Students regularly ask me – “what’s the hardest class?” It’s mat.
Mat is the least expensive class, so the perception is that it must be easier. It also doesn’t involve all of that awesome Pilates equipment, so it’s less, shall we say,
shiny, than our other classes.
But what it does involve is YOU, your body weight, and no help at all from springs or straps or poles. It’s you versus gravity, requiring you to fire the right muscles in the right order to move fluidly and correctly in all planes of motion.
And it is tough.
Case in point: me. I had two abdominal surgeries last June. I was medically barred from working out for two months, and when I came back, I did apparatus classes. It was only January of this year (a full six months post-op) that I went back to group mat classes, feeling strong enough that I wouldn’t embarrass myself (I am the studio founder, so I should be able to do all this stuff, right??).
Part of my hesitation to return to mat was the fear of aggravating angry abs and ribs. But a bigger part of it was my knowing that mat is just really, really hard. It’s not just me that thinks that. In fact, Joseph Pilates made all the awesome Pilates equipment to help people get strong enough to be able to handle, you guessed it: Pilates mat work. My mentor, Julian Littleford, admitted to me that he hated mat because, “it’s so hard.”
Can’t make it to the studio? Try a Fuse Pilates mat class on Pilates Anytime. Use this link to try the site free for 30 days.
This month, we’ve been participating in a global celebration of the Pilates mat work – March Matness. Check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the traditional exercises Joseph Pilates covered in his book, “Return to Life.” Watch the videos, and give them a try. And if you really want to work out hard, make sure you include mat (Fuse Pilates preferably) in your Pilates repertoire.