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SHA Magazine Fitness

Mat Pilates vs. Reformer Pilates, discover the differences

SHA Wellness Clinic
May 29, 2018

Pilates has become one of the most popular fitness regimes to tone, sculpt and lengthen the body in a safe and effective way, whilst also improving flexibility and concentration, reducing stress levels and rehabilitating the body in the case of injury.

There are 2 types of Pilates you can practice that are most common: pilates on a mat or reformer pilates. Whilst the principle behind both of them is the same, the methodology is very different, as the former is practiced on a mat, and the latter is practiced on a specialised machine. Usually, you will find that pilates on a mat is offered in most gyms, whilst reformer pilates is found in private pilates studios. For that reason, mat pilates is usually what most people are familiar with, but today we’re going to look at the difference between the two and the benefits that they provide.

Mat pilates:

As the name itself reveals, this type of pilates is practiced on a mat with other equipment such as dumbbells, balls, elastic bands and exercise rings, to tone different areas of the body. The practice is based on slow and conscious exercises that require having control over your breathing. This type of pilates can vary in levels, however, it tends to be an easier option for most people.

Reformer pilates:

This type of pilates is practiced on a specialised machine that offers a wide array of options when it comes to exercises. Reformer pilates is very effective at toning and the lengthening the muscles, achieving that svelte ‘ballerina’ figure that many women desire. It can be a tougher option, however, you can feel results quicker than with mat pilates.


Regardless of the methodology, both pilates are very beneficial for your physical health and help you achieve your fitness goals. Depending on what level you are and which type of pilates is most attractive to you, you can choose one or another.


At SHA Wellness Clinic we offer both options, which you can practice during your stay to get into shape!


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