A typical ab workout: crunches, leg lifts, plank, side plank. Repeat. Again. And again. And again.
Don’t you think it’s time to spice things up just a little bit?
Ditch those old tried-and-true exercises that you’ve been doing since forever and try these two: yoga and pilates. (Your muscles will love the change, anyway.)
I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but have you ever really considered it? Quite a lot of people do them–just do a quick Google search of yoga studios in your area and prepare to be amazed at the sheer number of them.
And don’t let the strange names fool you (Pilates? How the heck do you even pronounce that any way?). These exercises really aren’t all that strange, and they have a ton of health benefits you may not have known about.
Unfortunately the same thing can’t be said about this… thing…
Should you do yoga? Pilates? Both?! It all boils down to what you want to focus on. Here are the basics about the benefits of each, courtesy of Oprah, and then you can decide for yourself:
Established by Joseph Pilate around the middle of the 20th century, fairly recent!
Aims to strengthen the area around your core and spine
Less focused on spirituality and more focused on the connection between mind and body
With certain exercises you’ll experience the same cardio as if you’re going for a very fast walk
As a beginner you could lose up to 175 calories while more advanced pilates will help you burn up to 375 calories
Shown to be better at strengthening your abdominal muscles than crunches (gasp)
Established in India over 5,000 years ago
Aims to not only strengthen your body but also strengthen your mind and spirit–spirituality is huge!
You work out every muscle equally
Depending on the type of yoga, you’ll get little to moderate cardio activity
In an hour, you could lose between 150-250 calories
After awhile you’ll experience increased flexibility and overall strength
The verdict? It doesn’t matter which one you do. It’s more a matter of which one suits you more! If you’re looking to improve overall body strength, flexibility, and achieve inner peace, try yoga. If you’re looking for a flat stomach and looking to improve your flexibility and mental concentration, try Pilates.