The world of fitness is filled with tons of training methods- some require you to lift heavy weights, while others rely on bodyweight movements.
But, of late, Calisthenics and Pilates have become popular among fitness enthusiasts, and why not? Both offer a full-body workout by targeting different muscle groups from head to toe without using any major weight-lifting equipment.
One of the major benefits of Calisthenics is that it helps people lose weight without much effort. Pilates also help burn body fat, but it’s not as effective as other cardio exercises.
But the benefits of the 2 forms of exercise go way past dropping pounds. It’s said that Calisthenics and Pilates are great for building strength. But now arises the question: which of the 2 builds more strength?
If you’re wondering the same, read this guide till the end!
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Calisthenics Workout: What Is It And Its Benefits?
A type of strength training in which body movement is more or less grounded in one area and requires little to no equipment is known as a Calisthenics workout. These bodyweight exercises are usually performed at a moderate pace. Calisthenics workout is believed to improve strength, flexibility and coordination.
Diving in a little deep, this popular form of exercise originated in Ancient Greece. Many Calisthenics exercises do not require any equipment and can be performed by people of all age groups, irrespective of the level of their athletic ability.
Benefits Of Calisthenics Workouts
Here are a few reasons why you must consider Calisthenics workouts:
1. Increased Body Strength And Endurance
Calisthenics can help in muscle growth and help them become stronger using your own body weight. This happens due to the stress placed on certain muscles and muscle groups during Calisthenics, causing individuals to experience hypertrophy.
This form of resistance training also focuses on enhancing the stamina of the individuals, unlike weight lifting. Beginners may find it challenging to prolong movements, but you will find yourself performing advanced positions and doing more sets by sticking to a routine.
2. Enhanced Physical Aesthetics
Who doesn’t want a great physique? Well, everyone, and Calisthenics gives you exactly that!
Your physical attributes that relate to weight will be enhanced if you perform Calisthenics regularly. Needless to say, you’ll gain a healthy body.
Fitness enthusiasts whose aim is to achieve a healthy body with less fat must perform Calisthenics regularly. As you follow its strength- and agility-improving movements, your body will be sculpted such that you’ll develop abs and muscles.
3. Improved Biomechanics- Flexibility, Balance And Posture
Another reason to perform complex exercises of Calisthenics is that they improve biomechanics. That means you’ll notice a significant improvement in balance, flexibility and posture. For this reason, Calisthenics is considered a movement-oriented sport.
Because most exercises largely involve stretching muscles, they can help prevent locked-up or shortened muscles and flexibility.
Pilates Workout: What Is It And Its Benefits
Far more than a new fitness sensation, this form of weight training has been established and practised since 1920. Credit goes to Joseph and Clara Pilates, who launched their ‘body conditioning gym’ in the city of New York.
Named after the couple, Pilates is a form of a full-body workout that focuses on core muscles. In Pilates workouts, individuals perform a series of controlled movements that flow seamlessly into one another.
The goal of Pilates workouts is to have complete control over your body as you move. While Pilates is a great way to improve core strength and build stamina, it’s no easy feat.
Benefits Of Pilates Workouts
1. Increased Core Strength
Pilates exercises are well-known for their emphasis on the core- the body’s central point from which all movement emanates. Performing Pilates regularly will improve your core strength and functional strength.
Core strength is an important element in reducing back and hip discomfort as well as pelvic floor problems. It is also the source of explosive movement- hence, the nickname “the powerhouse.”
2. Improved Posture
Be it for work or binge-watching Netflix, sitting hunched over your laptop leads to poor posture. Such a posture can lead to headaches, neck aches, backaches and other types of pain.
Starting with Pilates movement basics and moving via mat and equipment exercises, this form of workout trains the body to express itself with harmony and strength. Your core muscles will become strong, and you’ll have excellent posture. If you wish to deepen core stability, try Pilates with aerobics.
3. It Can Promote Weight Loss
Practising Pilates regularly changes your body, as it helps in creating strong and stable muscles. Pilates is also known to improve lean muscles, support proper posture, and balance musculature. Over time, you’re going to look and feel great.
And since the recipe for weight loss is to burn more calories than you intake, this form of exercise can promote your body’s natural ability to burn fat. Combined with a healthy eating plan and aerobic exercises, Pilates can help you achieve a toned body.
Pilates Vs. Calisthenics: A Comparison
Both Pilates and Calisthenics help in increasing strength, but they target different muscle groups.
Calisthenics is a full-intense body workout, so it targets major muscle groups and helps build muscular strength and endurance. On the other hand, Pilates increases the strength of the core muscles in the thighs, hips, abdominal area and back.
So, if you wish to increase endurance and muscle strength, Calisthenics is the way to go. But if you aim to increase the strength of core muscles, Pilates fits the bill.
Where other forms of training require lifting weights, you won’t need any equipment for Calisthenics. All you really need to get started is your body weight. However, you can use benches and chairs to increase the difficulty level.
Coming to Pilates, you would need a few pieces of equipment to get started, like resistance bands and Pilates rings.
3. Muscle Size
Except for toning your muscles and making them appear firm, Pilates won’t do much to build muscle mass or increase muscular endurance.
Calisthenics, conversely, is a high-intensity interval training that helps build agility and muscular endurance. In addition, you’ll experience significant improvements in muscle tone in multiple muscle groups of the body.
Calisthenics vs Pilates: Which Builds More Strength?
So, which of the 2 forms of exercise builds more strength?
Both Pilates and Calisthenics help in building strength, but which one you opt for depends on your goals. If your aim is increased strength in the core muscles, you should choose the Pilates workout because it focuses more on form than strength.
But if you want to build muscular strength and endurance, Calisthenics will help you meet your goal because it’s a high-intensity training.
Irrespective of whichever form of workout you opt for, both Calisthenics and Pilates don’t require equipment. That’s why you can perform them anywhere- at home, in the park, gym or even at the beach.
When deciding, keep in mind your weight loss goals, and we are sure you’ll choose the right form of exercise.
Founder of www.calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.