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# stretch it out
Yoga versus pilates, the battle of the stretches
Do you know your downward dog from a seated twist?

YOGA AND PILATES both have as many benefits as they do variations so comparing them in terms of which is better in terms of calories burnt in a class is foolhardy.

However, they do share a number of similarities too; they’re both generally considered low- or moderate-intensity and they’re both as much about the mind as the matter.

How quickly will it make a difference? Assuming you’re going three times a week to both, (not at the same time) you should see the benefits of yoga after two months whereas for pilates it’s slightly shorter, though nothing too significant.

How many calories does it burn? Yoga shows huge variation because there are so many different types of it. For example, it is ashtanga, hatha, bikram, restorative? But the bottom line is that more dynamic forms of it will see you burn far more calories than just stretch-based yoga classes.

You can burn around 250 calories in the former, assuming you execute each task perfectly well. That’s quite a number, given spinning class burn up around 400 or so calories. For pilates, it’s around the same number as yoga, again, depending on how experienced you are. The newer you are to it, the more calories you are likely to burn.

What are the benefits of each? A study on the benefits of yoga found that found that women who did three yoga classes a week for eight weeks experienced a 13% improvement in flexibility, with significant gains in shoulder and trunk flexibility. They were able to perform six more press-ups and 14 more sit-ups at the end of the study compared to the beginning.

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As regards research at Queensland University in Australia proved that pilates exercises can develop the deeply embedded traversus abdominal muscles (abs) which support the trunk. Overall flexibility should also improve, particularly in the back, hip, and hamstrings.

And neither class is an excuse for men to wear lycra.

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