If you have any experience with Pilates, you know that it provides a great workout, but maybe you are looking for more of a challenge. If that’s the case, barre Pilates might be your next big thing.

Traditional Pilates works on your body using non-aerobic movements, which target small and large muscle groups at a controlled pace, often using light weights or other equipment. This results in an intense workout. Barre Pilates takes the foundation of Pilates and builds on it to introduce ballet-inspired moves, like plies and attitudes. Barre Pilates can be known as a three-for-one; combining the movement of ballet, the strengthening of Pilates and stretching of yoga, all in one class.

They have many things in common, mainly the way they affect your body and mental well-being. Both will help you with your flexibility, as well as sculpt and tone your muscles. They both provide an intense, burning workout, without putting a strain on your body or joints. And, of course, mostly all types of exercise that get your body moving will help you reduce stress levels and help your brain release the happy hormone (endorphins).

What’s The Big Difference?

The main difference is that barre Pilates uses less equipment than traditional Pilates. Barre Pilates mainly relies on using your own body weight, plus the bar, sometimes adding in a mat or exercise ball. Barre Pilates brings the focus on doing small but intense aerobic movements, pushing your muscles to the point of fatigue.

What are the Benefits of Barre Pilates?

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens glutes and legs
  • Tones abdominals
  • Increases flexibility
  • Reduces stress

How Does Barre Pilates Effect My Body Physically?

If you consistently attend barre Pilates classes, you will start to build leaner muscles, and you’ll also notice that your posture has improved greatly. Barre Pilates has a ‘fine-tuning’ effect on the body, where you won’t see any huge, muscle-building gains, you will see a gradual increase in muscle mass slowly. It has more to do with improving your mind-body connection than it does with huge weight loss or muscle building. If that is what you’re looking for, you might want to include a cardio or weightlifting class into your fitness routine along with barre Pilates.

Tips For Beginners

It is recommended that beginners practice barre using a ballet slipper, jazz shoes or dance slipper to offer more support, although barefoot is fine, too, if you are feeling confident. It is not recommended to use socks at all, since they are very slippery. 

Be sure to find an instructor whose classes you enjoy, and who introduce a variety of movements throughout the class rather than only focusing on one area. Don’t be scared to try out different instructors at different gyms to find the perfect fit for you. After all, you’re the one spending your hard-earned cash on these classes, and it would only be worth it if you enjoy them!

Pilates Difference is based in Milton and serves the Mississauga and Oakville areas. Drop by today to take a look at our different Pilates classes and instructors! We’re positive you will find your perfect fit.