Peloton Pilates Classes Review 2022 (Look before you start)


Peloton pilates is one of the least popular workouts available on the peloton app, compared to cycling, strength, or yoga. I tried some of the Pilates classes myself (my wife like them a lot and she did almost every Hannah Corbin Pilates workout).

Today I will share my review of the peloton pilates workouts, and help you better understand the benefits of these classes.

In a nutshell.

  • The peloton does have over 60 pilates classes available in their workout library and it adds more sessions periodically.
  • Easier workouts focus more on abdominal muscle control, posture, and breathing.
  • The hardest Pilates classes on the peloton help to work on your strength, core stability, and flexibility.

Overview

Peloton does have a handful pilates workouts available in the app, however, these are not the most popular workouts.

Nevertheless, I recommend you to try it.

I look at the peloton pilates as an opportunity to train postural muscles that running and cycling does not cover.

You can do this class intermittently (once every two weeks) or regularly as a part of your peloton workout plan.

  • Peloton pilates classes are mat-based workouts without the use of specialized equipment.
  • The sessions vary from beginner all the way to advanced.
  • The hardest peloton pilates class runs for 30 minutes and is led by Kristin McGee.
  • The easiest class is run by Sam Yo and takes 10 minutes.

Peloton pilates is effective

  • Peloton pilates is effective because it helps to improve abdominal endurance, hamstring flexibility, and upper-body muscular endurance.
  • Plus, you can also improve posture and balance with relatively low intensity.

Unlike peloton yoga where you mainly work on the flexibility, Pilates includes a combination of simple, repetitive exercises to create muscle failure.

They not only help you develop a strong core but also correct the posture and restore an efficient range of motion.

How does it work?

You wanna know how good and effective are Peloton pilates classes? These wokrouts are all about repetitions.

The workouts incorporate approximately 50 repetitive exercises that target slow twitch muscle fibers and lead to muscle fatigue.

  • Peloton pilates is a typical bodyweight muscle endurance workout where you continue doing the same exercise “until it burns”.
  • Yes, you can develop muscle strength, core stability, and flexibility, but most important here is doing reps until muscle fatigue.

Some easier classes focus more on gentle moves. They include more breathing, muscle control, and posture exercises.

Some of the best peloton pilates classes also work on shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back. However, these are more advanced classes.

Peloton pilates can be hard

The exercises that you will find in the peloton pilates class are bodyweight movements that work around your core, as well as other muscles.

On the surface, these exercises look easy. However, once you get started, they can be challenging.

For example, for my chest, I can do bench 185 for reps without any problems, but once I get down on the floor and perform leg circles for 30 seconds, my body starts to shake and I struggle.

Benefits

There is a laundry list of benefits from doing peloton pilates, especially if you’re getting started with exercises.

Can be done by everyone

Pilates is good for everyone becasue it has a range of multiple sessions that can be done by both beginners and advanced audiences.

  • On the other hand, more advanced classes have many challenging exercises that can be done by trained people.

Helps to build core strength

There are multiple benefits from doing pilates at home that go beyond the calories burned or weight loss. The biggest benefit is core strength.

  • Several muscles provide fundamental stability to the trunk, which isn’t always used in cycling or running.
  • When we add extra resistance (more weight) during regular abdominal exercise, this extra load is partially absorbed through the lumbar spine.

This means that going to the gym and adding more weight to the weighted crunch machine triggers the large muscles to take over and puts extra stress on the spine.

However, when you reduce the load and slow down the movement, all of a sudden you are targeting all the supporting muscles while minimizing load to the lumbar spine. 

I’ve included pilates in my best peloton classes for abs article, which I recommend you read.

Helps with posture and stability

Apart from improving abdominal strength, the pilates class also helps with the upper spine posture.

  • The exercises offer the most optimal position for the spine and help to reduce thoracic flexion when standing and increase lumbar extension when sitting.
  • According to studies, the most optimal position for trunk muscles to reach maximum EMG activity is when the cervical spine is flexed while the thoracic cage remains fixed (Shirado, et al. 1995).

It also helps to develop pattern adaptation to maintain the pelvis in a neutral, stabilized position.

Helps with lower back pain

Peloton pilates includes a variety of positions that target all of the core muscles just within a few exercises.

  • According to studies on lower back pain, the transversus abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm, and abdominal oblique muscles play the most important role in maintaining a healthy back.
  • Plus, there is no single best exercise that can optimally work on all of them (Axler 1997).

This means people with lower back pain can strengthen all essential muscles, and reach those hidden corners while maintaining a safe position.

For people who use peloton with sciatica doing low-intensity Pilates can strengthen the back and reduce the pain symptoms.

Drawbacks

Here is the list of disadvantages that I found with peloton pilates.

Slow tempo

The biggest con against peloton pilates is the tempo of the workout. I’m the type of person who likes speed and intensity (I think I’m got too much sympathetic activity going on).

I like fast exercise, fast music, and elevated heart rate. I understand that the pace is slow because it allows targeting the deep postural and stability muscles that aren’t firing up during the regular strength training workout.

However, for me, the peloton pilates class tempo is way too slow (almost feel lethargic). That’s why I like to do it on the weekend.

On the other hand, my wife LOVES peloton pilates, their tempo, music, and everything in between.

Peloton doesn’t have Pilates Reformer classes

Another drawback is that peloton pilates classes are very limited and do not include some of the most popular reformer workouts.

