Reformer Pilates: What's The Difference?

Developed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a safe, unique exercise system that can help you look and feel at your best. No matter what your age or condition is, it works for you. Pilates increases flexibility, improves strength and posture and increases core strength and confidence. It comes in the forms of either mat or reformer, but what is the difference?

Regardless of your age or status, Pilates brings promising benefits such as core strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone. It has been a secret of professional dancers and athletes and celebrity mothers for a healthy and fit body, and now it becomes a mainstream workout for everyone. In today’s fitness club and spas, you’ll often see Mat Pilates or Reformer Pilates or both are offered in Pilates classes. As for most newcomers, they wonder if they should be doing Pilates on a mat or on a reformer.


Difference Between Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates

Mat Pilates

Mat Pilates is performed on a mat, similar to yoga which is done on the floor. This form of Pilates allows you to use your body weight with gravity as a resistance while performing a continuous series of flowing movements that require constant stabilization.

When you exercise with Mat Pilates, you are primarily focusing on your core. You can get to exercise your arms and legs, but mostly you’ll be focusing on your abs. Exercising on mat aligns the muscles and joints in your body through core control. Mat Pilates is ideal to start with if your main intention is to shape your waist.


Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is similar yet different to Mat Pilates. It offers many benefits as the mat style, but the difference is that you are using a machinery called Reformer. The Reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment that looks like a bed frame with a sliding platform that employs a system of springs, ropes and pulleys.

Instead of performing Pilates on the floor, Reformer Pilates is done on the Reformer machine. The exercise is more intense and more dynamic in comparison to mat-based Pilates wherein the system of springs adds resistance to your workout, instead of relying on your own body weight.

The Reformer can simplify the concepts of Pilates for beginners and can also provide unique challenges as you get stronger and more flexible, allowing greater array of positions and exercise techniques.


There is no doubt that both mat and Reformer Pilates can give you an incredible workout. Both methods increase core strength, improves flexibility and improves posture. Each exercise uses your deep abdominal muscles. Whatever kind of workout there is, it can be tailored according to your body’s needs by adjusting the intensity.

Pilates, either on mat or on Reformer, offers significant and similar results. The mat is a great option for beginners but can also be a disadvantage for seasoned Pilates clients. The Reformer, on the other hand, provides a wide variety of possibilities from a hard workout, to a rehabilitation therapy.

Book your session online at and see the wide range of benefits Reformer Pilates can offer!




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