Everyone’s doing Pilates these days as part of their fitness routine, but what is the best way to do Pilates? Should you practice Pilates on a mat or on a reformer?
We’ve got the answers for you! When compared to doing Pilates exercises on a mat, here are the top three advantages of using a Pilates Reformer:
1) Amount of exercises
The number of Pilates exercises you can do on a mat is much more limited when compared to the quantity available on a Pilates Reformer. Working out on a Pilates mat focuses mostly on your core, but on a reformer, you can work practically every part of your body.
“Mat work is a smaller part of the entire Pilates repertoire,” explains Pilates instructor Lisa Johnson. “Using just your body and no props, there are about 50 or so exercises… There are over 250 moves you can do on a Pilates Reformer.”
The reformer also offers versatility enabling you to perform exercises in a plethora of different body positions including: on your back, side, stomach, seated forward or backward, and on your feet or knees.
2) Great for beginners and advanced
Do you have to start learning Pilates first on the mat before you move on to the reformer? Not at all!
Many trainers believe beginners to Pilates can absolutely start out on the reformer saying that “the reformer does facilitate a better initial understanding and connection with the powerhouse muscles,” when compared to mat work.
Also, since the reformer is low-impact on the joints and muscles, it is ideal for those going through physical therapy or rehabilitation.
The reformer “improves body alignment better than work on the mat; can elevate your mat workout to a new level (and increase muscle mass) by adding resistance with pulleys and springs; also adds more range of motion to help you get more results from each exercise.”
Advanced users can increase the intensity of their workouts with the multiple resistance settings and height elevations available on the reformer.
3) Move beyond Pilates to strength training and cardio
On a Pilates Reformer, like the Pilates Power Gym Pro, you can move beyond Pilates exercises and also do strength training and cardio.
“All of those straps, ropes and pulleys combine to provide resistance, build strength and flexibility and help align your body while doing Pilates,” says Celebrity Pilates Instructor, Kristin McGee.
With the use of the cardio rebounder attachment, you can also add an aerobic element to your Pilates workout while lying down.
Pilates reformers are now easily affordable and portable so that you can bring Pilates into the comfort of your own home. When you combine traditional strength training with the calming influence of Pilates movements on a reformer, you’ve got a winning combination. No need for a mat! A mini reformer allows you to customize the resistance and intensity to your fitness level for a more personalized workout. – T.Y.
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