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  • Jocelyn Cohenour

Pilates vs Barre: They're The Same, Right?

There is a misconception that Mat Pilates and Barre are the same - while they both have similar principles, they are in fact two VERY different workouts.

Mat Pilates classes are designed to stretch and strengthen your body, front to back, head to toe. We focus on the muscles of the core, your "powerhouse", and on building your muscles from the inside out. I describe this as building the muscles from the foundation to the attic - you wouldn't build an attic first, why do that with your muscles? In order to truly see progression you must start at the beginning.

What will you get out of a Mat Pilates class? Improved body awareness, flexibility, and posture (sit up tall with your ears/shoulders/hips stacked. Can you do it?). Regarding core strength, Pilates teaches you about a neutral spine, imprinted spine, and spinal articulation - strength and the importance of all 3 are taught in each class.

What will you NOT get in a Mat Pilates class? Cardiovascular strength. You may break a sweat in a Mat Pilates class but that's not the intention - our goal, after each class, is not for you to need to shower or to have been breathless during the class. Our goal is for you to leave the studio standing up taller, more relaxed, and connected to your body. (Our Ultimate Pilates classes are very similar to a Mat Pilates class with the addition of a band, ring, ball, and/or small weights to increase the resistance.)

Barre7 classes fuse elements from Ballet, Fitness, and Pilates to work your body head to toe. We focus on FORM with each move - neutral spine, neutral shoulders, ribs closed, and not using momentum to complete each move. Each class includes a warm-up, upper body portion with lighter weights (and minimal breaks), push-ups, planks, and tricep dips. At the barre you will do plies, passes, releve, second position, heels high, heels flat, chair, cardio sequences, inner thigh sequences, band sequences, and squeeze a ball between your legs or behind your legs. We finish each class with a few core sequences followed by deep stretching to relax and reconnect. You do not stop moving the entire time - each move is completed to the beat of the music with precision, control, and proper form. If you don't hate your instructor at least once during the class, let me know!

What will you get out of a Barre7 class? Variety - each class is different! You will tone your upper body, lower body, and gain strength as you progress. While you will get cardiovascular strength in this class it's up to YOU to push yourself to increase the cardio. We give you options, you choose how hard you work. Will you sweat? Yes, but that depends on you and your heart rate. Do we sweat when we take class? OH YEAH. While we are here to challenge and motivate you we also encourage you to listen to your body.

What will you NOT get in a Barre7 class? A slow, relaxing workout. While we stretch in the end, this class moves at a fast-paced level. Will you be lost? Not at all - we offer modifications as needed. We have new people in our classes daily and everyone will tell you the same thing - they get easier, but never easy.

We believe both Mat Pilates and Barre7 are beneficial to everyone - if you are new to Studio7 we invite you to try one of our Mat Pilates, Ultimate Pilates, or Barre7 classes for free - sign up here! *Gripper socks required for all Barre7 classes

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