The Difference Between Mat and Machine Pilates Classes

Two of the most popular types of Pilates classes are those on a mat and those that use a piece of equipment or a machine.  The commonly asked question is what the difference between the two types of classes is?  We will address that issue here.

Mat classes are simply those that use a padded mat frequently referred to as a yoga mat.  In many studios, the surface is a table or bench that has padding and covered in faux leather.

The idea of a mat class is that the exercises are performed using your bodyweight and minimal props.  This is the situation when it comes to beginner courses.  The movements involve working your muscles by moving them with a limited resistance other than that which your body provides.  The exercises are basic moves designed for those just starting the regimen and even though who are just beginning their accent to an intermediate level.

Machine or equipment classes are those that involve various apparatus such as a reformer, chair, barrel, etc.  While the use of this equipment is available to beginners, an ideal purpose is to provide resistance and a more advanced type of exercise.  The use of springs with some of the machines is to allow for adjustments that increase the resistance applied to the work. Some of the equipment naturally incorporates resistance based upon their design.  (Think of the barrel in this instance.)  A beginner who uses that apparatus would be limited to the extent of movement on their own. Completing the work through the full range of motion would require the assistance of the instructor of the class.  As the practitioner advances, his or her ability to work through the entire range of the movement on this equipment increases.

Machines, equipment, and apparatus are certainly beneficial to assisting in the advance Pilates practitioner’s exercise.  However, mat work is also a great compliment to an advanced student.  In this capacity, the student would use their full body weight as the resistance necessary to challenge the muscles and structure of the body.

As previously mentioned, mat work is excellent for a beginner student.  However, limitations due to the strength and conditioning of the body when just starting the practice, don’t allow for the student for fully utilize the repertoire of the exercises.  After improving that strength and conditioning, the student is stronger and more able to apply the techniques, utilizing more of the exercises within the list of moves in a Pilates routine.

List of Exercises
There are 34 exercises on the “classic list of Pilates” AKA Contrology, mat work moves. Some of them are the Pilates 100, leg circles, rollup, jack knife, sidekick, teaser, rocking, one-leg stretch, saw, and scissors just to name a few.  Many on that list can also be included on the reformer list.  Additional moves you will find on the reformer list that are not included in the traditional mat work list of 34 are the frog, mermaid, headstand, semi-circle, grasshopper, jump board, gondola, Russian splits, and star.
Joseph H. Pilates wrote a book about Pilates titled Return to Life through Contrology.  In it, you can find the 34 moves he shows for the mat and the order in which they are to be performed.  The list for the reformer work and in what direct resource of his that it is provided in is less known.  However, experts in the study can confirm there is a defined list.  What is in more question is the order in which those exercises should be performed.

So as to the difference between the mat and equipment classes, that the general explanation.  Both are invaluable to an individual’s efforts to achieve health and fitness.  The choice of which one is better than the other likely comes down to the preference of the person who will be doing the routine.

 

Pilates Classes Available to Students of the Method

Options for your next Pilates class

Taking Pilates classes offers many benefits to the participants. There are numerous testimonials from practitioners of all backgrounds including athletes, musicians, writers, stay-at-home moms, actors and actresses, dancers and more.  People from all professions and backgrounds attest to the improved flexibility, coordination, strength of their abdominals, centeredness, mindfulness, and balance among others.  They also speak of losses such as less stress, reduced or eliminated back pain, and weight loss.  Along with these gains, Pilates has been found extremely helpful with rehabilitation from an injury and injury prevention
To achieve all of the benefits the Pilates method has to offer; there are a variety of classes made available to students.  These classes specialize in addressing the specific needs of the person who is taking the class.

Pilates classes for dancers is an example of one of these classes.  Ifstrength of Ryan Gossling shown in La La Land dance you’ve seen the movie La La Land with Emma Stone and Ryan Gossling, (an award winning show including the Oscars and Golden Globes), you have seen how the impact of the exercise in Ryan’s dance performance.  According to a Men’s Journal article about Gossling’s training regimen used to prepare him for the role, his trainer said, “Once I had tired him out with squats and pull-ups, we brought in the Pilates table,” he says. “That helped us really improve his spine stability and postural strength.”

These classes also help rehabilitate and prevent injuries for ballet dancers. Ballet dancing takes a tremendous amount of strength and control.  However, it also adopts an enormous toll on the body.  The Pilates method was discovered to be an answer to rehabbing the injuries that ballet dancing can cause and strengthen and maintain the fitness and endurance of the body to avoid injury as a person continues to dance.

