Pilates vs. Yoga vs. Barre for Weight Loss

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Maintaining a fit body and healthy weight is essential for overall well-being. Many turn to Pilates, yoga, and barre as their primary weight-loss workout routines. All three exercise forms have unique benefits and contribute to an active lifestyle. However, when it comes to weight loss, each has its distinct features and limitations.

Pilates is a low-impact exercise form that builds core strength and stability. This workout involves a series of movements targeting the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, and glutes. The workout aims to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and balance, and increase endurance. However, while Pilates can help tone muscles and improve posture, it may not burn as many calories as other forms of exercise.

Conversely, yoga is a holistic form of exercise that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The practice combines physical asanas or poses, breathing techniques, and meditation to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and relaxation. Yoga reduces stress levels and improves overall mood and sleep quality. Depending on the intensity of the practice, yoga can help burn calories, although it may not be as effective as high-intensity workouts.

Barre is a fitness regime that combines elements of Pilates, ballet, and yoga to create a high-intensity, low-impact workout. The workout involves a series of small, repetitive movements that target muscles in the arms, legs, and core. Barre exercises strengthen and lengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve posture. Barre classes can be modified for various fitness levels, and the workout is known to help build endurance, burn calories, and promote weight loss.

When it comes to weight loss, all three forms of exercise can contribute to a calorie deficit (calories burned through exercise and daily activities exceed the number of calories consumed). However, the intensity of the workout and the calories burned can vary depending on the individual’s fitness level and the specific form of exercise.

Pilates, yoga and barre are all excellent forms of exercise that can contribute to overall health and well-being. Each has its unique benefits, and the choice of workout will depend on individual preferences and fitness goals. Pilates is ideal for building core strength, while yoga focuses on holistic wellness, and barre offers a high-intensity workout that can promote weight loss. Combining these exercises with a healthy diet and active lifestyle is the best approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Here we discuss with Kate Noble, an experienced teacher with Yoga, Pilates, and Barre, the best option to consider for weight loss.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, we all want to shed off that extra five pounds. I know I have been trying to do that. How do we do that today? We are focusing on how you can combine yoga, Pilates, and Barre, these three different exercise regimens, to help go towards the downward trend of your weight management and weight loss. Well, we have Kate with us. Kate is all of the three that I talked about earlier. She has taught yoga, Pilates, and Barre for 25 years, and I am so happy to have her here. So thank you so much.

Yoga Teacher Kate: Thank you for inviting me.

What is best for weight loss?

NourishDoc: I want to understand that the topic is weight loss. So, we want to understand if yoga is better, Pilates better, or Barre better. Should we start with yoga first, Pilates second, and Barres third, or should we do all three? So, how do we get started? That’s the question if someone wants to lose weight.

Yoga Teacher Kate: Okay, they all come from the same family. You’ve got many similarities between yoga because Joseph Pilates, who devised Pilates, took quite a lot from yoga. So they all come from the same family, and Barre comes from ballet, which also comes with yoga and Pilates. So the whole thing is mixed. Regarding weight management, Barre, Pilates, and Yoga look at the spine’s mobility and flexibility. Good postural muscles, good alignment, and good technique help the body function well; weight management to a point is diet. It’s well to a very big point. It’s what you eat. You’ll put on weight if you’re eating too much, regardless of whatever exercises you’re doing.

Role of diet in weight loss

So the thing is to address the diet. First of all, eat as well as you can, and if you need to be made aware of what you really need and what the body needs because it depends on your age of stage development, things can change to a degree. It’s best to get some advice from a nutritionist or just someone to put you on the right track. Sometimes eating can be an emotional disguise, probably for other things. Is it an emotional problem that you’re putting on weight, or what why is the reason why you are putting on weight?

The main thing with Pilates, yoga, and Barre is it’s going to help the body function at a much a level because you’re training the body to move better, move much better if you do have problems or if you don’t have problems, you’re going to maximize the efficiency of the body. But the weight if you’re going to be eating too much, it doesn’t matter what exercise you do, it’s going not to balance. So, the whole thing is all related. It’s the mind and body, and then it’s the nutrition. It’s how you manage stress; the whole thing is related to how much sleep you have and other circumstances that are sometimes out of your control. But at Barre, it would probably have a little more cardio element.

