equipment vs mat Pilates – what’s the difference and which one is right for you?


Whether you’re looking for a more toned and flexible body, general wellbeing, pre and post-natal support or rehabilitation from an injury, Pilates boasts a wide range of benefits.

Our in-house Pilates teacher and sports massage therapist, Phil Bishop explains, “Movement is complex and therefore requires adaptive responses throughout our bodies and throughout our lives. By fine-tuning movement with resistance, we can prioritise the spine and continue to develop the coordination of our movement throughout body.”

There are two main types of Pilates – mat work Pilates and equipment or studio Pilates. Both are based upon the premise of controlled movement against some form of resistance. In mat classes, all you’ll need is yourself and a mat (gravity will provide the resistance). In studio equipment classes you use various pieces of spring-based equipment for additional push back.

Not sure which of these is right for you? We’ve asked Phil Bishop to break down the options and their benefits.

Studio Pilates
The studio at our Camden centre has all four pieces of equipment originally developed by Joseph Pilates. This spring-based apparatus allows for more fine adjustment and monitoring of sensory input. It provides support but also allows for levels of variability crucial to all healthy patterns of movement. Studio practice, therefore, offers strength and mobility training that can be highly adapted to the individual.

There are a couple of options for practising in our Camden equipment studio:

 – One-to-one
A one-to-one session or starter assessment in the studio is a good way to begin or reset your Pilates practice. In a one-to-one class, you will work together with your instructor to structure a practice to your specific requirements.

 – Studio classes
There is also the option to have a group session in the equipment studio, for up to four people. Within the group everyone is given their own exercise plan and individual support.

Mat work Pilates
triyoga has a range of fantastic mat work teachers who bring a broad range of experience and training. Some may incorporate small equipment, such as resistance bands, balls and some yoga props, into these sessions as well. A group class can be fun and dynamic and can also be combined with studio tuition.

Both mat and equipment Pilates, when practised with consistency, will improve your strength, coordination and mobility. There are many health benefits, such as injury prevention and improved recovery and performance for those who are doing sports training or practising yoga.

To find out more about Pilates at triyoga or to book a starter assessment, click here.

Phil Bishop is also leading a workshop – Pilates movement for sports + yoga – on Friday 19th October. To find out more, click here.

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