Interestingly, it is because of the benefit that Pilates has for dancers that it became known as an exercise for women.  This stigma couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The fact is that the Pilates exercise method was developed by a man, Joseph Pilates, for men.  Joe developed an exercise routine for himself and others he was imprisoned within an internment camp back in the early 1900s.  He believed that movement, specifically exercise, would help him and the other prisoners to stay healthy and strong both mentally and physically.  He said that his approach was correct because during the Polio outbreak at that time, while many individuals lost their life to the disease, not one of his trainees died from it.

After Joe’s release from prison, he continued to teach his method.  When ballet dancers, who were predominantly female, discovered its advantages, they flocked to him in droves.  That is when the method developed the premise that the exercise is for women.  As a result, now Pilates studios have developed classes in Pilates specifically for men.

Pilates classes for men are designed to be a men’s only class to help reduce and even eliminate the embarrassment guys sometimes feel when taking a lesson.  They don’t have to feel as though they are being judged by anyone because it is only guys in the class.  They can also reap the rewards of performed movements in the course because they are designed to address the areas of the body that men don’t usually tend to during their regular exercise routine.  As an example, Pilates will work on developing the abs of a man’s body.  Even if a guy has a six-pack, Pilates can stick improve on the strength of a man’s core area by tending to the deep abdominal muscles that standard weight lifting won’t touch.

So what are some of the other classes that are available with this mode of exercise?  Let’s take a look at a few of them here.

Pilates for Golf: Golf Pilates
Golfers, like many athletes, require the development of consistently performed movements while playing a round of golf.  Pilates practice will address those actions as well as fundamental necessities of playing the game.  A strong core, improved coordination and balance, and flexibility are benefits of this class.  When considering the golf swing itself and what is required to be successful with it, you can see how the benefits listed can improve performance.

Pilates for youths:
Yes, it is true.  Pilates can help children.  How you may wonder.  Consider this in response.  Kids’ bodies are still developing from being born until their late teens and in some cases later.  There are some influences on their bodies that can cause that development to be less than the best it designed for it.  As an example, think of a child’s posture, especially when sitting in their school classroom. Look at the toll wearing a heavy backpack takes on their back.  There is a condition commonly referred to as “text neck” that is coming from looking down at their phone too much.  These things and many others are influencing the development of a child’s body.

Children’s Pilates classes are designed to help reduce the effects of these activities among others as well as maximize the body’s ability to develop correctly.  These classes also help a child learn to move properly in a way that they can apply throughout their lifetime to avoid injury and chronic pain that comes from moving incorrectly during their life as an adult.

Pilates for Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is a disease where the individual experiences loss of bone mass which allows for breakage of bones to happen easily.  Research has proven that exercise helps reduce the loss of bone mass.  Pilates classes with the use of a machine called a reformer can allow for a person with Osteoporosis to move their bodies, but with controlled resistance.  The resistance can increase as the person gets stronger or remain as needed dependent on the needs of the student.  These classes aren’t necessarily limited to a machine.  There are other options available as well.  However, the instructor of the course will monitor and tend to the appropriateness of the routines and moves based upon the condition of the students.

Pilates for Seniors:
Similar to the Osteoporosis class, seniors Pilates classes need are designed for older students who in many cases have limitations.  The classes are designed more specifically to the needs of these participants and their aged bodies.  For some students, strengthening muscles, bones, and their core is a necessity. A goal for an older person is typically for an older person to live as independently as possible throughout the length of their life.  Pilates with the use of mindfulness and physical movement helps seniors to continue to work mental and physical capacities actively.

Other Classes:
There are several other types of classes available for Pilates students.  Some of these are performed as group instruction, and some are as private or one-on-one sessions.  There are so many options Beginners Pilates classthat are available that practitioners are sure never to get bored of the routine and will find one that will meet their specific needs.  Here is a list of some of the additional opportunities for classes to consider:
– Jump Board Class
– Fitness Classes
– Instructor Training Classes
– Prenatal Classes
– Postnatal Classes
– Baby and Me Classes
– Special Populations
– Pilates for Breast Cancer
Pilates for MS
– Aqualates–(Pilates in a pool)
– Arial Pilates
That is just to name a few.  Whatever your needs may be, Pilates classes are an option for you to meet them.

Welcome to Daculahigh School a Pilates Class Resource

A quick hello and thank you for coming to Daculahigh School a Pilates class site where you can learn all about offerings available in Pilates classes.  Whether you want a class in Pilates for golf, sports such as volleyball, beginners lessons, sessions for those suffering from osteoporosis, Pilates for kids, and more; we will talk about it here.  We are currently redesigning the site, but please be patient and we will be back with you with all the information you are looking for when it come to classes in Pilates.