Pilates Matwork is the perfect foundation for understanding and mastering all other forms of Pilates. Although the five basic principles of STOTT PILATES® are implemented in machine-work as well, they are easiest to recognise and understand when you do Pilates exercises on the mat. Matwork is basic and pure. Just you, your body and gravity. It may seem simple, but looks can be deceiving. Although the coordination of most mat-work exercises isn’t too complicated, this gives us the opportunity to focus on detail.
Clients sometimes describe their first couple of mat-classes as a journey through their own bodies. On the mat, they immediately find themselves confronted with their strengths, weaknesses and habits. For their instructor, matwork is an equally useful tool to get to understand their clients’ bodies better and to accommodate and modify accordingly,
Although the mat repertoire is very versatile, abdominal exercises play a central role in most mat classes. This ‘ab-work’ aims to build strength, stability and (particularly) endurance of the core. Although every workout will also include extension, rotation and lateral flexion of the spine, the focus on abdominal work may result in a somewhat flexion-oriented (rounded forward) work-out. As effective as that may be, a lot of flexion may not be suitable for clients with acute disc herniations or severe diastase and they are advised to either attend mat-classes that are especially designed to meet their needs, or to consider reformer-classes instead.