Pilates: Mat vs. Reformer


Reformer classes are challenging the notion that Pilates is confined to mat exercises. While some may favor the simplicity of mat workouts, the Pilates reformer offers a more extensive range of benefits, particularly in terms of resistance training and body toning. Both approaches have their merits, and individual preferences may sway towards one or the other. By highlighting the distinctions, we aim to assist you in determining whether to trade the mat for a reformer.

Exploring the Choice Between Pilates Mat and Reformer Workouts:

Both Pilates mat and reformer workouts yield similar advantages, such as enhanced strength, posture, agility, flexibility, and muscle toning. However, the reformer introduces additional benefits, including:

Increased Resistance

The reformer’s pulley and spring system create heightened resistance, resulting in a more demanding strength and endurance workout compared to mat classes. This increased resistance also contributes to bone and joint health, making it an attractive option for older practitioners seeking efficient fitness progress.

Variety of Exercises

The reformer’s numerous attachments expand the scope of exercise modifications and allow for additional movements beyond the limitations of mat exercises.

Assistance for Limited Range of Motion

The reformer provides more support than the mat, facilitating modified exercises for individuals with restricted movement or injuries.

Improved Stability

Reformer Pilates is performed on an elevated surface, enhancing stability. The sliding carriage enables controlled movements while regulating muscle pressure.

Reduced Strain on Joints

The reformer’s design, with its gliding motion and support, is gentler on joints than certain mat exercises, making it suitable for those with joint issues or seeking a low-impact workout.

Targeted Muscle Isolation

Precise targeting of specific muscle groups is achievable with the reformer, particularly beneficial for rehabilitation or injury prevention.

Mat Convenience

Mats require minimal space and few props or accessories, offering portability for practicing yoga anywhere, from studios to homes or even the beach.

Reformer Compactness

Certain reformer designs, like the Casa Reformer and Fit Reformer, cater to home use with vertical storage options. While larger than a Pilates mat, they can fit into a home gym space.

Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates Harmony

Reformer Pilates is often viewed as a continuation of mat Pilates, with both complementing each other. Mat exercises assist in practicing fundamental movements and transitioning between them.

Both reformer and mat Pilates are suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. However, engaging a specialist reformer Pilates instructor or joining a local studio is recommended for optimal equipment use and the exploration of new movements in a supportive environment.

In Conclusion

In the realm of Pilates, both mat and reformer workouts hold significance in a comprehensive and consistent exercise routine. Unsure which form suits you best? Consider trying both to discover the one that aligns with your preferences. Whether you’re embarking on Pilates for the first time or seeking to elevate your current routine, our collection of advanced Pilates equipment is tailored to meet your needs. Embrace the benefits, feel stronger, and foster a healthier body. Explore our online store at for a seamless shopping experience and prompt delivery.