Easy, simple, all you need is a mat and your body weight, of course you can use resistance bands, balls or small weights, if you have them that’s great, if you don’t that doesn’t matter you can still participate.Mat-based exercises are highly focused on the deep core and pelvic muscles, most pilates classes begin with learning how to control you T-Zone. More to come on the T-Zone later, once you can control the T-Zone, exercises will involve your bodyweight against gravity, this is a very effective way to train the correct muscles through specific movements.
For example lying on your side, stabilizing your core by squeezing your T-Zone, lifting your leg up towards the roof should activate the Glute Medius, if this is weak you may feel the exercise working through the front of the thigh or tension in your lower back. Pilates can help re-train your muscles to do the movement they were designed to do.If you suffer from back pain, are not flexible or need to develop your core and pelvic floor muscles, Mat Pilates is for you!
Reformer Pilates is done using the reformer machine as pictured above, this is generally more intense and more dynamic than mat based Pilates as it adds resistance to exercises. However, it can be really good for beginners as well as you can reduce the resistance too.Reformer Pilates works on core stabilization which is vital to any athlete as well as muscle endurance, lactate tolerance, peripheral joint stability, muscle strength, balance and co-ordination. Very beneficial for athletes and injury prevention!
Reformer Pilates is great for rehab purposes too as it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion and not weight bearing through the injured area. For example if a client has had knee surgery or a knee injury, this horizontal plane enables you to strengthen the muscles of the leg through a larger range of motion using a lighter resistance than body weight, speeding up their recovery through controlled movement. Very beneficial for post-surgery clients!
If you like variation and a low impact, yet high intensity workout, Reformer Pilates is for you!