Pilates Vs Yoga: Which Is Better For Strength Training?

Pilates and yoga have similar benefits, so it can often be difficult to know which is more suitable for your individual needs. If you are looking to build strength, read on to find out whether Pilates or yoga can help you.

Where Did Yoga and Pilates Originate?

Yoga is an ancient practice created for both men and women in northern India and has been adapted globally in different ways. It consists of physical, mental and spiritual practices, with a focus on breathing and holding various challenging poses. 

However, Pilates was more recently founded in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, who wanted to develop a new body conditioning system. It was originally used to aid the rehabilitation of soldiers during the First World War as it helped to relieve injury but also became popular with dancers.

How Are The Workouts Different?

Though Pilates and yoga share similarities (since Pilates moves were actually derived from yoga asanas), there are still big differences between the movements. 

In a typical yoga class, poses are held for a longer period of time, allowing you to fall more deeply into the position. The poses are challenging and require you to hold your body weight. You will also find the flow of the movements is repeated several times, overall leading you to complete a physically intense workout.

On the other hand, Pilates consists of small movements and poses, which are not held for a long time. Instead, you will move through the pose and end up with an entirely new one. There are low repetitions in Pilates, allowing you to target a variety of small and large muscle groups. 

Is Pilates Better Than Yoga For Strength Training?

Though they have their differences, both Pilates and yoga can help you build strength. 

Both exercises rely on holding your own body weight, which in turn will evenly increase strength across the body. The main areas of the body which are engaged are the core muscles, so you can expect to build toned abs and defined muscles without the bulk.

However, yoga is the preferred way to increase muscle endurance. This is due to the highly repetitive nature of yoga, and of course, holding those challenging positions for long periods of time.

How Do Yoga and Pilates Increase Strength?

We know that both exercises can be effective at building strength, but how do they achieve this?

Movements in both yoga and Pilates use eccentric contractions. Eccentric contractions occur when force is applied to the muscle, causing it to stretch and contract. In the case of yoga and Pilates, the force is created holding your very own body weight. It causes the muscles to lengthen, resulting in elongated and toned muscles. 

By partaking in Pilates or yoga regularly, the force that your muscles can handle will increase, which will help you to gain strength over time.

The Garuda Method: Where Yoga and Pilates Unite

Can’t decide if Pilates or yoga are right for you? The Garuda method encapsulates the movements of both exercises, along with elements of dance for a truly unique method. It also offers mentally nourishing benefits to give you a perfectly fluid yet controlled workout. 

Find out more about Garuda training here, or find the perfect class for you with our live classes, which you can view here.

“Obsessed!! Will be back for more training and classes!”Shana Simmons