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By: Magda van Wyk

Equipment Pilates VS Mat Pilates – MFitness review

Studio@83

 

 

 

Pilates (pronounced pul-lah-teez and not pie-lates), similar to yoga but with more emphasize on your body’s core muscles. For this reason, Pilates develops much of what the individual need in their day-to-day activities — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture, but with a much lower chance of injury compared to any other form of exercise.

The Pilates system was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates called his method “Contrology ” and accompanied his method with a variety of equipment, for which he used the term “apparatus.” Each apparatus was designed to help accelerate the process of stretching, strengthening, body alignment, and increased core strength. The best-known and most popular apparatus today, the Reformer, was originally called the Universal Reformer, named for “universally reforming the body.” Joseph Pilates also designed other apparatus, including the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, High “Electric” Chair, Spine Corrector, Ladder Barrel and the Pedi-Pole.

Reformer

Joseph Pilates believed that the individual should first and foremost start with the mat repertoires and then move on to the equipment. I personally disagree. I would’ve much rather started out with equipment-based repertoires first as it was much easier to understand the flow of movements in a controlled manner with resistance you get from the springs of the equipment.

As for myself, you to might be more familiar with Pilates mat work.  Although the Pilates mat repertoire promises a great workout, chances are you might be doing the same exercises on repeat. With only about 50 different Pilates mat moves you better pray that your instructor uses other props like bands, mini balls, fit balls, and rings to prevent boredom!

In comparison, there are at least 250 plus exercises you can do on the Pilates Reformer alone, with new choreographic moves added regularly. The Reformer is considered THE piece of equipment when setting up a Pilates Studio. This piece of equipment allows the Pilates Instructor to work with anyone, from an accident injured victim to a professional athlete. The intensity of a workout can range from rehab and therapeutic to a sweat dripping, kicking your butt workout!

I was very fortunate to experience a great equipment based Pilates workout just recently in Bethal @Studio83.

Under the watchful eye of Carin Steenkamp, Certified Basi Pilates instructor, I was able to get a fantastic workout that left my body feeling relaxed and lengthened.

I would advise anyone to give Pilates on equipment a try. As much as I felt rejuvenated I could definitely feel that I had a great workout based on my quivering legs as I walked out of her studio!

The Conclusion

My Workout included:

  • A warm up, which mainly focused on the mat repertoire.  After which we moved over to the reformer.

 

  • On the reformer, we did some footwork. The footwork mainly focused on the hamstrings and the quadriceps, however, my calves got a very nice work out as well. As a personal trainer, I really had to focus on listening to the instructions while simultaneously utilizing different muscles. The reformer challenges the body in a variety of ways but in all of them, it is clear that control is paramount. This feedback helps build awareness of where the limbs are in relation to the rest of the body and which muscles are working. As you progress you get to understand how to ”activate” the correct muscle and you are able to utilize your muscle movements with greater stability. Carin made sure my form is perfect with every repetition and that is the type of personal attention any client will love. 

 

  •  We also did some bottom lifts and a bottom lift with an extension next. 

 

  • The Wunda chair was used to give my abdominals a good workout. The Wunda chair was further used for some lateral flexion (that really worked those obliques) and for those back muscles, we did a Swan Basic, this is a must try exercise!.

 

  • On the Cadillac, we did some Shoulder stretches that focused on the shoulder rotators and for a full body experience, we did a sitting forward that focused on controlling those abdominals, stretches the hamstrings and the mobility of the spine.    

 

The Conclusion

I would most certainly recommend Pilates equipment base exercise to anyone. This piece of equipment allows the Pilates Instructor to work with anyone, from an accident injured victim to a professional athlete. The intensity of a workout can range from rehab and therapeutic to sweat dripping, kicking your butt workout! Under the watchful eye of Carin Steenkamp, Certified Basi Pilates instructor, I was able to get a fantastic workout that left my body feeling relaxed and lengthened.

Carin on the Cadillac

Complete the contact form below if reside in the Bethal, Mpumalanga area and would like more information directly from Carin.

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