Can You Do the Pilates Reformer On The Mat?

Do Reformer exercises exist on the Mat? Yes, no and maybe so! Well, actually, it’s more yes than no and a lot of similarities. Why? Because, when Joseph Pilates first created his method it was on the Mat. And, then what he noticed was that most people could not do the Mat work on their own. They needed help, strength, flexibility, awareness. So, he created the Reformer and his other apparatus to allow his students to be able to rock the Mat. 

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • August 16, 2018
Table of Contents

Can You Do the Pilates Reformer On The Mat?

Do Reformer exercises exist on the Mat? Yes, no and maybe so! Well, actually, it’s more yes than no and a lot of similarities. Why? Because, when Joseph Pilates first created his method it was on the Mat. And, then what he noticed was that most people could not do the Mat work on their own. They needed help, strength, flexibility, awareness. So, he created the Reformer and his other apparatus to allow his students to be able to rock the Mat.

But, what if you don’t have a Reformer? Are you stuck only doing the Mat? Or, what if some of your Reformer exercises need a little extra work? Well, in theory, if you had a studio with all the equipment you could simply practice the Reformer exercises on the Wunda Chair, Cadillac and more. But, most of us don’t have regular access to equipment. So, having the option to hit your Mat and practice your Reformer work is essential!

Recently I was teaching at Momentum Fest  and I created a class called “Reformer on the Mat.” It was inspired by the Mat class I taught for Pilates Anytime where I talked about all the Reformer exercises I wanted my students to pull from while doing their regular Mat work. So many students loved this class that I created a workshop it for my latest Pilates Retreat in Maui.

Some exercises on the Reformer look identical to the ones on the Mat but without the straps or springs. For example, the Hundred the Mat looks like the 100 on the ReformerOverhead looks like Jackknife. But what about Tendon stretch? How can you recreate that one on the Mat? Or, the Headstands?

Getting creative in thinking and imagination is key. But, it’s more than just doing the choreography of an exercise. You also want to recreate the essence, the concept, the why behind the exercise. So, that when you go back to the Reformer you are stronger, connected and able.

If you missed out on my Pilates Retreat in Maui you can still get all that I taught in this workshop online. And, if you want your own Pilates Retreat Maui experience 2019 is your year! But, it’ll be a different workshop. So, get your Reformer on the Mat here and then be sure to tell me your favorite exercise in the comments below!

xx~LL 

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

TOPS 'N TAILS

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Tops ‘N Tails (or Tops & Tails) is a wonderful expression I grew up with! It means being ready-to-go…from top to bottom, front to back, end to end! Isn’t that exactly what Pilates does for our minds and bodies? It encourages us to ready for any adventure that comes our way because our workouts use variety to engage the whole body, and to focus our minds.

This month’s Reformer workout will have us exploring Tops ‘N Tails by working from the ends of The Order. We’ll alternate exercises from the beginning and from the end of our usual routine for a challenging time! You’ll need your reformer box and pole.

On the Wunda Chair and Mat we'll be focusing on working from the top half or the tail half of our bodies! While every exercise requires the whole body. Setting ourselves up for success from the Top to the Tail makes the most difference!

On the Cadillac/Tower we will work on how the top half of the body helps to support the bottom half and vice versa! Pilates allows us to use the whole body to help with strength from Top to Tail! Let's explore how the springs on the Cadillac/Tower make us connect to the whole body in each exercise.

xx-LL

MEET ME HALFWAY

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we’re going to focus on how we use Abduction and Adduction to center ourselves, find our control, and harness our power. We’ll be working about halfway through The Order of Exercises on both the Mat and the Reformer with an Adduction - squeezing toward center - focus , then we’ll go back to the beginning and repeat those exercises with an Abduction - pulling away from center - focus. You’ll need something you can squeeze and something you can pull apart. So grab a ball and a resistance band, or just a magic circle and meet me halfway!

See you in class,

Tami

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a ball and a resistance band, or just a magic circle and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a ball and a resistance band, or just a magic circle and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

LEG PULLS ARE FUN

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Alright so maybe they're not fun! But, what we think about an exercise does matter! And if you don't like an exercise or you tell yourself you can't do an exercise I promise you your brain and body will believe it!

So, I'm taking Leg Pulls (Control Push Ups on the Reformer) and making them fun! So we can ALL enjoy what is possible from these dynamic duos!

Have a squishy ball or stuffed toy nearby for our Leg Pull moments on the Mat. Reformer no props needed.

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a squishy ball or stuffed toy and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

CONTROL YOUR BALANCE

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Alright loves, you may not like going overhead and you may not be able to…yet..

But this week on the Mat and the Reformer we will be ready-ing ourselves to Control our Balance.
Yes, the exercise but there are so many ways to work this that if you are not going upside down you're going to feel your balance get controlled!

Think long legs, asymmetrical legs and maybe even a little single leg deadlift.

On the Mat, if you do struggle with balance go to a wall during the standing work or have a chair nearby. No extra props needed for the Reformer.

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

SLINKY SPINE?

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I know you remember the slinky! So wouldn't it be nice if our bodies could move like that? Well, it's not necessarily good to be super bendy, but it is good to be able to articulate the spine when we are able. In the classes this week we will work through the articulation and flexibility of the spine, as well as pay attention to trying not to go too far. Finding your strength and connections in your flexion and extension is going to be the key! Hopefully, you will feel like a slinky here and there throughout the class!

See you in class,

Mindi

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

HORSES HORSES HORSES

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

If you are a lover of the Reformer chances are you have little love for the Horseback. I don't blame you. It's not that fun. If you're on the Mat you probably have no idea what this means…

And that's ok! Horseback is like a seated Teaser but harder!

On both the Mat and Reformer we will be playing with how to connect to this exercise, prepare for it and find a Horse that works for us!

Props: Mat, have light weights nearby

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, have light weights nearby and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS SKIP TORSO DAY!

Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

I was thinking of arm days and leg days at the gym, and even the memes you see, which can go both ways. Either dragging yourself around the day after because you're so sore, or you have no muscles at all to hold you up because you skipped those days. Always the extremes with the memes (hey, that rhymed!), and that’s why we love them.

But this is what I love about Pilates - it’s the full body, the whole body. Everything is working together so one part is not overdoing it, while another part is doing nothing. The upper body, the lower body, and the side bodies are connected to our center, so that’s where our focus will be. Even when you think it’s about the arms or the legs, how can you ask a little more of your center to engage?

Props for the Wunda Chair: yoga block and long box for some exercises

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

TOPS & TAILS

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Tops ‘N Tails (or Tops & Tails) is a wonderful expression I grew up with! It means being ready-to-go…from top to bottom, front to back, end to end! Isn’t that exactly what Pilates does for our minds and bodies? It encourages us to ready for any adventure that comes our way because our workouts use variety to engage the whole body, and to focus our minds.

This month’s Reformer workout will have us exploring Tops ‘N Tails by working from the ends of The Order. We’ll alternate exercises from the beginning and from the end of our usual routine for a challenging time! You’ll need your reformer box and pole.

On the Wunda Chair and Mat we'll be focusing on working from the top half or the tail half of our bodies! While every exercise requires the whole body. Setting ourselves up for success from the Top to the Tail makes the most difference!

On the Cadillac/Tower we will work on how the top half of the body helps to support the bottom half and vice versa! Pilates allows us to use the whole body to help with strength from Top to Tail! Let's explore how the springs on the Cadillac/Tower make us connect to the whole body in each exercise.

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