Mat vs Machines: Which is better?

Pilates is a wonderful form of workout that can have amazing effects on your body. It is an exercise designed to address issues related to both your body and mind, thus giving you a stress-free, relaxed life. However, like any other workout methods, Pilates has different variations and styles associated with it that offers benefits of varying kinds. Two of these variations are mat-based Pilates and Pilates using apparatus, both of which are good for the body from different points of view.

History Of Pilates

Pilates was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, a German immigrant to the USA. Since then, it has travelled for about a century throughout the world, gaining thousands of followers and trainers. However, as any other long surviving art, Pilates has experienced changes and variations in its inherent principles, as well as applications in all these years. Following these variations, Pilates using machines was developed, which is a significant development from the mat-based Pilates.

Two Variations Of Pilates

  • Mat-Based Pilates – Pilates, in its original form, was developed by Joseph Pilates as a mat-based exercise. Because of this reason, mat-based Pilates is still called the ‘classical Pilates’ to pay tribute to the maestro. Joseph’s mat-based Pilates needed nothing more than an exercise mat and workout dress to perform Pilates.
  • Pilates Using Apparatus – However, as time progressed, coupled with advanced medical sciences, Pilates started to grow into branches. A significant deviation was observed as the first generation teachers started teaching Pilates around the 1940s. The first generation Pilates teachers are those who received their education in Pilates straight from Joseph Pilates himself. As the teachers took over, Pilates went through a number of modifications, some of which preferred the use of instruments during Pilates. Apparatus-based Pilates soon saw a boom in the sector, and took over within a short span of time.

However, leaving aside the current state of popularity and trends, the aim of this article is to bring to light the upside and comparison of the two variations of Pilates side by side. For starters, mat-based Pilates was introduced by Joseph Pilates himself as the gateway into the world of Pilates, while he considered machines as the secondary level of exercise. His logic behind this stance was that mat-based Pilates allows a learner to gather the basic principles of Pilates, which can later be applied to machine-based Pilates to a greater extent. However, experts today dispute the stance saying that machines also allow the learners with the ability to go through the basics of Pilates just like mat-based Pilates do. Therefore, the two are equally effective when it comes to introduction to Pilates.

As far as application is concerned, apparatus and mat-based Pilates present with quite contrasting effects of the body. Mat-based Pilates work with the body’s core, strengthening it to add extra support for the body. On the other hand, machines like Pilates Reformer and Cadillac help the user with loosing fat at an increased rate, thus toning the body. Another great upside of apparatus is that it can offer you with focused exercises, for example toning your legs, strengthening your arms and so on.

Also, in mat-based Pilates, resistance against the body to work with is built from the body itself or simply by utilizing the gravity. However, while using machines like the Cadillac or the Reformer, the resistance is quite some folds as the machines use their inner workings to force pressure on the body, thus giving you a more profound exercise of the body.

After reading through the preceding parts of the article, if you are thinking that machines are the best and mat-based Pilates is a lame form of exercise, you could not be more wrong. Both the variations have their own specialized sections. While machines can provide you with the opportunity to build up core strength, mat-based Pilates has been proven to be the best way to do so since it gives the core of the body just enough time to cope with the changes that come with the newfound strength and so on.

In all, it can be said that both apparatus-based and mat-based Pilates have their own benefits when it comes to making the body stronger and the mind calm.

Call Happy Physio on (08) 9272 7359 today and book an appointment with our expert Pilates Instructors. We can help you start with your own Pilates Program.