Pilates vs Bootcamps and HIIT

surf pilatesIs Pilates More Beneficial For Women Than Bootcamps Or High Intensity Workouts? Let’s find out…

Anybody can benefit from taking Pilates classes, regardless of gender, age or fitness level. However, it is particularly beneficial for women as it targets their bodies in ways that even bootcamps or high intensity workouts are unable to do. Pilates, done my way not only burns calories and tones those trouble spots, it also increases flexibility and the extra strength you will achieve is absolutely tremendous, plus my exercises and workouts can be done anywhere. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Pilates…

Improve Your Posture (added bonus: this make you look slimmer)

Thanks to Pilates, you will massively improve your posture. After just a few sessions, you will be standing taller with better posture and automatically keeping your core muscles engaged to help support your back. Because of this, you will actually look a lot slimmer (by as much as 4 kgs ). Pilates is a lifestyle. This means that when you finish your class, you will still want to continue performing the movements learnt in the workout in everyday life. You will notice yourself engaging your abs more regularly, you will automatically stand taller and will move with grace while feeling relaxed (especially in your shoulders). Compare this with a bootcamp, for instance, where your so wrecked afterwards you walk out the door, slump down on a chair and become a couch potato for the rest of the day. The added benefit of better posture and looking slimmer is that you will have increased your confidence, improved your muscle tone and all the compliments you’ll receive will encourage you to keep going with your body transformation goals.

Pilates Stretches and Strengthens

One of the key things about Pilates is that it stretches and strengthens. Most other workouts, including high intensity training and bootcamp, only focus on the strengthening element, except during warmup and cool down. With Pilates, you take part in dynamic rather than static stretches, meaning you engage in strength-building exercises at the same time. A single leg stretch, for instance, will build massive abdominal strength, as well as ensuring that you are at less risk of developing injuries in your legs and lower back.


Tania Zaetta - Pilates - Flat Tummy

Image of Tania Zaetta courtesy of Puretan Australia


A Stronger Core

Pilates is all about developing and strengthening your core. Every exercise starts by engaging the core muscles. Once engaged, you will start to work another set of muscles, such as your legs, thighs, back or arms. Basically, you start from the center (your core) and work outwards. Doing Pilates even just a couple of times a week will show a massive improvement in your core strength. This also means your abdominal definition will increase, which is great if you are trying to build your own six pack. As women, we often don’t want the biggest six pack in the world but rather just a firm flat tummy and Pilates simply defines what is already there, rather than making it bulge. At the same time, the exercises you will perform on your glutes and thighs will really tighten and lift your bum above and beyond more than any other types of exercises can achieve.

Improvement in Lower Back Pain

Scientists have demonstrated that Pilates is a great way to get rid of lower back problems. Many women who take part in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or bootcamp find that they regularly pull their backs or hamstrings and have to sit out training for weeks or months at a time. This is because they haven’t been taught how to properly engage their core, meaning they put too much strain on their lower back as well as being pushed too hard too early before their fitness level and strength increases. Through Pilates, however, you strengthen your core, as well as stretch the muscles in your lower back in a gentle and safe manner. It’s for good reason that many physiotherapists refer their patients for rehabilitation Pilates and recommend it is their preferred method of exercise for all ages for the long term.

A Moment of Focus

Last but certainly not least, Pilates is a great way to spend some time truly focusing on the moment. While you engage in the exercises, you can forget about the rest of the day, the stresses, the bills to pay and the kids to pick up from school. You have to focus entirely on each and every movement that you do and be conscious of engaging your deep core muscles. This means that all you think about in that moment is the moment itself, which is the basis of the practice of Mindfulness meditation as well, or ‘being present’. It is for this reason that people come out of Pilates feeling not only long and lean but also feeling good about themselves. It literally melts the stress away which no HIIT or bootcamp style workout is able to achieve. Trust me, if you have a busy family or work life, these workouts are one of the best ways to relax and wind-down after a hard day – while getting a tight tummy and firm bum. Convenient hey? It is also important to remember that Pilates is not just for the abs, as some people will lead you to believe. It exercises every group of muscles in your body. Yes, it has a strong focus on the core, but a well balanced class actually has seven specific principles that it upholds. 1. The first is that you must be centered, which means you focus on your core. 2. The second is on concentration, meaning that you focus not just on your body but also on your mind. 3. The third principle is control. You move on exhalations and control the speed of your movement. 4. The fourth one is concentration: all you think about is what you are doing. 5. The fifth principle is about precision. You must be aware of your own body and make sure you know how to move it properly. 6. The sixth principle is about your breath, doing diaphragmatic breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth. 7. The final principle is about flow: Pilates never stops. This is why it is seen by many as being better even than high intensity interval training. tania on the beachMy classes combine the best of Pilates with Barre Pilates and resistance toning exercises resulting in a total body workout you will enjoy and look forward to and will begin to see results immediately. What do you think? Have you tried Pilates and how would you compare it to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises or bootcamps. Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you…
2 replies
  1. Rebecca Kitson
    Rebecca Kitson says:

    I completely agree with you. For years I was a “gym junkie” forever having sore joints/lower back. And would get really anxious if I missed a couple days thinking I would “get fat”. I started Pilates lay August. I practise reformer Pilates & Xtend barre and power plate, Even though I average 5-6 classes a week depending on my roster. (Sometimes I have to do back to back classes on days off as, I work 12 hour shifts) I’m feeling absolutely amazing since doing Pilates, I stand up taller, have more confidence and, have been getting compliments that I’m looking more toned. Also, if I miss a couple of days I don’t “get upset with myself” Pilates has certainly changed my life and the way I feel about my body inside and out.

  2. Surfdancer
    Surfdancer says:

    Depends on the person’s goals as well as the type of HIIT, boot camp and Pilates class.

    Are your goals to have a greater VO2max??
    If so, Pilates will not be much help, but it’s amazing for posture, core strength, flexibility and kinesthetic awareness.

    I personally love dynamic Pilates and HIIT that uses weights, balls and bands. I also love dance and yoga . When iI run walk or hike, i will often incorporate cardio HIIT to help torch more kcals, increase VO 2 max and to turn up the fun factor! I listen to my body though, sometimes she just wants to hike at a pace that allows me to be in zen like moments with the beauty of the hills, cliffs and beaches around me.

    I also love dance because it allows you to move your body in many different planes and is intoxicatingly fun and addictive!! Build on choreography also increases brain plasticity and fights off beta amyloid plaque which can lead to various forms of dimentia including Alzheimer’s.

    There’s no substitute for the incredible peace and zen cultivated from a greatyoga class.
    Long deep slow Ujjayi breaths slow the mental chatter and help the mind focus.balance asanas increase strength and balance which fades away as we get older, so older people can especiallbe benefit from yoga. Focused, long, deep stretches help stimulate the golgi tendon to increase flexibility, like few other formats can.
    Savasana helps people rejuvenate and launch a personal spiritual introspection like no other fitness format can.

    They are all amazing for different purposes!!


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