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What Are the Different Types of Pilates?

in Southfield, MI

What Are the Different Types of Pilates?

Are you curious about trying Pilates? Perhaps you’ve checked out schedules online and been baffled by all the offerings.

Fear not, friend!

We’re here to clarify the different types of Pilates so that you can start your journey with confidence.

Different Types of Pilates

Pilates is a stunningly effective exercise system to build stronger and more sculpted muscles while gaining flexibility. The Pilates principles focus on safe movements with proper alignment and conscious breathing. It’s ideal for everyone – from those brand new to exercise to folks recovering from an injury to the most seasoned workout fanatics.   

So we’ll take a broad look at the Pilates practice and the many classes offered under its umbrella.

1. Mat Pilates

If you’re brand new to Pilates, mat Pilates is the most accessible form. Because it can be done just about anywhere and requires very little equipment, these classes tend to be more affordable.

In a beginner mat Pilates class, practitioners focus primarily on learning the fundamental Pilates movement techniques. But mat Pilates isn’t just for beginners. Increasing the intensity and complexity of movements and using body weight for resistance makes the practice more challenging.

Mat Pilates doesn’t use machines so students are required to get a sense of where they are in space, also known as proprioreception. It will strengthen your abs, lower back, pelvic floor, hips, glutes, shoulders, and upper body. In addition, the breathwork offers a host of mental health benefits such as reduced stress and relaxation.

2. Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates refers to the reformer machine; a comprehensive mechanism that consists of a platform, sliding carriage, ropes, springs, and pulleys. On a reformer, the body works eccentrically against resistance to increase strength, flexibility, posture, and stamina. 

Because students aren’t required to do full weight bearing, reformer Pilates is suitable for injury rehabilitation. Especially for those for either struggling with or recovering from a knee injury. Additionally, the springs act as assistance for those struggling to move or who are only partially weight-bearing or going through rehab. 

This form of Pilates is considered more intense and dynamic than mat Pilates. It’s popular with advanced practitioners. Even so, reformer Pilates can be tailored for beginners as well. 

3. Classical and Contemporary Pilates

Classical Pilates usually combines mat and apparatus work following a designated sequence that moves the body through a full range of motion.

Meanwhile, contemporary Pilates is a variation of classical Pilates combined with more modern forms of exercise. There’s typically a focus on some form of physiotherapy and the incorporation of biomechanics. These classes vary depending on the instructor’s preferences and training.  

Contemporary Pilates focuses on neutral spine which means allowing for the natural curve of the lower spine so there’s a more functional approach to the movements. Equipment and props are incorporated to tailor the practice to each student’s individual needs. This makes it ideal for prenatal and post-natal clients, as well as those in physical rehab.

4. Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates includes modalities like physical therapy to offer a tailored experience for each student. As such, it is suitable for everyone.

With clinical Pilates, there is an initial one-on-one assessment with a qualified physical therapist who is also trained (or at least well-versed) in Pilates. During this consultation, he or she will go through your medical history and discuss any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. With this information, the physical therapist/Pilates instructor will develop your clinical session to meet your rehabilitation goals. He or she will incorporate specific and safe movements to help you correct muscle imbalances, build core strength, boost your current rehab efforts, and prevent future injuries. 

Yes, Pilates Is for You!

With all the different types of Pilates, you’re sure to find one that works for you. 

So if you’re ready to explore your options in a stress-free and no-drama environment, contact us today. 

We offer mat, reformer, and physical therapy/Pilates sessions to suit your specific needs. We look forward to hearing from you.