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What is Mat Pilates, and is it Right for You?

Mat Pilates will focus on slow and steady motions

There are two main types of Pilates: Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates. Pilates is a workout type that can be used by individuals at any skill level, despite some belief that using equipment or new terms can be too intimidating at any level. Mat Pilates –which may or may not use other equipment for resistance in the Pilates exercises – is done on a mat somewhat thicker than a yoga mat. Mat Pilates will focus on slow and steady motions and breathing to perform similar movements to those in reformer Pilates, which uses a more complicated apparatus (equipment for performing exercises with resistance).

Pilates can improve core strength and increase flexibility, thus improving balance and posture. Original mat Pilates used only your body’s weight to help shape and tone your body. Now mat Pilates techniques have been added that use resistance bands, rings, or balls. Still the technique is based upon simplicity and focus.

At Fitness By Design, we offer both forms of Pilates, so you are able to choose one or the other or a combination of both to suit you. Pilates uses a specific type of muscle contraction to help create lengthened and strengthened muscles. Using Pilates, the body is trained to have better alignment and to move more freely. Pilates is intended to use breathing and circulation to stimulate the spine and muscles. This can make it feel like doing mat Pilates exercises is actually increasing your energy! It is perfect for addition into already established fitness routines, whether aerobic or anaerobic exercise regimens. Additionally, mat Pilates can be performed virtually anywhere once you learn the techniques.