Throughout the summer Potomac Pilates is offering Mat classes, the question on everyone's mind is...WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAT & REFORMER??
Both workouts provide similar core strengthening and flexibility benefits so it can be confusing to know which is the best fit for your individual goals and capabilities. There tends to be a hesitation on both ends and the answer is that you should do both to optimize your results and challenge your muscle groups! Here’s a breakdown to help you out:
The biggest difference between rolling out a mat and looping on up is resistance -- A reformer provides weight that can be a challenge, but in some ways a cushion. Sometimes having a heavier weight allows one to push against their loops or bar, offering assistance in the workout movements. The springs and pulleys guide you, allowing you to find your core and balance more easily. Think about plank pose. A lighter spring will challenge the core because of the complete control required of your body. Similarly, with Mat Pilates, only your own body creates the resistance, making it possibly more difficult to hold positions.
Both Reformer and Mat Pilates will strengthen and elongate the muscles, but their difficulty varies. If you’re a beginner, Mat classes provide a solid foundation for the large variety of exercises presented on a reformer. However, advanced members may want to return to the roots of their workouts, or Mat classes, to delve deeper into specific muscles that are behind ultimate core strength. On the other hand, someone who is looking to stretch or rehabilitate the body and still get a good work out should focus more on Reformer Pilates, while more experienced members with relatively controlled cores should look into taking Potomac Pilates’ new Mat classes. Nevertheless, both workouts cater to any level and are guaranteed to help work muscles you didn’t know existed! Voila, this is the genius behind Potomac’s Performance Pilates!
Your new lululemon pants shouldn't be the only thing stretching this summer! Stretching the body improves muscle elasticity, which increases muscle control, flexibility and range of motion. I find that Potomac Pilates is a perfect way to start a stretching routine without even knowing you’re doing it!
I have played soccer all my life, run almost everyday and certainly should understand the importance of stretching. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean I do it. I have been trying to disregard my tight leg muscles, but reoccurring calf cramps encouraged me to seriously look into stretching. With a mother that teaches yoga you would assume I’d have no problem discovering helpful stretches and alleviating my pain. However, because of my active exercise history, I feel restless in slow paced yoga lessons. My mom (Lisa Johnson), also instructor at Potomac Pilates suggested I take more Potomac Pilates classes, which emphasize the recognized benefit of controlled dynamic stretching to reset muscle length.
I’ve learned that Performance Pilates classes use repetitions that both elongate and strengthen muscles, while still making you break a sweat. After only a few classes, I’ve noticed an improvement in my flexibility and overall muscle strength. So, I’d recommend you to loop on up at a Potomac Pilates class this summer to easily incorporate stretching into your exercise routine.