In general, a mat class will engage your legs, stomach, lower and upper back muscles. When you are on the mat, the body weight provides resistance against gravity, making the workout more challenging in many cases. Rather than depending on the support of the equipment, it requires the full control of your body. Mat work is a great for beginners as it emphasizes on control of muscles during the workout.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that Reformer is much tougher than Mat Pilates. In fact, it can be the opposite, especially in an advanced Mat Pilates class when you are required to use your body the entire time, without the support of the Reformer. While doing Pilates on a mat instead of a Reformer may not seem as exciting, but results (improved strength, posture, agility, flexibility, toned muscles) can be seen within just a few mat sessions.
Regardless of your age, Reformer will still be able to adapt to your body needs! Reformer is designed to target a specific area of your body, rarely used muscle group or a full body strengthening! The reformer equipment consists of a narrow bed with sliding carriage, straps and pulleys, with varying resistant. Are you intimidated by the reformer as it looks like a medieval torture device? Rest assured, as you will see how versatile and effective Reformer can be. Not only so, it can be great fun using the equipment as well!
The equipment assists the body into proper form. By varying the resistance to the Pilates routine using springs, you can strengthen the bigger muscle groups or challenge your stabilizing muscles. The intensity of the Reformer Workout can be varied depending on one’s ability and body conditions. The versatility combined with the support provided by the machines, allows anyone (including those with constrained movement or injuries) to safely complete the work. Those with Scoliosis may find it difficult to do Mat Pilates, but with the Reformer they are able to increase their range of motion safely and effectively.
For those who love variety in your workout. You should seriously consider Reformer Pilates! The resistance provided by the machine allows for larger range of exercises as compared to Mat Work. Your Reformer workout can range from basic to highly advanced positions. Furthermore, Reformer gives you more option of performing exercises in lots of different body positions, from the back, side, stomach, being seated and on the feet or knees.
Which one should I go for?
Don’t agonize and stress yourself out if you are still undecided between Mat or Reformer. Most people reap similar benefits from both form of Pilates! Both can teach you how to effectively use and strengthen your core! The results will translate in your daily life and even in the sports you play! It is still possible to target a specific muscle group while doing Mat Pilates! However, Reformer will provide a greater combination of exercises. The reformer is also more ideal than the mat for those with injuries or chronic imbalances.
💡To find out our Reformer Pilates, read more here!