Mat Pilates vs Reformer Pilates

26th September 2017

Mat Pilates vs Reformer Pilates
Pilates is growing in popularity - with a range of different types available, there is something that is right for everyone. Many clubs offer Pilates for beginners to ease newcomers in, but novices wonder whether they should be grabbing their Pilates mat, or strapping themselves in to a Pilates reformer machine.

What is the difference between Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates?

The main focus of the classic Pilates exercises is to work against resistance. Both mat and Reformer Pilates offer this, but in a different way. Mat Pilates uses the participant's own body weight to create the resistance, whereas Reformer pilates uses specialist Pilates equipment with pulleys and springs to do so.

Best Pilates for Beginners

Many experts suggest that Mat is the best form of Pilates for beginners as it offers a solid foundation for the practise.

Mat Pilates allows beginners to learn how to control their muscles during exercise, and once this skill has been advanced, they can progress to a Reformer class with ease. On average, Pilates students add Reformer exercises in to their routine after 3 months of mat classes.

Benefits of Mat Pilates

Both forms have their own benefits, but for the most part, these are the same and it is down to personal preference.

Pilates mat classes are more accessible than those using a Reformer machine, as local gyms often offer mat sessions despite not having a full Pilates studio. Due to not requiring specialist equipment, mat classes are often the cheapest option.

Mat classes often work more of the body that Reformer sessions, as you are solely reliant on your own muscles and don't have the support of the Reformer. This means your core is generally worked more during mat sessions, however, this is dependant upon intensity level.

Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Using a Pilates Reformer opens up a variety of exercises that extend beyond what can be done with a mat. It is especially useful for those with limited movement, or suffering from an injury that still wish to take up Pilates as it offers support and exercises that can be controlled.

Reformer Pilates can produce visible results sooner, toning up arm, leg and abdominal muscles through a more challenging pilates workout, as the resistance can be set to higher than you can achieve by using just your own body weight.

How to find a Pilates class?

There are hundreds of Pilates classes across the UK, both Reformer and mat.

Visit Pilates Near You to find the best offers and deals on classes in your local area!