Barre and Pilates can sound and seem similar. What's the difference between the two? Are there different benefits? Let's explore those questions.
The Differences Between Barre and Pilates
What are the differences between Barre and Pilates Mat classes?
1. A Barre class takes place at a ballet barre. You can also use a chair, counter top, or table if you are working out at home.
2. If a Barre class takes place mostly at the barre, then you can probably guess that a Pilates Mat class takes place mostly on the mat.
3. Barre classes are a fusion of Pilates, Yoga, and Dance movements and principles. A barre class utilizes traditional ballet movements to sculpt, strengthen, and lengthen your leg muscles. If you have ever taken a yoga class then some of the lunges at the barre will look like the Warrior poses on the yoga mat. The Barre exercises utilize the postures and breathing techniques of Pilates.
4. Pilates Mat classes are based on the teachings and exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. You can read more about Pilates philosophy and movements here and here. Pilates Mat classes tend to be core-centric, focusing on strengthening the deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and postural muscles.
Flat Back, A Common Barre Exercise
Are there different benefits to taking a Barre class or Pilates Mat class?
There are definitely different benefits to each class. Barre classes focus a lot on leg exercises while Pilates Mat classes focus a lot on core exercises. Barre classes will work those larger muscles groups in your legs like quads, hamstrings, and glutes while a Pilates Mat class will work the deeper, smaller muscle groups.
Don't be fooled though each class will still work the entire body. Each type of class also focuses on building muscles endurance, functional flexibility, and posture. Taking both types of class can be beneficial for your body. Your body loves a change and the classes definitely complement each other. Changing up your work can keep your body guessing and maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
I suggest trying each class and seeing the difference for yourself. You're the best judge of what will feel good for your body and your fitness goals. Green Bird Fitness classes are designed for all levels of fitness and our Pilates Mat and Barre classes are fun and upbeat! Come try us out!