Yoga or Pilates- Which Class Is Right for You?

Yoga and Pilates are arguably the two most popular and effective forms of mind-body fitness. Which is right for you will depend on your personal goals, both physical and psychological. You can attend the best yoga studio in Dubai, but if you’re looking for a workout that improves core fitness or helps rehabilitation from injury you may be left dissatisfied. Our guide to the key elements of each discipline should help clarify which class will be right for you.

The Many Forms of Yoga

The ancient practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years, and focuses on flexibility, strength, and stillness of mind. By moving through a series of poses called asanas, the body is stretched while mindfulness is cultivated. At Platform Studios’ yoga studio, we offer a variety of yoga styles, from the more dynamic Vinyasa Flow to the meditative calm of Yin Yoga.

Vinyasa Flow challenges you to sync your breath to your movement seamlessly as you fluidly travel through challenging sequences of postures. Our Gentle Flow classes have a softer more grounding feel, focussing on tranquil ease of motion. Meanwhile, for the ultimate in stress-relieving relaxation and inner calm, Yin Yoga helps take you deep within yourself. This practice centres around moving the body’s connective tissues with subtle motions, cultivating inner stillness, and achieving a deep, meditative peace.

The Pros of Pilates

Pilates was only developed in the early 20th century but has certainly made its mark on the fitness world since then. Joseph Pilates designed the system of movements to help achieve total body conditioning, even after severe injury. A focus on core strength, impeccable posture, and lean muscle tone are hallmarks of this practice, as is the use of apparatus like the Reformer. Each move can be extended and adapted as your abilities develop, so you will always feel the burn of muscles reaching their point of fatigue in one of our Pilates Burn classes.

Which Tones Your Body More, Pilates or Yoga?

Pilates likely offers the better option for targeted toning, as it engages and strengthens the deep stabilising core muscles. This focus on core strength and proper posture while developing lean muscle mass is great for toning and shaping. Yoga practices tend to be based on lengthening, strengthening, balance, and flexibility, and don’t target specific muscle groups as intensely. That being said, the more dynamic forms of yoga, if practiced regularly, can still have a wonderfully toning effect on the body.

How to Choose the Right Class for You?

Which class is right for you will entirely depend on your aims, preferences, and personal tastes. If you’re after a more strenuous, vigorous workout with a focus on strengthening and posture, then Pilates is a great fit. If your focus is more on flexibility, flow, and finding your Zen, then yoga is where you should start.

Of course, there’s really no need to choose between the two- why not give both practices a try and find out which suits you best? Do be prepared, you might well fall in love with both disciplines and end up making each a part of your weekly well-being routine, as many of us have done!

Both the meditative flow of yoga and the core-strengthening burn of Pilates have so many benefits to offer our mental and physical health, it’s hard to pick a favourite. Why not come down to one of our classes at The Platform Studios to discover which one best resonates with you?

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How Barre Classes Can Improve Your Posture, Strength, and Balance

Few workouts offer the same intense full-body training as efficiently as a barre class. They’re named after the use of the ballet barre for support in isolating specific muscles and the incorporation of ballet positions into the exercises. The benefits of barre classes include the strengthening of Pilates, the mobility and control ballet delivers, and the stretching and elongating of a yoga session.

In these sessions muscles are exercised to the point of trembling fatigue- it’s all about going for that burn! In exchange for pushing your body to its limit, though, you can expect serious results.

Can You Lose Weight with Barre Classes?

Yes, barre classes can certainly help you achieve your weight loss goals.  They help build lean muscle mass, which aids in boosting your metabolism and burning more calories, even when at rest. What’s more, a barre class gets your heart pumping, and the cardio workout this provides increases fat-burning long after you’ve stopped exercising. Such high-intensity strength training can achieve an afterburn lasting 72 hours. That’s a whopping three whole days of increased calorie expenditure after just one class!

Even better, barre workouts are suited to anyone, no matter where they are in their weight loss journey. The isometric exercises you’ll be doing involve minimal movement and are extremely low impact. Instead, you’ll adopt postures and brace in that position, doing high numbers of pulsing reps until the muscles are fatigued.

This high-rep low-impact formula means the risk of injury from barre is extremely low. It is also ideal for toning and elongating muscles, which will then be stretched out as part of the class. Great for toning and lengthening, these exercises strengthen without adding bulk.

Consistency is just as important for weight loss as your choice of exercise, and having fun is imperative for keeping motivation high. Our exercise community creates a fun and encouraging environment in which to pursue your body goals. Chasing that muscle burn as part of a group in one of our high-octane barre classes is the perfect way to keep exercise enjoyable.

What Are the Benefits of Barre Classes?

As well as building lean muscle mass and toning the muscles there, barre has many other benefits. Your cardiovascular endurance and metabolism are sure to improve, and with regular practice, your bone density will increase too. Protective against injury and preventative of osteoporosis, a barre class is great for anti-ageing.

Barre forces your core and glutes to hold the rest of your body in the correct alignment. This both strengthens those major muscle groups and also builds good posture. The chest and shoulder strengthening you’ll engage in improves posture further, elongating those muscles and counteracting slouching.

