5 Reasons To Try Pilates Matwork During The Circuit Breaker Period
Whether you’re looking for a new and uplifting hobby, or more ways to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle during the circuit breaker period, perhaps Pilates Matwork is something you might like to try out? You’d be surprised how inexpensively and easily it can be done at the comfort of your own home, and how beneficial it is for your mind, body, and spirit!
In this article, the team at Pilates BodyTree (PBT) breaks down 5 reasons to try Pilates Matwork during the circuit breaker period.
1. You can do it anywhere
Pilates matwork can be done at home with minimal space and equipment. The only piece of equipment you really need for it, a mat, is probably something you already have at home. If not, don’t worry because they’re pretty affordable, plus if you’re tight on space, mats are compact and easily stored when they’re rolled up and not in use.
PBT Tip: “If you're looking to buy a new mat, you might like to take note that Pilates mats are typically thicker than yoga mats. This is because of the extra cushioning for Pilates exercises that require your spine to move through articulations and put pressure on your back. Pilates sessions might also include some spinal rolling exercises such as the one seen below which is much more comfortable on a thicker mat.
We use Airex mats at the PBT studio. They’re on the pricey end, but are guaranteed to last. If you’re not looking to splurge on a mat just yet, that’s fine. Any mat with a thickness of at least 8mm is good!”
2. Sessions can be enhanced with just a few props
While it’s not at all required to get an intense workout, you do have the option of spicing up your matwork pilates sessions with the use of some props. Props are particularly useful in your pilates matwork session if you’re looking for to further challenge yourself in different ways, need slightly easier modifications of certain exercises, or to give you extra support if you’re still nursing the recovery of an injury.
Spice up your Pilates sessions with PBT’s top 3 props:
Blocks can be used as a feedback tool. For example, putting a block in between your knees in a Pelvic Press can help you feel your inner thighs work harder, align your knees and better connect to your core when performing the exercises.
Adding resistance will amp up the intensity of any exercise that isn't challenging you enough. It can also help you feel certain muscles in exercises that you usually won’t usually feel as intensely when done without the band.
A foam roller is usually used for myofascial release. But given its unique shape, you can perform matwork exercises while lying on it. Your body will have to work those intrinsic muscles to overcome the instability created by the roller. Those smaller muscles are important to develop joint stability and good proprioception.
3. Trains you to be mindful & tests your body awareness
People oftentimes think that pilates matwork is an easy workout or a beginner’s alternative to a pilates reformer class. Contrary to this popular belief, a pilates matwork session can actually be just as challenging (if not more) than a pilates reformer class, and this is because there needs to be a great deal of body awareness.
Unless you’re taking the option to use props, a session of pilates matwork will have you using nothing apart from your own muscles and body to put in the work. This strong need for body awareness means that concentration and focus is key throughout a pilates matwork session, making it not only a great physical workout, but one for the mind too where you can build upon your ability to concentrate and gain mental clarity too.
4. Improves posture
If you’re spending most days during this circuit breaker period working from home without the most ergonomic workstation, it’s likely that you’re hunched over your laptop in poor posture. Sitting for long periods of time with poor posture can result in spinal and joint dysfunction and both short-term and long-term pain or damage.
Pilates helps to reverse the effects of bad posture by strengthening the core, correcting alignment and improving muscle symmetry so you can say goodbye to common neck and backaches as you WFH.
5. Offers holistic physical benefits
No matter what fitness activity you choose to do, it’s bound to challenge you physically. Certain exercises might focus on one aspect of physical gain more than others, whether that might be to tone muscles, burn fat or build strength.
Pilates offers an array of physical (and mental) benefits. It provides a holistic set of physical benefits by challenging and improving strength, flexibility, dynamic balance and endurance.
Ready to take all these benefits home and give pilates a go?
Pilates Bodytree is hosting Virtual Pilates Matwork classes every Tuesday (14, 21, 28, April) & Thursday (16, 23, 30 April) at 12.00 – 12.30pm during Singapore’s circuit breaker period.
Featured Contributor: Pilates BodyTree
Pilates BodyTree is a team of teachers with a passion for life and the aim to enrich people's lives through movement.
Whether to manage pain and injury or to increase enjoyment in a certain sport, career or family life, we believe that to live well, you have to move well. That requires flexibility, mobility and strength - what we call Mobility Fitness™.
It's more than just about building muscles, losing weight or breaking a sweat. It's about helping you to do things you love for a long, long time.