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June 20, 2018 06:18 PM

What Is Mat Pilates?

Pilates is a form of fitness offering a low-impact, full body workout. 

But a common misconception is that Pilates requires special equipment, but that's not true. 

Forget about the big machines that come to mind when you think about Pilates. 

Instead, mat Pilates offers a different setting for your workout. 

"I think if you've never tried mat Pilates before you could easily watch the class and think, it's easy, it's going to be just a no brainer I can do that... and anyone can do it. But it is much more challenging," Rachel Person said. 

Person has been doing Pilates for eight years, both reformer and mat versions. She says the low-impact of mat Pilates is one of the reasons why she enjoys it. 

"As you are getting older it's harder on your joints, you want to find something like swimming but Pilates is a great thing to add into the mix," Person said.  

Instructor Chad Gomarko says the intensity of the class can be modified for your individual needs. 

"We always try to incorporate a more advanced, or a level 1, 2, 3 for simple terms of what options people have or what fits their individual fitness goals and needs," Gomarko said. 

With a focus on core strength, balance and flexibility. 

While mat Pilates invites all levels of fitness, instructors recommend meeting with a trainer ahead of your first class. 

"So for the beginner person they can become more comfortable and really that helps them move through each hurdle of their fitness more efficiently," Gomarko said. 

Gomarko says though it may look similar to yoga, the class differs because you're not holding poses but instead adding more dynamics. 

"It allows me to incorporate the strength, cardio aspects of fitness and then the Pilates integrates those movement patterns. So, people can incorporate a different aspect of training into their week," Gomarko said. 

Giving you a full body, low impact workout that participants say works. 

"It's nice to just challenge yourself and say you know what? I'm keeping my flexibility," Person said. 

For a list of Pilates classes offered at Avera Fitness Center, click here. 

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