Role of Cardio for weight loss

So if you want to lose weight quite often, you do need to do some cardio as well and get the heart rate up to at least 70% of the maximum heart rate for at least 20 minutes so you can burn that fat; HIIT Barre or HIIT Pilates or they even do HIIT Yoga which depending structure. It can be out of the field. So it’s best to stay pure within each discipline and do a HIIT cardio class or a HIIT boot camp class and then do yoga separately or Pilates separately because it addresses different things.

The main thing is to get the body moving and working at a level that is comfortable and suits you, and you’ll build the foundation of that and build each time and get a little bit longer. You don’t have to kill yourself; you don’t have to work hard. You have to work smart, and there’s a big difference. It’s as if what you should be doing is not as hard as people sometimes think; it just knows the right things to do. So Barre Yoga and Pilates are all good to do. You do need to address the diet separately because you can’t say, ” Oh well, I’ll eat what I want, ” then I’ll do my Pilates class because that won’t work.

Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss

NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s go through it one by one. Right? So let’s start with yoga first. So is there a particular type of sequence, posture inversions, or whatever one should focus on if weight loss is the goal?

Yoga Teacher Kate: Yeah, depending on the yoga, if you go at a much deeper level for the practice, you, you look at chakras, and you go into the sort of Chinese, you can go even go into the seasons of when to eat, what when that can take you down at a very deep, a deep road, which has shown that it does work for many people but most people probably in the western culture tend to be a bit more, maybe the middle ground, if they haven’t got all that time to devote to that and you have to think about what else you do and your other commitments.

So, yoga with the asanas and exercises helps the body with digestion. Certain moods, purely because you’re squeezing and releasing, and that in itself, it’s like putting your body in a washing machine. It’s cleaning you from the inside out as long as within reason. It doesn’t have to be extreme, and so, all the moves, you’re just releasing that, you’re draining, even the inversions, you’re helping the blood flow, you’re helping the lymph gland, you’re helping things to move around the body which can only be good for it if it’s stationary it’s going to get more stationary.

So you’re elongating the fascia; unfortunately, the body is built to move because, today, very often, people don’t move enough. They’re sitting. They’re stationary, and that can lead to many problems. But suppose you can move correctly or do a practice, say even once a day which Joseph Pilates said you should try to do. In that case, that will make such a phenomenal difference whether it’s yoga, Pilates, or Barre or something that you can move correctly in, move all the body correctly in, it doesn’t matter what discipline it is. It comes down to the knowledge and understanding of the teacher to a point.

NourishDoc: Okay, and then, is this, like, what I’m trying to understand is that should we do like Surya Namaskar multiple several times, I mean, that’s what I’m trying to understand and get that kind of a level of clarity from you, is that, or some vinyasa yoga, some kind of different sequences, that, that’s what I’m trying to understand.

Yoga Teacher Kate: Yeah, well, as long as the body moves in balance, say if you’re doing Surya Namaskar, or whether you any asanas, as long as that whole particular class is balanced or maybe you’re focusing a little bit more and opening the hips, as long as there’s a balance in the class it doesn’t matter what you do to keep the body moving the whole time rather than just stationary and just doing a long stretch.

Keep the heart rate slightly elevated; then you are going to effectively burn more fat because you’re going to be moving and you’re going to be moving at a slightly higher intensity the whole time rather than just sitting there for very long periods, so the body needs to move. You may need to come up to that and then come down again gradually, but there needs to be a point where you are moving and that you are moving with quite an amount of intensity.

So Ashtanga, that’s a very hard sequence, and most people can only probably get to the primary series, and that’s about an hour and a half, and that’s lots of different sequences. That’s the same, but doing the same thing each time, you might want to mix it up again comes down to the instructor, but the body needs to work in balance. So the body needs to flex, extend, go lateral, work through the spine, work through the lower body, and work through the upper body; as long as that happens, it doesn’t matter whether it’s yoga or Pilates and it needs to be appropriate for the client, and they’re all different.

How Can We Start With Weight Loss?

NourishDoc: Yeah, of course. What would you recommend, like, someone is overweight, and they have to lose 50 or 60 pounds? We’re talking a little bit from the obesity point of view. And so, what is the easiest one they can start with, like, on a daily regimen, should they do 15 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of Pilates, and 15 minutes of Barre? What is it, right? That’s what I want to understand.

