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6 Burning Questions About Reformer Pilates and Barre: Answered.

While reformer Pilates and Barre share similarities (like a full-body, low-impact workout guaranteed to challenge you), they also differ in many ways. Your fitness goals will determine what place each workout has in your routine. To help you decide, we delve into the individual benefits of reformer Pilates and Barre, highlight their differences and assess their overall effectiveness.

Let’s define both workouts first.

Reformer Pilates uses a specialised machine called a reformer bed to perform dynamic and isometric exercises that target the entire body. At KX Pilates, we combine traditional reformer Pilates principles with progressive techniques to design full-body workouts that challenge all fitness levels and abilities.

Barre is a workout that combines elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga and uses a ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements.


What are the main differences between barre and Pilates?


Traditionally, Barre classes are based on bodyweight movements, using the Barre to support and aid with balance. Some Barre classes may involve light weights and resistance bands to target the upper body, as well as traditional equipment such as sliders. This will differ across teachers and studios.

KX Pilates uses our proprietary reformer bed called the KXFormer, with its signature spring system and PowerPlatform. In KX workouts, we can use the KXFormer’s springs and pulleys to add resistance, which is how we achieve increased strength through ongoing progression and continuous improvements. We also consistently use other equipment like the weighted pole, dumbbells and toning balls to increase muscular load and improve strength.


Exercise selection

KX Pilates designs full-body workouts that challenge every individual. KX classes incorporate a variety of isometric and dynamic movements, some of which target one muscle group while others will work multiple.

In comparison, Barre classes primarily involve isometric exercises and performing small, controlled movements to fatigue, with a focus on the lower body. Ballet-inspired movements such as pliés, curtseys, and arabesques challenge the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.


Training benefits 

When it comes to cardiovascular benefits, KX Pilates is superior as KX workouts incorporate high energy, heart rate lifting elements combined with more traditional Pilates movements. 

As we mentioned, the resistance training in KX workouts also results in continuous strength improvements. Meanwhile, the high repetition and lower weight resistance elements of Barre may not promote the same level of overload and increase in strength.


What do reformer Pilates and Barre have in common?

Both workouts place a strong emphasis on core activation and strength; in fact, there are exercises that will feature in both classes such as plank variations. 

Reformer Pilates and Barre are considered lower-impact exercises in comparison to other training like running and HIIT. The focus on controlled, deliberate movements minimises stress on the joints, while still delivering effective results. 

Focusing on flexibility and mobility, both reformer Pilates and Barre allow you to have more range of motion and more control throughout it.

Finally, Reformer Pilates and Barre both emphasise the importance of proper breathing techniques and overall mind-body connection.


Which workout is more suitable for beginners?

Both can be suitable for beginners and it can largely depend on the guidance and instruction from the trainers. This is because when you are new, instruction and proper modification is essential for safety and effectiveness. 

At KX Pilates, our Trainers are not only industry-trained with qualifications of a Certificate 4 in Fitness or in Pilates, but also KX Academy-qualified, meaning they are trained specifically in the KX method and are able to guide you as a beginner and support you as you progress to intermediate classes. KX Academy is recognised in the industry as a leading program standard for reformer Pilates.


Which is better for improving balance?

Reformer Pilates incorporates balance elements. The spring system utilised by reformers has the ability to both assist with, and challenge balance. Through use of this varied tension, Reformer Pilates can be beneficial to people of all balance and fitness levels, with the added bonus of being able to adapt and modify as a person’s strengths and goals change.

In Barre, the use of the ballet barre provides just enough support, while encouraging engagement of stabilising muscles to improve balance. Barre exercises often involve balancing on one leg as well as long lever movements to further challenge stability.


Which is better for building core strength?

While both are excellent for developing core strength, KX Pilates has an edge here, thanks to the KXFormer and the ability to increase loading. By performing exercises with more than just our body weight, we are giving our core the challenge it needs to become stronger. Additionally, the KXFormer allows us to train in more positions across multiple planes and angles, building robust core stability.


Try KX Pilates today for only $12 a class

With your burning questions answered, the only thing left is to jump into a class and try KX Pilates for yourself! Take advantage of our incredible introductory offer of 5 classes over 14 days for only $60 and try KX Pilates today. We have more than 100 KX Pilates studios Australia-wide, and run over 4,500 classes every week, making it very accessible for you to start training harder and smarter, using the KX methodology.

Our KX Trainers are also available to discuss your fitness goals with, so we can personalise your progression and build a stronger you.

Redeem your offer with no lock-in contracts (T&Cs apply) and start experiencing the benefits of KX Pilates.

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