The Pros of Pilates – mat vs reformer

Health & Wellbeing January 21 2016

Pilates has long been a welcome addition to team WY?’s fitness regime, providing a whole body workout that targets and strengthens core muscles (even the tiny ones you didn’t know you had!), promotes lean muscle tone, increases flexibility, while connecting the mind to the body through particular breathing patterns.

So is it best to take it to the mat or strap in to the reformer bed to reap the many benefits of Pilates? While both forms will deliver the pros of Pilates, there are positives to each style.

Mat Pilates classes are generally more accessible, with most gyms having mat Pilates classes as part of their schedule, without needing a the space and investment for reformer Pilates equipment. Key moves and lessons from mat classes can then be incorporated into your home regime, BYO mat! Mat work is also recommended for beginners, as you can learn how to explicitly control your muscles and balance your body weight for optimum results.

Reformer Pilates beds can look intimidating – even like a prop from 50 Shades of Grey! – with all of the springs, ropes and hand/feet straps, but it’s nothing to shy away from. Reformer Pilates beds allow an increased range of movements and exercises than mat Pilates can offer, with the resistance created by the pulley and spring system providing a more challenging endurance and strength workout. While mat work focuses largely on the core, reformer beds provide a greater whole-body workout and peripheral muscles of the arms and legs.

Your preference of Pilates will come down to personal choice, however all beginners should start out as just that – it’s important to learn the key basics of engaging your muscles by taking and mastering Beginner classes. There’s no positive to be gained from injuring yourself by attempting a more advanced Pilates move – no matter how simple it may seem!

WY?’s has some members in the know who have a penchant for Pilates. Try out these studios and see an increase in your endurance, strength and muscle tone in no time!

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