If you’re just discovering me on the blog you may or may not know how strongly I feel about Pilates workouts.
I alluded to my love of Pilates mat workouts in the previous blog post, Mindful Workouts.
Have you ever met someone who swore by Yoga, perhaps a particular type of Yoga like Hot yoga, or Vinyasa Yoga?
That is how I am when it comes to all things Pilates and ten years later, I feel like their workouts are undervalued by the fitness industry.
Pilates mat benefits are plentiful.
Even the lowest-intensity exercise mat class offers so many physical and mental health benefits, you seriously can’t go wrong either way.
*Some affiliate links are used, which means, if you purchased something, I may earn a commission.*
What Is Mat Pilates?
Founded by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, Pilates is a deep conditioning set of exercises that were created from the desire to heal his own physical ailments.
Within each mat class, you’ll take your body through a variety of repetitive exercises to promote stability, core strength, balance, and mobility while also incorporating mind-body breathwork.
As a dancer, many of my teachers were certified and would incorporate some of the Pilates mat series into the class warm-up.
Pilates Mat Work Compared To Yoga
Although Pilates and Yoga are considered to be low-impact workouts, there are noticeable differences between the two.
Full disclosure, I am not certified but I’ve taken many Pilates classes like Blogilates and one clear distinction is that there is a focus on core strength and stability in Pilates exercise.
There’s no way around experiencing your muscles being challenged in a class like Pilates. From your upper body to your lower body, you are going to feel a good burn.
On the other hand, Yoga is more about flexibility, and a lot more emphasis is placed on unwinding and centering yourself.
To end, both workouts help with alignment, posture, balance, and strength but I definitely would choose a week of mat Pilates classes over Yoga ones any day.
5 Mat Pilates Benefits
- Pilates mat exercises can burn fat and calories: When it comes to relying on a workout on a yoga mat that’s going to tone your body, this is the workout for you!
Long after your workout is over, you are still burning calories. I mean, you did put in all of that work in class, so why not reap the benefits hours later?
2. It can make you look taller: Given that a lot of training is around improving your posture in all of the exercises, standing taller is just one of the things people notice when consistently taking classes.
For many years, I’ve been told that I have such good posture while driving, sitting in a chair, standing up, and even walking.
I owe it to Pilates. Even when I’m tired, my posture remains so upright.
3. Increased Mental and Physical Health: Many of us can relate to resorting to taking a yoga class to alleviate the stress in our lives but Pilates offers the same benefits.
The level of concentration it takes to execute the exercises does something to your mental and physical hygiene.
It becomes more than a rote set of exercises but a beautiful sequence where your mind and body are naturally integrated.
4. The Best Me Time Ever: This would naturally be overlooked but whether you are taking a 30-minute or 45 minutes Pilates class, you need the time to yourself.
No phone, no email notifications blowing up, it’s about you checking on what you need at the moment.
5. You Get Everything In The Class: It’s a one-stop-shop for all things low impact, full-body, core strengthening, with unavoidable mind-body connection exercises.
One benefit that many people fail to mention is that there are plenty of modifications offered during the class. You are not in competition with someone else.
A good, thorough instructor will model different ways you can do a Pilates sequence while also still feeling challenged.
What’s more, you can literally take a Pilates class anywhere. It’s transferrable.
I do my Pilates workouts at home but if you’re someone who has never taken a class, I recommend trying a Blogilates class.
The workouts are like a dance party on the mat and they are far from boring.
Best Pilates Mat
Now, I’m no expert but I tell people to try out a mat in person or at the store to be able to touch the thickness of the mat.
If you’re into colors and don’t see what you like in-store, then go online and search for the mat thickness, and color mat.
Personally, I go for the extra thickness kind of mat due to my lower back and knees giving me problems at times but if you remember anything, look at the inch thickness of the mat because it matters.
I don’t know how those who practice yoga or Pilates use thin mats but I can say for sure that I’m not one of those people.
Below are some of my favorite eco-friendly mats I like to use.
Final Weigh-In On Basic Pilates Sequence
When new to anything, taking a beginner’s Pilates class is your way to go. There are different names, some may be called Level 1 classes, Pilates Mat Intro, Pilates for beginners, and so forth.
Bring a comfy mat, water, and a towel to dry off and you are one move closer to getting into the starting position you’ll become familiar with in class.
If you’ve taken a class in the Tampa Bay area, please tell me some good classes you know of below.