As you may know, Pilates is brilliant for building core strength and improving posture, balance, flexibility and muscle tone, however which method is best - Mat or Reformer?
As both Mat and Reformer workouts provide similar benefits, it is no wonder that many people are often confused about which form is right for their current goals and abilities. While you can perform the same series of exercises on the reformer that you can on the mat, the workouts are notably different.
For more information on both forms of Pilates, read on.
The Pilates reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment, with a sliding carriage, straps and pulleys, made more or less resistant by adding or removing springs.
Due to the resistance created by the pulley and spring system of the Reformer, the repertoire of exercises available is greatly increased compared to Mat, providing more variety.
Reformer Pilates is great for rehab purposes too, as it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion and not be vertically loaded and weight bearing.
From our beautiful converted barn, we have 10 different Reformer Class times each week as follows:
Mondays (First Monday of every month) 7.15pm - Introduction Class Tuesdays - 7am, 9am, 10.15am, 6pm and 7.15pm
Wednesdays - 9am & 10am
Thursdays - 6pm & 7.15pm
Saturdays - 9am
All our classes are tailored for mixed levels. If you are new to Reformer Pilates, you are very welcome to join a class or we can arrange for you have some private 1-1 sessions to become familiar with the Reformer before you join a class. More information on this below.
Mat Pilates is the basis for the entire Pilates system of exercises. In general, a traditional Pilates mat class will work your legs, stomach, lower and upper back muscles.
Your body weight provides resistance against gravity, making the workout more challenging in many cases. You must be in full control of your body, rather than relying on the assistance or support of the springs and cables of the Reformer.
But don’t be fooled, advanced mat exercises can be very challenging, because you’re using your body all the time and the reformer isn’t there assisting or supporting you. Many clients see results (improved strength, posture, agility, flexibility, toned muscles) within just a few mat sessions.
Mat Pilates classes at The Stables take place either in the open sided barns or in our contemporary studio on Mondays at 10am and Tuesdays at 7pm.
Still can’t decide between Mat or Reformer Pilates? There is no need to worry, as most people will reap similar benefits from both methods.
While targeting specific muscle groups is possible on the Mat, the combinations of exercises are a little more varied on the Reformer. The Reformer is also more ideal than the Mat for those with injuries or chronic imbalances.
Most importantly, if regular practice is maintained you will see results.
If you feel that a private 1-1 or small group session would help you make that decision and give you the confidence to join a class, please get in touch and we will happily arrange. Alternatively, we have an Introduction to Reformer Pilates class for Beginners on the First Monday of every month, starting Monday 1st November at 7.15pm.
Our team of Pilates Instructors (Anna, Emer, Katie and Aoife) are here to support you with your Pilates and look forward to seeing you soon.