Reformer vs Mat Pilates?


This month I launched an at-home Pilates studio to cater to my clients who want more face to face instruction. I focus on Reformer, TRX, Mat and Small equipment workouts that are personalized for each client. As my studio is small I only do private or semi-private sessions and this allows me to focus on each person and their individual needs and goals. I am loving this new challenge and also loving being back in studio and meeting new people!

So, which workout is better…Reformer or Mat Pilates?

Over the years I have taught both mat and reformer in class and studio settings and honestly cannot say one is a more effective workout than the other. I believe that mat can sometimes be harder as you need an existing base of strength to perform the exercises with correct technique and without continuing poor existing movement patterns. However, some people are not comfortable getting up and down off the floor so prefer the gliding movement of being on a Reformer which is like a bed only without any sleeping! Mat classes also utilize body weight for exercises, while the Reformer adds resistance to the Pilates exercises via the use of springs. I think Reformer is fantastic in guiding the body into the correct postural alignment and enabling you to strengthen and stretch the body while adding or change the intensity of each exercise. The support added by the resistance means the Reformer can be used by a larger percentage of the population, including the elderly and injured and is a great rehabilitation tool. The Reformer also has a larger repertoire of exercises and can be modified to suit each client depending on their needs. Don’t be fooled as often the lighter the spring the harder the exercise on the Reformer!


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