All about the fitness and health lifestyle
All about the fitness and health lifestyle

How is Pure Barre different from Pilates?

Last Updated:
October 3, 2023

How is Pure Barr different from Pilates?

Both Pure Barre and Pilates offer a low-impact yet highly effective workout. However, they are much different in terms of style and movement. Below we compare both to show you how Pure Barre is different from Pilates, so you can choose which class to attend.

Movements Involved

Pure Barre

Barre workouts are based on ballet movements and it was first created in 1959. These classes focus on movements that build strength while challenging the body’s balance. Throughout the class, participants will execute high-intensity, low-impact movements while in certain ballet positions. The most common positions are first or second position, which refers to how you place your feet.


Pilates was developed in the early 20th century as a form of injury rehabilitation. Classes incorporate small, repetitive movements with a core focus on core strength. Many of the exercise movements are reminiscent of gymnastics and yoga. Additionally, there is a big focus on steady breathing throughout.

Equipment Required

Pure Barre

The barre workout requires a waist-level horizontal bar. This bar is used for stabilization and support throughout the workout routine. If you are taking a virtual class a chair can be a great substitute. The important thing to remember is that the point you hold on to should be able waist height. Additionally, some classes may add dumbbells for further strength training and to increase muscle endurance.


Workouts for pilates can vary, and so can the equipment. There are classes that simply require a mat, whereas, others require a reformer machine. Advanced mat classes may also require resistance bands, weights, or a pilates ring.


Pure Barre

Every exercise during a Pure Barre workout aims to strengthen your body. The goal of each class is to push your muscles to the edge. The unique combination of squats, leg lifts, curtseys, arabesques, pliés, and lunges target different muscles resulting in a full body workout.

Furthermore, the set foot positions help to improve flexibility and mobility, which reduces joint pain. This also results in better posture.


A good pilates workout helps to improve overall mobility. This is because every exercise is designed to be both a stretch and a strength workout. There is also an emphasis on the core muscles. The balanced workout ensures each part of the body is stretched, this in turn, results in more stable muscles. With regular pilates workouts, you will become less susceptible to injuries and reduce joint pain.


Both Pure Barre and Pilates are low-impact which means there is no standard cardio, or jumping involved. Instead, both aim to engage specific muscles while remaining in one spot. Additionally, both workouts use isometric movement. This means that muscles are constantly being challenged, and pushed as far as possible. Two examples of this are pulsing in a squat during a barre class and holding a long plank in pilates.

Pure Barre or Pilates for Weight Loss?

If your true aim is to lose weight, then both of these are not the right workout for you. Pure Barre and Pilates are both targeted toward building muscle and endurance, not weight loss. For weight loss, you should look for a cardio-based workout.

Choosing between Pure Barre and Pilates can be a difficult decision. We recommend that you try both classes to see which is more fun. Then, consider your fitness and health goals along with the details above to select what works for you and your body.

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