From tremendous health benefits for elderly females to helping improve performance in professional sports players, mat exercises play a huge role in enhancing balance and strengthening the core.
Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer and the co-founder of VIM Pilates, Vichael Mak guides us through effective mat exercises from the STOTT PILATES® Intensive Mat-Plus™. “By incorporating control and balance Pilates exercise into your training sessions, you can help your clients achieve improved strength, stability, and body control,” Vichael says.
What are the benefits of control and balance Pilates exercises on the mat?
Enhanced core strength and stability
Control and balance Pilates exercises on the mat emphasize engaging the deep core muscles. By targeting the transverse abdominis, multifidus, and pelvic floor muscles, practitioners develop a strong foundation, leading to improved spinal alignment, posture, and overall stability.
Improved body awareness and control
The precise nature of these Pilates exercise enhances body awareness and mindful movement. By focusing on precise alignment, practitioners learn to move efficiently, coordinating their breath with each exercise. This heightened awareness boosts coordination, balance, and graceful movement patterns in daily activities.
Increased flexibility and mobility
Control and balance Pilates exercises incorporate dynamic stretching, promoting flexibility and joint mobility. By combining flowing movements with controlled stretching, practitioners can achieve a greater range of motion while maintaining stability and control. This increased flexibility can help prevent injuries and improve overall physical performance.
Stress relief and mind-body connection
Pilates is renowned for its ability to promote mental well-being and reduce stress. Control and balance Pilates exercises on the mat encourage a mind-body connection by fostering focus and concentration. The mindful approach releases tension, unwinds, and develops self-awareness, ultimately leading to improved mental clarity and relaxation.
Suitability and accessibility
Control and balance Pilates exercises on the mat are suitable for a wide range of individuals, from beginners to advanced practitioners. It is particularly beneficial for:
Beginners: Control and balance Pilates on the mat provides a solid foundation for beginners to develop strength, stability, and body awareness before progressing to more challenging exercises.
Post-Rehabilitation Clients: the low-impact nature of mat-based Pilates makes it an ideal choice for individuals recovering from injuries or seeking rehabilitation. It helps strengthen weakened muscles, improve stability, and regain mobility.
Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: Control and balance Pilates exercises on the mat complements other forms of exercise by improving core strength, balance, and flexibility. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can incorporate it into their training routines to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
What are some dos and don'ts for optimal practice?
- Focus on proper alignment and technique to maximize the effectiveness of each exercise
- Engage the deep core muscles throughout the entire exercise, maintaining stability and control
- Encourage coordinated breathing, inhaling to prepare and exhaling during the effort
- Provide modifications and progressions to accommodate diverse fitness levels and abilities
- Incorporate a variety of exercises to ensure a well-rounded and balanced workout
- Avoid rushing through the exercises, and emphasize the importance of accuracy of movements
- Discourage excessive strain or tension in the neck, shoulders, or lower back
- Do not neglect proper warm-up and cool-down routines
- Don’t strain the body without giving proper time for recovery after a session
Enjoyed working out with Vichael?
Check out all his upcoming courses and workshops here.
We’d love to feature you!
Are you a Merrithew Instructor Trainer wanting to share an interesting exercise with the community? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to get featured in our most popular blog series.
Read this blog in Chinese >