Yoga, Pilates, or Barre?

More and more people are signing up for group fitness classes, and for good reason. Group fitness classes offer expert guidance, moral support, and weekly structures to help people develop consistent workout routines.

But with so many fitness centers around the country offering such a large variety of classes, it can be tough to decide which group fitness program is right for you. Today, we break down three of the more popular classes that most gyms offer: Yoga, Pilates, and Barre.

Yoga

Yoga is believed to have roots in Ancient India, but it didn’t become popular in the west until the 1970s and 80s. Yoga is as much about the mind as it about the body; a standard Yoga class will consist of stretching and breathing exercises designed to ease the mind and stretch muscles.

Pros:

  • Improves flexibility
  • Relieves stress

Cons:

  • Not great for weight loss or cardio conditioning
  • Steep learning curve

Pilates

Joseph Pilates created what we now refer to as “Pilates” towards the end of World War I. It began as a method of physical rehabilitation for soldiers returning from deployment. A typical Pilates class will run through a whole body workout involving mat work and exercises with special resistance accessories, which are meant to increase strength without building bulk.

Pros:

  • Accessible to beginners
  • Improves posture

Cons:

  • Sometimes requires the purchase of expensive equipment
  • Many plateau after a few months of training

Barre

Barre was invented by a German ballerina in the late 1950s. It combines Yoga, Pilates, and Ballet, employing the use of a ballet barre and a yoga mat for a variety of bodyweight workouts. A typical Barre class involves a brief warm-up, followed by different upper and lower body workouts utilizing the barre and mat.

Pros:

  • Great for muscle toning
  • Improves balance

Cons:

  • Not great for weight loss or cardio conditioning
  • Usually much more expensive than Yoga or Pilates

Yoga, Pilates, and Barre are all great for people trying to get back into a routine after a period of limited exercise. While none of these disciplines alone will help you lose or gain a significant amount of weight, they are all excellent for staying in shape and clearing the mind.

If you want to get in shape, improve your posture, and relieve stress in a friendly and welcoming environment, Yoga, Pilates, or Barre classes might be right for you.