Pilates is a great way to increase strength and flexibility as well as makes your body get leaner. Pilates classes are often done in a gym or studio, but can Pilates be done at home?

You do not need to attend a class or go to the gym to gain the benefits of Pilates. You can do Pilates in the comfort of your own home with the right instruction and the right equipment such as a Pilates reformer, ring, or band.

It is not that hard to begin and commit to doing Pilates at home. Here are some things you need to know about Pilates at home.

The Difference Between Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates

Both mat Pilates and reformer Pilates are instrumental in toning your muscles and developing your core strength. You can also do the same sequence of exercises on either mat or reformer.

However, the main difference is that mat classes use the body weight for workouts while the reformer includes resistance to the workouts by using springs that are part of the machine.

Learn more about Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates below.

Mat Pilates

Mat Pilates is the original Pilates that uses the mat to perform the movements. It is the traditional Pilates mat class that works your stomach, back muscles and legs.

With this method, your body weight offers resistance against gravity which makes the exercise more demanding. You need to be in total control of your body instead of depending on the assistance of the cables and springs of the equipment.

Mat Pilates is an excellent option for newbies because it helps them to learn how to control muscles during workouts. Mat Pilates can be adjusted according to your body, age and fitness level. This means that anyone can try this amazing body workout.

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is a more modern type of Pilates that uses a reformer machine to target particular muscle groups. It integrates the use of breath and controlled movements on a machine but it also uses calculated training for strength building.

A Pilates reformer is a machine that looks like a bed that has springs, a sliding platform, pulleys and ropes. Some people may be intimidated by how this machine looks but after doing one or two Pilates sessions, you will realise how versatile and effective this machine is.

The reformer machine provides support for your body to assist it in the correct form. The springs add resistance to the Pilates workouts. You can also add extra springs to build strength in specific muscle groups that you would like to target.

The intensity of the workout can be varied according to one’s capabilities, especially for people who have a limited range of motions, to perform the exercises safely.

Anyone can benefit from reformer Pilates. It is excellent for rehabilitation, cardio, strength and flexibility. It is also good for all fitness levels. So do not get intimidated by the reformer machine even if you are just a newbie. Check this article for beginner exercises you can do with a Pilates reformer machine.

Things You Need to Do Pilates at Home

Mat Pilates may be the cheapest way to start Pilates at home. All you need to have is a Pilates mat and watch a virtual Pilates trainer that will guide you with your exercise.

If you want more challenge with your workout, here are some other instruments you can use for added resistance.

1. Resistance Band

Resistance bands are small elastic bands that are an excellent addition to a Pilates class and provide many benefits. These bands allow you to build strength over time without adding more weight.

They can also help you develop better technique since the bands’ resistance can lower momentum, thus permitting you to keep better control.

Another great thing about the resistance band is that it does not take up space which is perfect for people who have little space in their homes.

2. Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are great for Pilates class to make your workout session more challenging. Though these weights may look somewhat light, adding them can give a serious burn to your lower body.

3. Pilates Ring

A Pilates ring is a lightweight ring made out of metal or rubber that provides extra resistance to help enhance balance and stability during Pilates. It can be used in many ways to target a particular muscle group.

4. Sliders

Sliders imitate the moves of a reformer and keep your core engaged further during exercise. By putting the sliders under your feet or hands, you can modify your regular crunches and engage your abs as you move your legs and arms to the side or in front of you.

5. Workout App

As soon as you have the proper gear or equipment for your home Pilates session, finding the right workout app should be the next thing you should look for. There are many free workout apps that you can download on your device that will motivate and guide you during your workout.

6. Reformer

If you have the budget and space for a home gym, you may want to consider buying a Pilates reformer for home use. Reformer machines are ideal for beginners and for people who are suffering from injury.

The good thing about a reformer is that you can modify it according to your fitness level by changing the springs. The reformer machine can also complement other types of workouts such as boxing, dance or yoga.

5 Benefits of Doing Pilates at Home

Here are some of the benefits of doing Pilates at home:

1. Boost the body’s ability to burn fat naturally.

Though Pilates is not the best workout to burn calories, this exercise can burn fat naturally because it helps in developing muscle, which can also boost the body’s basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories you burn while resting.

2. Promotes body awareness and mindfulness.

Since Pilates is a combination of movements and breath works, it encourages you to be mindful of your body’s limitations as you are building strength. Unlike other strength training programs that sometimes push your body to the edge. Pilates helps you listen to your body and is also a good relief of stress and tension.

3. Prevents injury.

Pilates strengthens all muscle groups of your body and promotes proper movements, hence it is very effective in preventing the risk of injury. It can also be a good exercise for people who want to strengthen their muscles weakened by injuries and also avoid inflaming previous injuries.

4. Great way to cross-train.

Pilates is an ideal workout for cross-training. Cross-training is a way of modifying your workout routine by combining other types of exercises. Pilates is a great routine to mix with other exercises such as interval training, cardio and other strength training exercises.

5. Relieves tension in your back, shoulders and legs.

Doing daily tasks can create tension in your body. Strengthening your core and back muscles through Pilates can even out the tension that causes weakness in your muscles. People whose jobs require them to sit eight long hours a day in front of a desk can benefit from doing Pilates.

It is a great exercise to strengthen your postural muscles that can help in relieving tension in your back, shoulders and legs due to classic desk postures.

Final Thoughts

You do not need to attend a Pilates class or go to a gym to enjoy and gain the benefits of doing Pilates. Pilates can be done at your own home as long as you have the right gear and equipment.

You can either do mat Pilates or reformer Pilates. However, reformer Pilates may be a much better choice for people who have a limited range of motion since the machine can be adjusted according to one’s needs.

Whichever your method of choice is, Pilates clearly is a great way to increase core strength, boost the body’s ability to burn fat naturally, and other great benefits it can do for your body. Adding resistance such as ankle bands, sliders and Pilates rings to your Pilates routine can make it more challenging.

1. How do I choose the right reformer?

Choosing the right reformer for your home setup is a very important decision to make. There are several things you must consider when looking for the right one. Some of the things you should ask yourself are whether you have space for a Pilates Reformer machine, how will it be used, if you have a preferred model or brand as well your budget limits. Answering these questions may help you in finding the right reformer for your home setup.

2. Can Pilates reduce belly fat?

Pilates is a great option for toning your belly. It helps strengthen core muscles and increases the fat-burning efficiency of your body. Pilates mixed with other cardio exercises can give big weight loss benefits.