Each position adopted requires you to hold the rest of your body still while the targeted muscle groups are exercised. By improving your core stability in this way, your ability to balance is radically improved also.

By necessitating mental focus to hold each position and modify your posture according to technique cues, barre also promotes mindfulness. Maintaining correct form and sustaining the motivation to hold positions through the burn and tremble are excellent ways to forge a stronger mind-body connection, too. The intense focus a barre class requires is an ideal way to practice being fully present in each moment. Such mindfulness is known to assist with mood regulation and mental resilience, helping manage stress, anxiety, and depression.

A barre class offers an intense full-body workout with both cardio and strength benefits, while still being low impact and carrying minimal risk of injury. Even better, it’s great for your mental well-being too. Why not check out our class schedule and book a class today to learn what the hype is about?

Which Forms of Exercise Give the Best Improvement to Overall Health?

Our bodies and minds respond best to a wide array of stimuli, and when it comes to exercise things are no different. A mixture of resistance and cardio training can maintain optimal muscle mass while maintaining strength and stamina until old age. To care for your body and mind, a good stretching routine is also important, focussing on both flexibility and de-stressing. These are just some of the benefits of Yin Yoga classes, which- thanks to their meditative approach and ability to lengthen deep connective tissues- make an ideal addition to an otherwise more vigorous workout routine.

What are the Most Important Types of Exercise?

Harvard Medical School identifies four main types of exercise: aerobic, strength, stretching, and balancing. Engaging in a little of each of these each week is the best way to maintain your health and well-being at peak levels. Even better, that variety can keep motivation levels high, by keeping your fitness routine interesting and engaging.

Aerobic Exercise Benefits:

A solid program of cardio exercises is where a lot of us start in our fitness journeys. Burning calories and improving stamina, an uptick in aerobic ability keeps us going for longer and feeling good while we’re at it. All that breaking a sweat has incredible benefits for our overall long-term health, too. Those include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, numerous cancers, type 2 diabetes, and levels of inflammation in the body, while the mood boost a good cardio session can provide is well-documented.

Doctors recommend just 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week to see these benefits. That’s just two one-hour sessions of something like our HIIT classes or boxing, and a 45 minutes cycle ride. And when you’re training with a community like ours, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even realise you’re working hard!

What Are Strength Exercises?

Any exercise that causes your muscles to work against resistance such as your own body weight, dumbbells, or other apparatus is considered a strength exercise. By forcing those muscles to work harder than they’re used to, you can induce them to grow in both size and power. Such improvements are extremely protective for the body, increasing bone density, reducing joint pain and injury risk, and assisting balance and posture.

One of the key features of ageing is loss of muscle mass and strength. As a result, we know how important maintaining a good strength training program is as we age. By doing so, we can truly stay younger and more mobile for longer.

Why are Stretching and Balancing Exercises Important?

Over the years, and with heavy strength and cardio training, muscle fibres can shorten and become inflexible. This restricts movement, and causes pain and potential injury, but is easily avoided by devoting a bit of time in your routine to stretching and balancing. As we age these become especially important, as such movements maintain our mobility and prevent potential falls.

Yoga classes are an ideal way to incorporate more stretching exercises into your day-to-day life. Whether you choose more dynamic forms of yoga such as Vinyasa or the deeply meditative Yin yoga is up to your personal preference. In both, you can expect a focus on energy flow and breathing through the sensations as your muscle tissues are elongated by the postures. Stress and anxiety are washed away as the fibres of the body are strengthened and lengthened.

Depending on your body type and fitness goals, there may be one type of exercise more than another that can help you on your journey. But it is by incorporating an exciting variety of forms and types of physical activity into your routine that you will see the greatest benefits to your health, both long-term and short-term. Check out our full classes list now to get started!



How Reformers Will Take Your Pilates Workout to the Next Level

When Joseph Pilates devised his ‘Contrology’ workouts nearly a century ago, his focus was on creating a strong, healthy body. After a childhood mired in illness, he created a series of 34 exercises based on deliberate, controlled movement. These moves used bodyweight for resistance, and apparatus like the Reformer machine, designed by Pilates himself. The best Reformer Pilates classes in Dubai are still centred around these same exercises and the Reformer machine itself.

What Is Reformer Pilates?

Classic Pilates when performed on a mat is excellent for building core stability and strength, while developing flexibility, endurance, and bodily awareness. The required control and focus on posture, alignment, and proper breathing mean it’s great for everyone from beginners to pro athletes. Also an ideal exercise for rehabilitation after injury, and throughout pregnancy, mat Pilates is a wonderful low-impact workout for strengthening and conditioning the major muscle groups.
A Reformer Pilates workout uses the same core movements and exercises that are performed in mat Pilates, but done on a Reformer machine. A Reformer machine comprises a sliding carriage attached to springs to create variable resistance, as well as ropes and pulleys. While it may look somewhat intimidating, or even medieval, we promise that using a Reformer machine is fun!
When performing the Pilates exercises on a Reformer, you are no longer working against gravity in the same way as during mat work. This alleviates pressure on joints and through the legs, while the springs mean you select which muscle groups to work, and how hard.
This ability to vary resistance and form means we can target a far more diverse range of muscles with Reformer Pilates. The different levels of tension the springs can create also means we can completely tailor the exercises to your needs and goals.
By performing the classic mat Pilates exercises on the Reformer in so many more positions, immeasurably more variety of movement can be achieved. With the aid of the pulleys and ropes, the same moves can be performed on the back, side, stomach, seated, or even kneeling. This keeps the workout exciting and your muscle groups guessing!

