First comes Reformer, then comes Mat

I am so tired of people telling me how easy Pilates mat classes are. If you’ve ever come to my Pilates mat class, those words have never come out of your mouth. People have been advised to begin their Pilates practice on the mat – possibly because it’s more accessible, possibly because it’s cheaper. Or, worst case scenario, because it’s “easiest.”

Pilates Matwork

I couldn’t disagree more with the easier part. From my perspective, Pilates mat classes are among the hardest repertoires of all equipment… Caveat: when doing it correctly. The trouble is, people do it wrong. Plain and simple. (Well, not in my mat class, but generally speaking.) The trouble with Pilates mat exercises is that they are intended to be full body, focusing specifically on the tiny muscles whose primary purpose is to stabilize. Stabilization is not sexy. Nor is it fun. It is damn difficult. Again, doing it correctly is the difficult part.

And that brings me back to the trouble with starting on the mat. Most people just don’t know how to do it correctly. It’s not their fault. Pilates mat work is a sophisticated technique that has been softened to appeal to the public via YouTube videos. In truth, Pilates mat work is a beast.

Group Pilates Matwork

Allow me to introduce the Reformer. It’s not just a clever name, folks, it reforms bodies. So, you want to change your body, reduce chronic pain, adjust alignment, prepare for sport, or recover from injury? Get on a Pilates reformer and let the transformation begin.

Aside from the fact this torturous piece of equipment can wield thousands of exercises, it is the perfect assistant in doing everything correctly. In perfect alignment, you feel which muscles do the work, and that is half the battle in doing something correctly. If you know what you should feel, you know how to adjust your body to trigger that muscle. It’s not rocket science, it’s smart exercise.

Group Reformer

Pilates is a mind-body movement, in which the mental connection to movement harnesses a great deal of power and strength. Once you’re able to feel and connect the right muscle groups, magic happens. And, by magic, I mean change. Improvement. Postural corrections. Strength. No more chronic pain.

Through the equipment, we can easily adjust the exercise specifically to your level. We can safely teach you the principles of mat-based movements that sufficiently challenge and build muscle while you’re learning the basics. And after you’ve proven you can hang in a reformer class, then and only then, should you enter the gates of hell to Pilates mat. Well, maybe not hell, but you’ll be surprised just how challenging it is after you’ve “mastered” the equipment!

We advise our members to wait on taking Pilates mat until they have a moderate comprehension of Equipment classes. Once they show proficiency, we graduate them to mat. And then the challenge starts over again. As a teacher, one of the most rewarding experiences is watching a client transform. And I can tell you from experience that the ones who practice both equipment and mat Pilates have the best form, posture and strength of them all.

If you’re dead set on taking Pilates mat classes first, you’re in god hands at Rev. However, I can promise you that if you take our equipment classes first, you’ll be way ahead of the rest next time you join mat.

If you’re interested in getting started towards your health and fitness goals, please contact us by email:

Want to see fun videos of our amazing members performing circus stunts on the Pilates reformers and other various equipment? Please follow us on Instagram.

Determined to start with a fabulous mat workshop? Please register for one of our upcoming workshops with special guest Anula Maiberg by clicking here.