Is Pilates on a mat as effective as Pilates on a machine?
BY: Nicole Gregory"Definitely!" says Lora Anderson, co-founder of Pilates Studio City in California. While Pilates on a mat may seem quite different than Pilates on an apparatus (specialized workout machines with names like "Reformer," "Cadillac" and "Wonder Chair"), the principles are the same: "developing core strength and balance with controlled, precise breathing and flow of movement," says Anderson.
Pilates is popular among athletes and dancers because it provides a whole-body workout. And for mat work, there are no straps, cables or springs to support your body as you go through the moves. "Holding your own limbs is extremely challenging and beneficial to attain the goals of having a long and lean body with lots of strength," says Anderson. The mat has another important benefit: You can take it anywhere. "You don't have to be in a gym or studio," Anderson points out. "You can do [mat-work] in your living room, which can help it to become a life-time practice."
Nicole Gregory, contributor to Live Right Live Well, is a Los Angeles-based writer who has written for numerous publications, including Weight Watchers magazine, Vegetarian Times, Viv, Fit Pregnancy and many others.