can help improve attention and enhance a feeling of harmony. Yoga offers a more relaxing form of exercise with mind-calming benefits.

Pilates can help you increase your overall fitness, including aiding in almost every area of rehabilitation. Using your bodyweight for resistance allows you to improve your focus and breathing while working both large and small muscles groups throughout the body. With skilled instruction, Pilates can be an ideal rehabilitation exercise to prepare for surgery, after surgery, coping with a chronic condition, and to lower pain.

At Firehaus Pilates we frequently help people determine what exercise routine will fit best with their goals and their life. Contact us to learn more or stop by the studio – we’d love to do the same for you!

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