Mat Pilates

The mat Pilates exercise routine is performed on the ground using an exercise mat. It is traditionally performed using bodyweight and resistance alone, however has evolved to involve other equipment such as weights, balls, and bands. The exercises in mat Pilates focus on strengthening the muscles of the hips, back, abdominals, and glutes, all known in Pilates as the “powerhouse” muscles. While the exercises look simple, they require stabilization and focused effort to keep the abdominals contracted and working throughout the entire session. The key to Pilates exercises is high repetition, so most movements are repeated many times in a highly specified way. Breathing is also a critical element in performing mat Pilates. The exercises require you breath through your belly instead of your chest, meaning your lungs expand and contract without too much movement in your chest. This type of breathing stabilizes the spine and ensures that the abdominals are challenged correctly during the course of the exercise.