There are two main types of Pilates that most people have heard about, Reformer and Mat Pilates. However, many people don’t know the difference between the two. There are some integral differences that we will be going through with you today.
Reformer Pilates is completed using a Pilates reformer machine. It is generally more intense and more dynamic than mat based Pilates as it adds resistance to the Pilates exercises through the use of the springs which form part of the machine.
Some people are a bit intimidated the first time they see a reformer. To those who have never seen one before, it can appear rather complex and almost medieval. But trust us, after your first workout on a reformer, you will soon realise that it is simple to use, versatile and effective!
All the reformers at 4ME Pilates contain five springs. These springs provide resistance during your workout, and are generally quite strong. The more springs you have attached, the more resistance you will experience.
The springs allow the intensity to be varied considerably from one person to the next, making it an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. Your Pilates instructor will be able to help guide you toward how many springs you should use during your workout.
As you may have assumed from the name, Mat Pilates utilises a mat to perform the exercises. Occasionally, some additional devices may be used throughout the class, however for the most part, it is just you and the mat.
Below we discuss some of the key benefits of Reformer Pilates:
Compared to Mat Pilates, the number of exercises available to the participant is greatly increased in Reformer Pilates. The exercises completed during Reformer Pilates usually work muscles through a larger range of motion, which is ideal for building and toning muscles as well as increasing stability through your joints. Reformer Pilates typically works more body parts than Mat Pilates, which mostly focuses on the core. Fun Fact
Reformer Pilates was originally used as a means to break down the movements of the matwork and strengthen individuals, getting them to a level where they can do the matwork effectively. However, overtime we have come to learn that Reformer Pilates can take you above and beyond the limits of Mat Pilates.
Reformer Pilates can also be an effective sport specific training tool. Reformer Pilates works on core stabilisation, muscle strength, balance, coordination and muscular endurance which are important to many athletes.
Reformer Pilates is great for injury rehab as it allows you to exercise horizontally and not be vertically loaded, weight bearing through your legs.
For example, if you have low back pain, this horizontal plane of exercise allows you to strengthen and mobilise the muscles of your lower back through a larger range of motion using a lighter resistance than that which is provided by your body weight, speeding up recovery through controlled movement.
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