Mat Pilates vs Reformer Pilates: Which One Is Better For You?

Pilates focusses on full-body stability, mobility, and strength. This is done through breathing and core engagement.
Pilates

Pilates (Image: iStock)

Pilates is a great way to get your body moving. Whether you are looking to get in shape or recover from an injury or just maybe trying a new workout regime, Pilates will always be at your rescue. It is uniquely designed to accommodate every skill level, health need, and area of concern. And while you can join a studio to give it a go, you can also do it from the comfort of your own space. Let's understand Pilates better, its different types and which is better for you.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise practice which focusses on full-body stability, mobility, and strength. This is done through breathing and core engagement. It aims at strengthening your muscles while improving your posture and core strength. Most people use Pilates to enhance balance, strengthen the whole body, improve mind-body connection and postural imbalances.

Different types of Pilates

The two most common types of Pilates are: Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates.

Mat Pilates

Often confused with yoga, Mat Pilates usually relies on using body weight as resistance while performing consistent and controlled movements on a mat. This is why it is often thought of as the true foundation of Pilates. It requires only a mat and fitness enthusiasts can dive into the practice.
Owing to its simplicity, Mat Pilates can be adapted for all ages and fitness levels. Some people, however, choose to add fitness accessories such as weights or bands to add more of a challenge to their workout.
  • Benefits of Mat Pilates
  • Doesn’t require any special equipment
  • Well suited for beginners
  • Improves flexibility, mobility, posture and strength
  • Can provide a foundational introduction to Pilates movements

Reformer Pilates

Instead of a mat, this is performed on a piece of equipment called reformer. It involves a sliding base and a stable platform, with straps and pulleys. It also has springs to add resistance to the exercises. In this form of Pilates, exercises can be more easily modified with the reformer as it allows users to perform certain exercises without bearing too much weight on any injured body parts.
  • Benefits of Reformer Pilates
  • Can be modified for injuries and joint issues
  • Fun and versatile
  • The machine can support the body for a low impact, effective workout
  • The reformer can assist with proper form
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