Pilates attracts everyone from grandmas to executives with its promise of core strength, flexibility, and lean muscle tone. Many newcomers wonder if they should be rolling out a mat to do their Pilates, or strapping into a Reformer – the equipment developed by Pilates creator Joseph Pilates.
Working against resistance is essential to the 500 classical Pilates exercises, which are designed to train the body’s ’powerhouse’ – the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks. But you can accomplish that in Pilates using either a mat, where your own body weight creates resistance, or a Reformer, where pulleys and springs create resistance.
How Pilates on a #Mat
Pilates Mat work is often done in classes, which are much easier to find than Reformer sessions. The good news is that in Respirit you can of course find both…
Many Pilates experts recommend Mat classes as the best bet for beginners. It is always very important that new clients acquire a foundation on the mat before launching into apparatus work. Average students typically add Reformer work after three months of once-a-week mat classes. Mat work is a great option for beginners because of its emphasis on learning how to control the muscles during exercises.
While doing Pilates on a Mat instead of a Reformer may not seem as fun or challenging, many students see results – improved strength, posture, agility and flexibility, as well as toned muscles – within a few months from once-a-week Pilates mat sessions.
How Pilates on a #Reformer works
To some, Reformer equipment might resemble a torture apparatus, looking like a single bed frame but with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps, and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing. The resistance created by the pulley and spring system can provide a more challenging strength and endurance workout than mat classes.
The Reformer is a carriage that moves forward and backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance. It also has a variety of other attachments for different movements and exercises. On the Mat you are supporting your body’s weight while doing each piece, which can be great for getting to know your own body, but it can also inhibit the range of motion you are able to achieve.
With the Reformer, your body’s weight is supported by the carriage allowing you to either simplify the movements or challenging yourself even more once you gain more strength and flexibility. Since your weight is supported by the carriage, it can take a lot of pressure off of troublesome joints during the exercises which gives you more opportunities to improve your Pilates practice.
This amazing machine is wonderful for correcting muscular imbalances, joints and giving your body a challenging workout. And you look so elegant and graceful while doing so
Don’t let the appearance of the machine steer you away from giving it a shot!