What is Pilates Matwork? Check Its Holistic Benefits

Are you new to Pilates and unsure about the differences between Pilates equipment classes and mat classes? Despite the popularity of Pilates equipment exercises, no one can disregard the importance of mat work. You can use equipment all you want when doing a Pilates workout, but you must never forget the basics and benefits you can gain from the conventional Pilates mat classes.

Let’s examine what mat classes cover and the exercises you can do in your Pilates sessions. We will also look into how Pilates equipment exercises differ from mat exercises.

Read on if you’re ready to journey toward better fitness, improved posture, and a stronger core.

Matwork Pilates – The Definition

So what should you expect in a mat class? It’s a lengthening and strengthening workout routine that works on your trunk or core muscles while developing your legs and arms. The concept of Mat Pilates classes was derived from the exercises used by Joseph Pilates when he was young. Joseph Pilates successfully made his body stronger; thus, he adapted the exercises and taught them to others.

Mat Pilates was the original concept and was way ahead before Equipment Pilates or Pilates Apparatus was developed. Mat Pilates class is comprised of more than 300 exercises, which practitioners can do anywhere they want. It can be modified to suit a person’s body, age, and fitness level. Mat exercises can also be done in a chair if this is more comfortable for the practitioner.

As the name suggests, Matwork Pilates is a form of exercise done on a mat placed on the floor. A mat class comprises a series of exercises you can do without using any additional equipment. You need to practice controlled breathing and movements for the exercise to develop core strength, balance, and flexibility.

Mat Pilates classes require a series of short and precise movements that work on the legs, hips, abdomen, and back muscles. It teaches you to perform the exercises slowly and deliberately, techniques that promote physical strength, coordination, and stamina.

Mat Pilates Class – The Benefits

Pilates is a practice that involves your overall well-being from inside and out – body, mind, and spirit. For beginners, it is recommended to start with Mat Pilates. You can build the difficulty and challenge level as you practice the exercises regularly. You can opt to increase the challenge or tone it down whenever you feel like it.

Mat Pilates does not require any particular apparatus. Aside from yourself, you will only need floor space and a mat to begin with the exercises.

Here’s a look at the top benefits you will gain from practising Mat Pilates:

Building core strength

The development of your core is one of the main advantages of Matwork Pilates. The exercises are made to strengthen the back, hip, and abdomen muscles, which are crucial for keeping good posture and avoiding back discomfort.

Improves balance and flexibility

The slow, controlled movement required for Matwork Pilates exercises helps boost flexibility and balance. The exercises train the muscles in a way that promotes muscle endurance and joint mobility, which can enhance overall flexibility and balance.

Increasing body awareness

Exercises in a Mat Pilates class demand a high level of body awareness. It entails being mindful of your posture, breathing, and movement patterns. This increased awareness can help enhance general alignment and posture while lowering the chance of injury.

Low impact

Mat Pilates is a low-impact workout, making it easy on the joints and an excellent choice for those with injuries or physical limitations.

You can do it anywhere

Mat Pilates is a practical choice for people who wish to work out at home or while travelling, as all you need is a mat and some comfy attire.

You will only need a few props

Even though Pilates Matwork may be performed with little equipment, adding simple props, such as resistance bands, light weights, or Pilates balls, can improve your sessions. Using them can make your workouts more challenging, which will increase the effectiveness of your sessions.

Helps develop mindfulness

High levels of bodily awareness are necessary for Mat Pilates, which entails being mindful of your posture, breathing, and movement patterns. This increased awareness can enhance general alignment and posture while lowering the chance of injury.

Improves posture

Back discomfort and muscle strain are just a few health issues resulting from poor posture. By maintaining good alignment and strengthening the muscles that support the spine, Mat Pilates can assist in improving posture.

Provides holistic physical advantages

Some physical benefits of matwork exercises include improved flexibility, strength, and balance. Moreover, it may enhance circulation and lower the chance of injuries.

