I get it – reformer Pilates is fun, accessible, and popular! But so is Matwork! In fact, I believe Matwork can be more fun, more accessible and should be just as popular! Matwork gives you the ability to truly know your body, you can practice anywhere and anytime and it’s simple and creative. In this blog, we will talk about 5 key reasons why you should incorporate a weekly Mat class into your routine.
1. Matwork is more challenging!
Matwork is by far more challenging than any reformer class.But why? Matwork is based solely on your body weight, without any assistance from springs. Therefore, you are constantly working against gravity which provides its own challenges, depending on whether you’re lying down, on your side, on your front, sitting or standing. Working against gravity makes your body tune into different muscles (deep core and joint stabilisers) that correlate to movements in your everyday life and essentially moving more efficiently.
Another point to note is that Matwork is working in open chain movements which challenge your proprioception. Open chain is where the distal part of the body (feet/legs, hands/arms) aren’t connected to anything, therefore they have little to no feedback as to where they are in space. This requires us to be more aware of where our body is in space, which is a challenge all on its own! It’s so important to have good proprioception as it helps us navigate our body in all life activities to make sure we don’t hit our hands/arms on doorways or smash our hips on table corners – let’s be honest, it happens to everyone and isn’t pleasant! If that isn’t a reason to start Mat Pilates, I don’t know what is!
2. Easy to accommodate different abilities and injuries
Matwork is also a great class to help with any injuries or modifications that you may need. Matwork exercises can be modified for pregnancy/post-natal mums, chronic injuries/conditions and any weight bearing injuries as most of the class is performed either lying down or sitting. Matwork is also great for mature aged people to help them learn how to get on and off the floor safely which is such a fantastic tool to have. That is why Matwork Pilates is a great form of exercise for any age and/or ability.
3. The movement is flowy and more creative
Another great side to Matwork is that the variations of the exercises are endless! More props can be added in to generate more creative ways to move, which in return challenges the mind to make new connections. Also, different movements can be combined to make a nice flowing sequence which can feel so amazing. Matwork is one of the only classes where you can experience this flow from one movement to the next. Matwork is not only challenging for the body, but the mind too!
4. You’ll never do the same class twice
Following on from the above point, you’ll never do the same class twice because of the wide variety of variations and props that are utilised in Matwork. Some of the props that are used include small Pilates balls, booty bands, therabands, hand weights, rollers, magic circles, yoga blocks and many other fun props! In my opinion, there is no other Pilates class that offers this kind of variety which is absolutely amazing!
5. Easier to book into!
Lastly, here at PPF, reformer classes are hot property and can be tricky to get into – especially during peak hour times. There are also only 10-12 reformers in each room which obviously limits the amount of space available.
However, the floor rooms accommodate up to 20 people at a time which gives you a better chance of getting into a class! Although reformer classes are increasing in popularity, Matwork classes can be just as challenging, fun and creative as a reformer class.
I will always advocate for Matwork Pilates as you can practice exercises you really enjoyed at home, the movements directly correlate to everyday life activities, and it challenges your body and mind in different ways that will benefit your overall health. So next time you go to book a class, try to pick a Mat class so you can experience the wonders of Matwork!
Pilates is not only good for the body, but the mind too! Click here to read our previous blog covering the Mental Benefits of Pilates.
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