Is LIIT a replacement for Pilates?


Low-impact interval training, known as LIIT, is based in part on the ubiquitous Pilates, it's a challenging workout that can bring great results as long as you're willing to exercise hard. Pilates and pilates reformer classes are still around and going strong though, which poses a few questions. 

Is LIIT a replacement for Pilates? Is it an inferior Pilates? Or, just something you should do alongside your Pilates?


Pilates is a fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Since its inception, it has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world, with over 11 million people regularly engaging in Pilates worldwide. Pilates focuses on using deliberate, controlled movements to develop core strength. There are a number of ways to practice Pilates, ranging from simple exercises with resistance bands to more complicated moves using a machine known as a "Reformer."

LIIT (Low-Impact Interval Training)

LIIT was inspired by the core-strengthening principles of pilates, but there’s a major difference. When a former pilates instructor saw that his clients were often combining their pilates workout with other, more high-intensity workouts, it was obvious that they weren't getting everything they needed from pilates alone. So he took everything good about pilates and infused it with the many health benefits of a dynamic, high-intensity workout. And there you have LIIT.


  • Wider range of motion. LIIT, and the machine it’s performed on is highly customizable. This allows you to perform exercises in a number of positions, including standing positions. Pilates, in contrast, is mostly done lying down, limiting the number of muscle groups you can target.

  • High-intensity. One of the main advantages of LIIT is that it keeps the intensity high. LIIT can really get your heart pumping in a way that pilates can't. There are a number of benefits to high-intensity workouts, including more fat loss and lower blood pressure.

  • More resistance. The machine used for LIIT has twice the number of springs as a traditional pilates reformer. That means that even the strongest participants can still be challenged every class.

  • Better for injuries. Although LIITis a more intense workout, it's also better for those who are injured. This is because you can perform a much wider variety of moves and modify as you need to, allowing you to target specific muscle groups and avoid further straining injured areas.


Low-impact exercise is a smart choice if you’re looking to lose weight, especially if you don’t workout on a regular basis. This type of exercise is effective because it can be performed for longer periods of time, unlike high-impact alternatives like HIIT workouts or tabata. Therefore, there’s greater potential to burn more calories. But one key benefit of LIIT is its efficiency. Because it’s a super challenging workout, you can burn more calories in less time. LIIT digs deeper into the body to burn major calories. LIIT will access your fat stores for energy, rather than just using the easily accessible glycogen (aka, carbs).


Pilates and LIIT are both excellent forms of exercise. They are both safe and proven ways to improve your core strength, flexibility, balance and muscle tone. That said, LIIT simply provides better results when it comes to fat loss, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. While there are many advantages to LIIT, that doesn't mean pilates is completely obsolete. The intensity of LIIT doesn't suit everyone, and those who are older or just want a light workout may be better off with the slow, methodical nature of pilates. And others prefer high-impact workouts, like HIIT or bootcamp. 

 So, there you have it. The main differences between LIIT and Pilates are the intensity, the range of motion, and the level of resistance. We recommend that you try LIIT, even if you have no experience with pilates. The sheer variety of moves means that there's something for everyone here, from newbies to seasoned fitness pros.



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