Yoga Teacher Kate: Sure. You could do a little of everything because if you are unfit, you’re going through a conditioning phase anyway. Your body will only allow you to move in a certain way, so if you’re doing yoga, you’d be doing any asanas or movements you’ve been doing in yoga; they would be quite simple. They would only stress the heart or the body a little because that would not be good for the client. If you were to do Pilates, you’d do similar kinds of moves that would be quite elementary. If you were to do Barre, it would all be simple, manageable, and moves until you slowly build up your strength.

So whether it’s yoga, Barre, or Pilates, it makes little difference. Barre comes from ballet so you’re going to use maybe more in the legs, you can use bands, but then the back and everything else are involved. There’s lots of movement through the spine in ballet and Barre; there’s lots of upper body work. Combining all of them would be fine. The main thing is to get moving and stay moving. That’s the main thing. You’d have to get to the right level to start off with.

So, say if you were starting with Barre, maybe go to a class that wasn’t too out there but very often and again, there are lots of different types of Barre, there’s booty barre, there’s Michael King Barre, there’s Barre Attack, there’s core Barre, there are all sorts of different brands of Barre, but the main concept is it comes from ballet. You are working the body in a certain way, you’re going through basic ballet or contemporary moves, but they’ve been watered down a lot. They’ve become more like exercises to work the body in a specific way.

So same you will only be able to work at your level. So the instructor should be able to say you don’t have to kick high. You don’t have to do things that are beyond you. It would help if you considered your alignment, posture, breathing, and stabilizing the pelvis and scapula. So it’s more how you move, but you can use bands. You can use weights. The main thing is to keep good alignment and technique for any of them, and then it comes down to what you prefer and what you might enjoy more. You should stick with Barre.

You don’t want to go into any philosophy, like with yoga or chakras, or you want to go farther. Barre is quite straightforward; you turn up to the class and get a little bit of a sweat on, so it’s a great place to start for weight loss because there’s a bit more movement there. But yeah, you work at your level. So you wouldn’t do anything your body couldn’t do, and that should be the instructor that would be able to see that and choose the right exercises. So you’re not overdoing it, or you’re not going into a bad postural form which will create problems down the track. But it surprises the results you can get if you do it consistently.

Other Ways To Lose Weight

NourishDoc: Yeah, the message is to be consistent if weight loss is one of your goals, and yoga, Pilates, and Barre altogether can help you, and if you have to lose much weight, a recommendation is to work with the trainer or an instructor who can guide you and cater to your journey, but of other healthy people, they can choose either one of these three modalities on an ongoing basis to maintain the weight, that’s the message I’m getting from Kate the end for people to fathom this whole idea. Yeah?

Yoga Teacher Kate: I think it’s great. The studio I’m working at the minute we do and then at a functional ballet training, a combination of Barre and ballet and functional training. We do Pilates, HIIT Pilates, and yoga because they are from the same family. It’s hard to distinguish as long as the body is moving. It’s moving in various ways; you’re mobilizing the spine, breathing correctly, and your alignment is as good as it can be.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing because all these exercises will really devise so that the body can move correctly so that the functioning of the digestive system and the whole body and the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system can be effective, we have labeled oh that’s that and that’s that but take it into its form. How do we get the best out of our body and mind, and how can we best do what tools can we use to have that?

So any of those disciplines, we also do reformer. I’m trying to sell, but we do reform which is reformer Pilates which is on a machine, and that again, that will help to help your posture, which helps your Pilates which helps with yoga, which helps with Barre. The whole thing is so related because it’s about the body. It’s how we move, the body, the mind, the breath, It’s bringing it down to its quite its simple elements, and you think so often people have got this shoulder hurt, this hurts an injury or the backaches and very often it’s because of postural problems and because they’re just not moving very well, they’re not having the opportunity to move. They’re too stationary, and if you can move very often, the problems go away.

NourishDoc: All right, well, thank you so much. This is a quick 10-minute session that we wanted to bring and talk about these three modalities, Yoga, Pilates, and Barre; as Kate is saying, all you need to do is move and move your body, and that’s as simple as that. Thank you so much, Kate, for joining me from Jetta. So, with namaste to everyone for supporting us every single day. Please keep supporting us; we are bringing out our platform and app. So, keep stay tuned. Have a great weekend, everyone. Thank you.


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