What is Mat Pilates?
What is mat pilates, and why do we love it so much?
When you hear the word “Pilates”, what do you think of? Do you think of big, daunting machines that you can’t quite wrap your head around? If so don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! What a lot of people are unaware of is the fact that actually, mat Pilates was the first form of Pilates that ever existed. So, while yes, the machines (the most commonly known one being the reformer) can create an effective workout, they can also prove to be a little bit daunting to someone who is a complete beginner to Pilates. That’s where mat Pilates comes in, the ‘original’ kind of Pilates. The type of Pilates that requires only yourself! Within a mat Pilates workout, you’ll find exercises that tones, strengthens, burns fat and boosts mental health all in one.
Lets learn a little bit about where Pilates came from in the first place. Although you may have only heard the work ‘Pilates’ thrown around within the last 5 years, it has been around much longer than we think! Joseph Pilates developed the exercise in the 1920’s as a way for bedridden hospital patients during WWI to keep up their strength. He then transitioned into working with ballet dancers, more specifically injured ballerinas who needed a way to keep their dancer form. Pilates finally started to gain popularity in the 90’s, and is now practiced worldwide and is becoming increasingly popular as a great form of low-impact exercise.
So, who does mat Pilates work for? Well, anyone really. Pilates is an amazing form of exercise for anyone looking to strengthen and build lean, toned muscles that is also gentle on the joints. Pilates experts always suggest trying mat Pilates before jumping on the reformer or other pieces of equipment (this could be different for those with injuries however). Mat Pilates teaches the foundation of Pilates to anyone, giving them the building blocks they need to then transition into different types of Pilates.
Now there are too many benefits that come from mat Pilates, or just Pilates in general for me to name them all. Benefits that are both physical as well as mental. Mat Pilates is accessible to everyone at any fitness level and provides countless benefits. If you love rules and structure, or if a quiet, gentle workout is just what you need, then mat Pilates is right for you.
If you are ever unsure about how to start your Pilates journey or what class would suit you the best, get in contact with your local Pilates studio to find out what the best fit would be for you.