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Reformer vs. Mat Pilates: Choosing the Right Practice in Brooklyn

If you’re in Brooklyn, New York, and considering starting a Pilates practice, you’ve likely heard of two primary options: Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates. Both offer fantastic benefits, but they are distinct in their approaches. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between Reformer and Mat Pilates, helping you decide which one is better suited to your needs.

What is Reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates involves using a specialized machine called the “reformer.” This machine provides resistance and support through a system of springs and pulleys. Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, designed the reformer to facilitate a wide range of exercises that challenge strength, flexibility, and endurance.

What is Mat Pilates?

Mat Pilates, on the other hand, is a form of Pilates that relies solely on your body weight and a mat. While it may seem simpler, Mat Pilates offers an excellent workout for your core and overall body strength. It’s the foundation of Pilates and focuses on the principles developed by Joseph Pilates.

Key Differences Between Reformer and Mat Pilates


  • Reformer Pilates: Involves the use of a specialized machine with adjustable resistance.
  • Mat Pilates: Requires only a mat, making it accessible and portable.


  • Reformer Pilates: Offers adjustable resistance, allowing for a challenging strength and endurance workout.
  • Mat Pilates: Uses your body weight for resistance, offering a more controlled and balanced workout.


  • Reformer Pilates: Often taught in group classes or one-on-one sessions with a certified instructor.
  • Mat Pilates: This can be done in group classes or on your own at home.


  • Reformer Pilates: Generally considered more challenging due to the use of equipment.
  • Mat Pilates: Suitable for beginners and offers a strong foundation for Pilates practice.

Which One is Better for You?

The choice between Reformer and Mat Pilates in Brooklyn depends on your fitness goals, preferences, and experience level:

  • New to Pilates? Mat Pilates offers an accessible entry point and helps you build a solid foundation.
  • Looking for a challenging workout? Reformer Pilates provides resistance and a variety of exercises for a more intense experience.
  • Prefer group classes? Both Reformer and Mat Pilates are available in group settings in Brooklyn.

Remember that some practitioners prefer to combine both forms of Pilates to reap the benefits of each. Many Pilates studios in Brooklyn offer classes that incorporate both Mat and Reformer Pilates exercises.

Whether you choose to roll out a mat or strap into a reformer, Pilates is a fantastic way to improve your strength, flexibility, and overall well-being. Brooklyn’s vibrant Pilates community provides a wealth of options for practitioners of all levels, ensuring you can find the perfect fit for your fitness journey. Start exploring Pilates in Brooklyn today!


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