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Is Pilates Considered Strength Training or Cardio?

We’ve discussed various questions we frequently field at the studio in our blogs (like “What do I wear to Pilates?” or “What’s the difference between Pilates and Yoga?”), but there’s another one we hear often:

Is Pilates considered strength training or cardio?

Technically, Pilates is categorized as strength training but it’s so much more than that. Read on for all the things Pilates does for our bodies (and minds) – and for an easy, low-impact way to add cardio into your routine.

Pilates builds strength

Pilates is a form of strength training, but it doesn't look like some of the typical strength training exercises you might be familiar with. Pilates focuses more on improving muscle tone than building muscles, but the result is similar: greater stability and endurance. The slow paced movements combined with spring-tension from the reformer, we are able to strengthen all major muscle groups in addition to those smaller muscles that have a big impact on how your body tones and gains definition. And unlike weight lifting or other more intensive strength building exercises, Pilates is safe for your joints, safe for your injuries, and safe for all ages. No matter your skill level, you will leave class feeling stronger than when you arrived.

…As well as mindfulness

Pilates isn’t just about building physical strength.. During intense, fast-paced


workouts, it can be easy to zone out.. Pilates is about staying present, grounded, and connecting with your body while you flow through each movement. In order to connect with your muscles and move with precision, you must mindfully train and monitor your body. As Joseph Pilates said, “Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.”

Walks make the perfect complementary cardio

Pilates has a different workout mindset than HIIT workouts, cycling, or running; if you want a cardio workout that day, you usually won’t find it in your Pilates class. However, cardio is an essential part of any balanced workout routine. Our perfect recipe? Regular walks plus Pilates.. Like peanut butter and jelly, these two forms of exercise work in harmony to help you get the most out of each one. Whether you’re trying to improve your posture, boost flexibility and stamina, or just get in better shape, Pilates and walking will get you to where you want to be.

With the weather warming up, now’s a great time to get into a walking routine to complement your weekly Pilates workouts. A brisk walk is the ideal way to take some time for yourself at the start of the day, stretch your legs at lunchtime, or unwind after work... Throw on your sneakers, some tunes and get to know your neighborhood a little better, all while giving your body the boost of cardio it needs.

So, if you’re looking to get stronger, improve mindfulness, and boost mobility, Pilates is the ideal combination of all three. And if you want to add in cardio, squeeze in a morning, evening, or lunchtime walk for a low-impact, full-body workout that covers all the bases. Ready to enjoy all the benefits of Pilates? Book a class with us today!




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