Mat or Reformer? The First Pilates Question

Many times, when a new client comes to Zero Gravity, they ask a simple but critical question: What will work better for me – the Mat Pilates class or the Reformer class? Should I do both?

The answer is   . . . it depends.

Both forms of Pilates do amazing thing for your body. In Mat Pilates, you use your weight as resistance. It focuses on core strength, balance, and muscle and joint alignment. A Mat workout will get at every muscle in your body.

Reformer Plates does all of the above, but uses simple equipment, involving springs and pulleys, to assist you with the exercises and keep your body safe.

So how do you choose? Ideally, we recommend a consultation with one of our staff members to determine which of our classes and instruction models will work best for you. However, here are some basic principles to consider:

Reformer Class:

Reformer equipment offers many benefits. When you have the springs and the pulleys to assist you, finding your core and your balance is simpler. Clients often find Reformer to be a gentle starting place, although it can be seriously challenging once you get to level Four!

Many clients also prefer our Reformer classes because they are smaller (no larger than seven participants) and thus more individualized.

Consider starting with our Reformer class if you:

  • Are recovering from a specific injury or have a history of injury
  • Have a serious and / or chronic health issue, such as Fibromyalgia or arthritis
  • Have a specific spinal issue, such as scoliosis
  • Are overweight
  • Have a very specific goal in mind
  • Need more individualized attention to succeed

Mat Pilates:

As you can probably guess from its name, Mat Pilates is done on the floor, generally in larger groups, though class size should NEVER exceed fifteen. Although participants generally use their own body weight to perform the exercises, sometimes small equipment (balls, blocks, bands, chairs, etc) are used to assist or challenge the body.

Consider starting with our Mat Pilates class if you:

  • Are in good physical shape with no injuries or history of injuries
  • Have no serious or chronic health issues
  • Are a healthy weight
  • Do not need as much individual attention to succeed or to perform the exercises correctly
  • Can manage the added difficulty of working against gravity, without guidance from any apparatus

Regardless of which method you decide to begin with (or if you decide to use both), Pilates will give you the long, strong, lean body you always wanted. For class times see our schedule, and for details of our programs, please see these links to group classes and Reformer classes.