What Is The Difference Between Mat And Studio Pilates?

 In Equipment, Pilates

Over the years of running my own studio and being in the Pilates industry for 15 years, I have had numerous questions of clients asking what’s the difference between mat and studio (equipment) Pilates.

Studio Pilates is similar yet very different to mat based Pilates. Studio Pilates is done using the Pilates equipment,working against resistance in a rehab based program. It is generally more intense and more dynamic than mat based Pilates as it adds resistance to the Pilates exercises via the use of the springs and pulleys which form part of the machinery.

The differences include:

Mat Pilates:

  • Own body for resistance
  • Need to be in full control of your body, can’t rely on equipment and apparatus for support
  • Baseline of all Pilates movement and techniques.
  • Fast-paced
  • Specific/limited to injury
  • Great flow.
  • Able to focus on body.
  • Strengthens you from the inside out
  • “Teach your mind to control your body, instead of your body controlling your mind.”






Studio Pilates:

  • Different levels in any position on the reformer
  • Pulleys and springs to guide
  • Resistance work for quicker results
  • Supports client
  • Reduces amount of physical stress on the body
  • Better for clients who have chronic injuries or imbalances.
  • More exercises than a traditional Mat Pilates class.
  • Anyone can do a studio class
  • Keeps clients challenged
  • More intense and dynamic





Many people are quite scared of the pilates equipment when they first see it as it looks quite intimidating. But any fears you may have, put aside because after just one or two workouts in a studio environment session, you’ll realise that it is the most versatile and effective way to exercise……plus it’s great fun!

Here at Ajillity Pilates, we design and create programs for the individual for their needs and goals in a studio environment, utilising the pilates equipment and incorporating some pilates mat repertoire to challenge one self.

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