The similarities in Yoga and Pilates are undeniable, but the methods behind the two exercises are quite different. Both exercises can provide strength and healthy flexibility to their users. Each exercise works your body in different ways and it depends on the type of results you are seeking as to which one is better for you. Here are a few key areas that can be helped by both of these exercises.
Strength in Your Core
The Pilates exercise program focuses on your stomach and pelvis, which most people refer to as your core. Doing Pilates can help you learn to use these muscles, in turn allowing more support for your spine, which can improve overall posture and back health. Practicing Yoga also helps to engage your core, but is not the main focus of this exercise program. Generally, yoga will focus on a number of different area and usually does not focus on just one target area.
Yoga will definitely make a big difference in your flexibility by teaching breathing and flexing techniques that can work various parts of your body. Generally, your Yoga instructor will start you off with easier poses and allow you to work your way up to more advanced poses that show off your new found flexibility. Pilates does not typically improve flexibility due the kinds of exercises it promotes. Usually, Pilates focuses more on strength training, versus Yoga which is all about flexibility.
Most chiropractors will generally recommend Pilates for an individual who suffers from back problems. The regular working of the core muscles can improve the overall flexibility and function of your back. Yoga can also be somewhat effective in pain relief, but can be dangerous for a back pain sufferer due to the types of positions that are done. When practiced properly and with caution, both Pilates and Yoga can each help with back pain. The practice of these exercises can also make you more familiar with your body so you will be able to avoid injuries in the future due to overworking your body.
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When it comes down to which one of these exercises is better, it is really all in what you are looking for. If you are looking for relaxation and health, then Yoga is a better fit. If you are looking to tone your body and possibly get rid of back pain, then Pilates is definitely a better fit. It does not matter which one you choose, any type of exercise will make you feel a lot better and make you a healthier person in general.
About the Author
Jane Istratenko has been practicing yoga for several years, she believes it’s a great way to stay in shape, and also stay calm. It’s more than just fitness, it’s about general health and well-being too. You can find lots of great information, tips, workout ideas, and general thoughts from Jane on some of the biggest yoga and fitness blogs on the web.