What is the Difference between Barre and Pilates?

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Pilates Blog

You have probably heard about Pilates and the benefits of it by now – it has been around for a very long time. In addition, everyone seems to have tried it.

However, the new workout craze that seems to have taken Instagram by storm might not be as familiar to you. Barre has become the workout routine of choice for many, but you might be wondering what exactly it is all about.

 Barre and Pilates are Similar

 Pilates and barre share a lot of similar elements, which is why you will often see classes that are a hybrid of the two, like Pilates-barre classes, or even those that include principles of yoga as well, like barre-yoga and yoga-lates. But, as they are seen as being so similar it can be hard to determine what makes these workouts distinct. We are here to break down what these two workouts are and how they can benefit you.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a full-body, low-impact workout that can be performed on a mat or using equipment. These workouts usually consist of moves designed to help you build strength, flexibility, and balance. Mindfulness and breathwork also play a large role in Pilates as the practice is designed to assist you with becoming more in tune with your body as it moves.

The benefits of Pilates include:

  • Builds core strength,
  • Improves joint alignment and posture,
  • Full-body workout and focuses on muscle toning,
  • Great recovery or second workout for athletes,
  • And it is accessible for everyone, regardless of your fitness level.

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What is Barre?

Barre workouts incorporate moves from ballet, yoga, and Pilates. It usually requires (as the name suggests) the participant to be supported by a barre, although mat work also plays a large role in barre workouts. Unlike Pilates, barre workouts are designed to include segments of higher intensity cardio that raise your heart rate, although there is still an emphasis on low-impact moves like Pilates and yoga. While Pilates movements are usually slow, intentional, and based around a large range of motion, barre movements are often smaller, deliberate, pulsing movements.

The benefits of barre include:

  • Increased balance and core strength,
  • A full-body workout which increases flexibility and posture,
  • Micro-movements work to tone as well as define muscles
  • Cardio portions can help to burn calories
  • Accessible to everyone, regardless of dance experience or fitness level.

What is the Difference?

As you can see the two are slightly different although both share a lot of the same benefits. Barre workouts are more cardio intense and often include music and choreography, while Pilates tends to be a quieter more introspective experience. Therefore, choosing between the two is more a matter of workout preference than picking the ‘better workout’. Both Pilates and barre are great workouts, with fantastic physical and mental benefits – so no matter which one you choose, it will undoubtedly benefit you in the long run.

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