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Is Pilates or Yoga Better than Weights?

QUESTION: “Hi there. I’m looking to get back into exercise and I was wondering which is better yoga, pilates or weights for your body.”


Pilates, yoga or weights

Firstly, congratulations on getting back into exercise as this will definitely have a positive effect on your health and improve your life. The right path to improved health and fitness is very individual, and I would not like to advise you on how you should go about increasing your level of fitness from a general perspective. This is due to the fact that we are all very different from each other.
For instance, the right exercise for one person to another is very much dependant on a number of key factors, such as:

  1. Health background – any medical conditions or injuries to consider.
  2. Exercise history – difference between a new starter and an athlete.
  3. Reason for break – injury, child birth, long inactivity.
  4. Exercise preference – prefer cardio vs strength training.
  5. Exercise goal – losing weight, improving posture and function, increasing lean muscle mass and tone, injury rehabilitation or pain reduction.

Each one of your exercise options have some great benefits. These are as follows:

Pilates – very much focuses on your core and glute (bottom) function, and is especially excellent for reducing back pain, improving posture, post-partum (after having a baby), and core exercise. Generally, Pilates is considered a low impact exercise which may not result in significant weight loss results.

Yoga – the benefits of this ancient discipline are well documented. Although there are many different types of yoga, this form of exercise generally helps with strength, flexibility, balance, reduces stress and aids in body alignment. You do need to consider your exercise goal as some disciplines are excellent for injury rehabilitation and pain reduction like Restorative yoga, where as Ashtanga Yoga or Bikram Yoga are better for a more physical demanding workout.

Weights – is great for toning and building lean muscle mass. Normally you will need a little experience in this area to get the best results, and much like yoga you will need to understand your exercise goal. Weights as a corrective exercise is great for injury rehabilitation, pain reduction and posture correction, whereas high intensity interval training will increase lean muscle mass and tone.

Ultimately, your final decision needs to match up with your exercise and health background, with your exercise preferences and exercise goal.

Proudly published in InShape News in Feb 2016

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