What makes Pilates Mat class special?
by Pilates At PTCare, January 24, 2014
Pilates is often divided into two categories, equipment and mat. The creator, Joseph H. Pilates, intended for these categories to be utilized together in a complimentary and cohesive way. Mat Pilates consists of a series of body weight exercises whereas the Equipment section uses external progressive resistance in the form of springs. Mat Pilates facilitates strength and flexibility, control, balance, and coordination, while also helping to improve breath, circulation, and awareness. It can be used as a complete exercise system or as a supplement to additional exercise. Mat Pilates is truly for everyone; whether you are strong or weak, active or sedentary, young or old, flexible or inflexible, athletic or not, Mat Pilates will benefit you. If you already participate in Pilates Reformer classes or Pilates Private sessions, do not overlook Pilates Mat!
When comparing Mat and Equipment Pilates, people often ask, “Which is harder?” or “Which is better?” I do not believe one is harder or more effective than the other, they are simply different pieces of a whole. Mat could be termed as more “simplistic” than Equipment because you only have your body to deal with; there are no springs, straps, or bars to complicate the session. This is why I personally recommend Mat to those that have never experienced Pilates. However, with Mat Pilates, “simple” does NOT necessarily mean easy! Mat Pilates ranges from beginning to advanced and master levels, just like Equipment-based Pilates, making it applicable for all levels of experience. Many people are surprised by how challenging it is and how deeply they can work using only their muscles against the resistance of gravity.
The challenges asked of the body vary greatly between the two, as does the emphasis of focus and the form of resistance. When participating in both Mat and Equipment Pilates, you move and work in a more varied program, resulting in a more adaptive and balanced body. Challenging the body in this way enhances functional movement in everyday life because it facilitates the body to move more economically with less energy, and with a greater range of unrestricted movement.
In our 60 minute Mat class you will strengthen and stretch your muscles simultaneously to create a stronger, more mobile, and more balanced body. The core muscles (muscles attaching to the spine and pelvis) are the main focus in our Mat classes at PT Care, but a full body workout will be achieved. Mat is a great option for those that are new to Pilates as well as those who need to take extra care with their back, knees, and/or shoulders. Small props such as bands, weights, and the Magic Circle can be used to provide additional resistance or modification to Mat exercises when needed. In order to make sure our clients receive the attention, assistance, and motivation they deserve, our Pilates Mat classes are limited to six participants. This way individual correction and adjustments will be part of every session, ensuring you are working towards the needs and requirements of your own body.
PT Care is very excited to offer our clients Mat Pilates for the first time starting February 2014! And as a special promotion, your first class is free! Please come try it out, whether you are a first-timer or a Pilates expert. Click here to see our group class schedule.