  • Pilates reformer requires using the reformer equipment, which is not available for everyone.
  • The only pilates classes that peloton have are with no equipment.
  • Pilates reformer helps to reduce the body compensation during the exercises and isolate the muscles that you want to work on.
  • This is extremely helpful when your goal is to build a strong core, reduce back pain or recover from a back injury.

However, it does require using specialized equipment that is complicated to set up and can be confusing to use without prior guidance.

On the other hand, the Peloton bike or the tread is straightforward. Almost everyone knows how to operate a treadmill or stationary bike.

What exercises that peloton pilates use?

The typical peloton pilates class has up to 50 exercises. I find that some of the exercises from the peloton barre are also commonly used in their pilates classes.

exercises during peloton pilates
This new feature helps you to sneak peek at the muscles that will work in a given peloton class

In the class plan, you can see the exercises for the pilates class before you actually open the class. This way you can quickly see what exercises every pilates class includes and which muscles they’re working.

Here are some of the Pilates exercises that I find the most challenging.

  • Hundreds
  • Leg circles
  • Roll up
  • Mountain climber
  • Bear plank
  • Downward dog
  • Single leg kick

Despite these challenging routines, peloton pilates is not as popular as you would expect.

Which muscles does peloton pilates work?

peloton pilates muscles worked

As you can see above, pilates is one of the best peloton glute workouts. Each class works mainly on the glutes, but you also target trunk muscles, obliques, low back, and hips.

Peloton pilates classes are not popular

In general, the peloton does offer pilates classes, however, these are not the most popular workouts from the app.

  • Peloton adds pilates to their library on regular basis, but it’s nothing compared to the strength or yoga workouts.
  • Peloton launched Pilates in September 2020, and as of right now (September 2022) they have only 62 classes.
  • Compared with 120 peloton Barre wokrouts (which were launched around a similar time), this number is far from impressive.

That’s ok. My wife and I both like to do peloton Pilates, especially during the weekend.

Where are peloton pilates classes?

  • To find peloton pilates classes you need to select the strength class tab.
  • Next, select a filter and scroll down the list until you see the “pilates” tab.
  • You can further filter the class based on the difficulty level, or your favorite instructor.

Peloton adds new Pilates workouts typically once a month.

Mostly these go hand in hand with monthly celebrations like Pride, Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage, or some music festivals.

Do Peloton Have Pilates Barre Workouts?

In general, the peloton does have a barre workout.

  • Currently, there are over 150 peloton barre classes that vary in difficulty and duration.
  • To find peloton barre classes you need to go to the strength class tab.
  • Then, select a filter and choose the “barre” workouts.

Normally, if you go on the barre class to the studio, the classes can cost between $20 to $50, depending on where you go.

So having multiple sessions on-demand at home for the cost of an extra-large latte is a steal.

What I like about the peloton barre classes is that apart from the bodyweight stuff they also include some dumbbell work.

Plus, you will see a lot of combinations of isometric holds (from ballet) while doing some arm and shoulder moves.

For example.

  • Going deep into a plie squat while doing biceps curl or triceps kickback.
  • This is perfect for people who want to do some light workout on their off day, or who are slowly getting started with building up their strength.

Peloton Pilates vs Barre

The difference between peloton pilates and peloton barre is that pilates focuses on slow and centered movement, whereas the barre uses a lot of repetition to reach muscle fatigue. Barre’s class is derived from ballet training whereas pilates comes from rehabilitation practice.

That being said, you will find some of the classes and exercises aren’t as that different from one to another. Both pilates and barre emphasized bodyweight strength, flexibility, and balance.

I think that peloton barre and pilates are closely related because of their similar foundations. The thing with barre classes is they are a bit quicker, include more repetitions, and hold the positions for longer.

Is Peloton Barre Better Than Pilates?

In general, the peloton barre is better than pilates if your main focus is on muscle strength and endurance. It includes more repetition and static holds, which leads to muscle exertion.

However, pilates has slower moves, and it’s a better option for people who have lower back problems.

Here are some advantages of both pilates and barre classes.

Benefits
Peloton BarreBuild muscle strength and endurance
Low impact
Peloton PilatesWorks on deeper core muscles
Good for beginners
Peloton pilates vs peloton barre

Will peloton add more pilates classes in the future?

In general, the peloton will add more pilates classes regularly.

In June 2021, the company almost doubled its pilates class inventory in the Peloton digital app. In the Spring of 2022, there were another 5 new classes added to the inventory.

Pilates classes don’t seem to be as popular as other on-demand workouts like strength or yoga. However, the company launched its pilates program less than a year ago so it still had time to grow.

Conclusion

  • Peloton offers only a handful of pilates sessions. The goal of each class is to focus on your breathing, muscle tension, and body-mind connection while doing an exercise.
  • On the one hand, you have several workouts that are relatively easy for beginners. It is also a great addition to any rehab program.
  • On the other hand, you have vigorous strength bodyweight moves that can challenge even highly skilled athletes.
  • I think adding either barre or pilates to your rides or running training can help you address all the blind spots and work on muscle groups that aren’t covered in the typical cardio session.
  • It is also helpful if you struggle with any lower back problems.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc) and a veteran endurance athlete. He loves to experiment and share his successes and failures to help busy men and women who want to lose weight.

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