Enhances the spirit, mind, and body

Mat Pilates is a comprehensive exercise that can enhance mental and emotional wellness and physical health. It can aid in lowering tension and anxiety, encouraging rest and mindfulness, and improving general well-being.

Tips for Beginners Who Want to Try Mat Pilates

Here are some of the things you must know about when trying beginners Mat Pilates classes or enrolling in your first Pilates class:

  • Begin slowly

It’s crucial to start slowly and build up your practice if you’re new to Mat Pilates. Pilates is a strenuous kind of exercise that demands concentration and focus. It is preferable to perform a few exercises well than to rush through several ineffectively.

  • Ensure correct alignment

It’s crucial to have perfect alignment when doing Mat Pilates because the movements are meant to improve posture. Keep your core tight, your spine long, and your shoulders relaxed. You’ll be able to maximize the benefits of your practice and lower your risk of injury by doing this.

  • Inhale deeply

Mat Pilates depends heavily on breathing, which benefits include stress reduction, attention improvement, and relaxation. The exercises need you to breathe into your ribs and maintain your core tight by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

  • Put quality before quantity

It is preferable to prioritize quality over quantity in Mat Pilates. This entails performing fewer exercises with proper form and alignment as opposed to performing more exercises quickly and ineffectively. Keep in mind to take your time and concentrate on each exercise’s specifics.

  • Observe your body

It’s crucial to Mat Pilates that you pay attention to your body and don’t overexert yourself. Stop doing an activity if it hurts or feels unpleasant, and change it. To avoid injury, always perform a modified version of the exercise.

  • Modify when needed

You can tweak the exercises or certain movements if you are new to Mat Pilates, have any physical restrictions, or have sustained an injury. Several adjustments are possible, including changing the range of motion or utilizing props. Most Pilates instructors allow alterations of the movements whenever necessary.

  • Exercise frequently

Try to practice at least twice a week, and increase the frequency of your sessions over time. Consistency is essential to notice growth and improvements in your strength training, efficient movement, spinal articulation, flexibility, and balance.

Mat Pilates – The Most Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I feel pain in my inner thighs or discomfort in my body during my Mat Pilates practice?

It’s crucial to stop performing a Mat Pilates workout and evaluate your condition if you feel any discomfort or pain. Pain or discomfort may indicate that you are performing the exercise improperly or that there is an injury or condition underlying it. Before carrying on with your practice, getting medical help is crucial if the pain doesn’t go away. Use proper alignment and adjust exercises as needed to your individual needs to prevent discomfort or pain.

What’s the recommended frequency of practising Mat Pilates?

The number of times you perform Mat Pilates exercises will depend on your personal objectives, schedule, and degree of fitness. Practising Mat Pilates at least two to three times per week is typically advised for the best benefits. Nonetheless, starting cautiously and building up your practice over time is vital if you are new to Pilates or have any physical restrictions or ailments.

Where do I find a good Pilates class or Pilates instructor?

Here are some tips you can follow to help you find good Mat Pilates instructors and hot Pilates teacher training in Singapore:

  • Find certified instructors. Search for experienced instructors who have received certification from respectable bodies like the National Pilates Certification Program or the Pilates Method Alliance.

  • Check reviews. Look through internet testimonials or get recommendations from friends and family who have taken Pilates classes and exercises. They may recommend a great instructor or yoga studio where you can attend a Pilates mat class.

  • Visit a yoga studio in Singapore. To get a feel for the environment, tools, and teachers, visit a yoga or Pilates studio in person.

  • Observe intermediate classes. Before enrolling, see a class to determine if it fits you well.

  • When choosing a Pilates class or instructor, consider your unique goals and interests.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, practising Mat Pilates is a fantastic approach to enhancing both your physical and mental health. It is comprised of full-body exercises that can tone muscles, pelvic stability, and the entire body.

Start gently, align yourself correctly, breathe deeply, prioritize quality over quantity, pay attention to your body, make necessary adjustments, and practice frequently. Look at this article to find out more about how Pilates can help you maintain your ideal body weight and how you can use the workout toward a successful fitness journey.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.