A lot of people have heard about Pilates. It’s what all the celebrities seem to be doing to achieve their red-carpet ready bodies, it's what elite athletes are doing to rehab any injuries and for overall fitness, and it may now be offered at your gym (in the form of a mat pilates class).
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century as a system of exercises to strengthen both the body and the mind, as he believed that physical and mental health were interrelated. It emphasizes correct alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving balance and coordination.
When talking about Pilates, there are two main styles you can do – Mat Pilates, and Reformer Pilates.
Mat Pilates is centred around doing exercises on a Pilates, or yoga, mat and is the more common form that you will see in gyms and group classes. It is a great option if it’s available to you, as it introduces you to a lot of the core (pun intended) concepts of pilates while needing minimal equipment. These classes will see you on the mat, doing mainly body weight movements, and occasionally incorporating small equipment like a Pilates ring, ball or resistance band. We have put together a hugely valuable, home Pilates eBook - Pilates at Home, to help you get started on your Pilates journey. For a limited time, Pilates at Home is only $5.49 AUD - crazy we know! Click here to check out more.
Reformer Pilates, on the other hand, requires the use of the specific Pilates Reformer machine.
The reformer is a spring-loaded machine that is low impact, but provides a highly versatile workout. The reformer that we use at Stoke, the Allegro 2 reformer, is a state of the art version, which allows for literally thousands of exercises to be performed to target all areas of the body. The reformer is excellent for injury rehabilitation, but also great for general health and fitness – you’d be surprised at the kind of workout you can get on the reformer!
Pilates is centred on engaging (activating) your core (abdominal muscles). These muscles are important for everyday activities, as having a strong core can reduce and minimise back pain, improve your posture, and ensure your muscles are being used efficiently.
Have you tried Pilates? Check out our example below, and follow us on Instagram to see weekly workouts incorporating the reformer!
ABS & ARMS
ABS & OBLIQUES
LEGS & STRETCHING