The seemingly endless number of group exercise classes on offer can be a little overwhelming, particularly when trying to decipher the subtle difference and which is best for your needs. We’ve tried to break down it down for you, highlighting the type of fitness, the benefits, and who each is best suited to.
At its core, Pilates is essentially a variety of targeted, low-intensity exercises that focus on technique. This controlled approach is effective in generating movement and building strength within the body. It’s available in group or one-on-one classes and can also involve specific apparatus (reformer) or body weight (mat) classes. While Pilates is generally recommended for people across all fitness levels, it is most beneficial for those recovering from injury as part of a rehabilitative program.
Exploding in popularity in the 21st century, yoga takes its origins from India thousands of years ago. However, understanding the expansive culture of yoga should not be considered a barrier to entry with the health benefits being numerous. Classes take many forms, incorporating a combination of breathing, exercise, and meditation. The many poses better known for promoting flexibility also increase resilience, while the meditative aspects benefit the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Included in this definition are the hugely popular disciplines of CrossFit, F45, HIIT, and many other group functional exercise classes. While all have their unique attributes, they each involve sequences of high-intensity exercises with brief periods of rest; a highly evolved version of traditional circuit training. Working in this fashion is a terrific cardio workout, helping to burn fat and build muscle. Open to people of all fitness levels, it is most suited to those with some experience with fitness training.
Never fear, if none of the above sound like your cup of tea don’t be afraid to try something a little different. From Latin-American dancing or Tai Chi, to rock climbing or walking groups; we are blessed with a number of terrific alternatives both here in North Melbourne and the greater Melbourne area. Whichever type of movement you choose, group exercise is a terrific way of meeting new people, keeping motivated, and getting fit!
Dan White, Myotherapist