Is Reformer Pilates Better than Regular Pilates?

Both forms of Pilates are excellent at building core strength, improving balance and flexibility, and reducing injury risk. Improved muscular symmetry and postural alignment as well as increased muscle tone provide protection for the body’s core. A reduction in back pain is another benefit often reported by practitioners, as when the deep muscles which support the spine are strengthened, the back is supported.
The extra tension and resistance that a Reformer can add means that you can push your workout that much further. More calories burned, greater endurance training, and even greater gains are all possible with a Reformer than when doing Pilates on a mat.
Since Reformer Pilates is performed on a moving carriage, this perpetual instability and dynamic movement requires constant balancing and coordination. We are demanding your body control the motion of the platform at all times- and keeping it from shifting while you move your body is hard work!
It’s not all endurance and muscle fatigue though- one of the greatest assets of the Reformer machine is: it’s great fun! Sliding backwards and forwards while your legs perform squats in the air is a fantastically freeing form of movement. Reformer Pilates is unlike any other workout in this regard, and we recommend everyone try it at least once.

Mat Pilates is ideal if you want a slower-paced workout with a greater focus on core strength and stability. Reformer Pilates provides a more dynamic, varied, and vigorous exercise class with a focus on a wider range of muscle groups. If that sounds like something that would suit you- or if you’re just looking for something a bit different- why not book a class today and find out what all the fuss is about?

The Transformational Power of Strength Training for Women’s Empowerment

Once upon a time, the thought of a woman doing strength training would have been absurd. Weight training was the domain of men, and muscles or strength were deemed unladylike. Thankfully, times have changed, and these ridiculous notions are a thing of the past. Ladies are now blessed with state-of-the-art facilities for women’s strength training in Dubai, no more so than at Platform Studios’ clubs. Women everywhere are discovering the myriad empowering benefits that a strength training routine can bring to every facet of their lives.


Should a Woman Start a Strength Training Routine?

The answer to this is clearly a resounding yes! Strength training involves forcing muscles to work against an opposing force such as free weights, resistance bands, or your own bodyweight. This then causes tiny amounts of stress to the muscle tissues, necessitating they adapt by building new, stronger tissue. As well as greater, stronger muscle mass, bones, ligaments, and tendons are also strengthened and reinforced.

The physical changes brought about by strength training bring a multitude of physiological benefits to the body. Bone density is improved, while blood pressure and cholesterol measurements are brought down. The added stronger muscles protect surrounding bodily structures from injury, reducing pressure on joints and any associated pain, especially later in life. The impeccable posture weight training requires is sure to have a beneficial impact on your posture in your day-to-day life, too.

For most women, modern life is all go, and keeping up can often feel challenging. Splitting our time between our duties at work, chores at home, and in the garden, while running around after children. It can be exhausting just thinking about all that, let alone fitting in hobbies and socialising as well!  And as we age, our diminishing strength and muscle mass can make keeping pace even harder. The improved fitness and stamina that strength training brings can help us breeze through our daily duties, and still have energy for fun in our free time.

Psychologically, too, the benefits of a strength training routine are plentiful. As well as lowering stress and cortisol levels, a weight training program will certainly boost your confidence. Being physically strong and self-sufficient is so empowering- not needing to ask for help lifting things brings a surprising amount of pride! Female strength training fans frequently describe feeling less vulnerable, and immeasurably more self-assured- like invincible superwomen even! The sense of accomplishment felt at lifting weights you previously couldn’t manage gives a sense of achievement week after week.


Does Strength Training Make You Bulky?

No, strength training will absolutely not make you bulky unless you deliberately create that look with exercises intended to increase mass. The bodybuilder physique takes a lot of careful, targeted work to achieve, and isn’t the result of a generalised strength training routine. You can use weights to change your body shape though. While exercise can’t target bodyparts for fat loss, increasing muscle mass in specific areas can certainly take you from pear-shaped to hourglass!

An increase in muscle mass also works wonders for helping to maintain a healthy body mass and composition. A better muscle-to-fat ratio means that there is less stress on your organs and heart, improving cardiovascular health. What’s more, muscle burns calories even when at rest, boosting your metabolism, meaning it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.


Given it delivers such physical, mental, and lifestyle benefits, it’s a wonder strength training hasn’t been a go-to workout for women for longer. In terms of empowerment and improvements to confidence and self-esteem, it can’t be beaten. Why not seize the day and contact one of our expert strength training instructors to get started right away?

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