7 Different Types of Pilates Methods to Know About

different types of pilates

Let’s Explore Various Pilates Types Such as Mat Pilates, Contemporary Pilates, Classical Pilates, Winsor Pilates, Reformer Pilates, Clinical Pilates, and Stott Pilates

Pilates is a type of exercise that is designed to strengthen the muscles, lose weight, and gain optimal physical and mental health. It was designed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s’ and is still quite popular among all age groups. Pilates has evolved from time to time and changed as per the various requirements. In this article, we will check out the 7 different types of Pilates!

Various Types of Pilates

There are the most popular seven different types of Pilates!

1)  Mat Pilates

As the name indicates, mat Pilates is done on a mat, and there is no need for any type of equipment. The mat is a bit larger and more cushiony than a yoga mat. Because mat Pilates can be done from home also and you don’t need to travel to the Pilates studios or classes, it gained tremendous popularity during the recent pandemic. Many Pilates instructors have started providing virtual live Pilates sessions, or online 1:1 coaching using platforms like Yottled.

Try these mat Pilates exercises that will strengthen your hips, pelvic floor, shoulders, legs’ muscles, and lower back:  15 Most Popular Mat Pilates Exercises

Here’s a detailed article: Mat Pilates and Floor Pilates: What is Mat Pilates? Definition, Benefits, and Business Ideas

2)  Reformer Pilates

Pilates exercises done with some special types of machines are known as reformer Pilates. The machine is called a Pilates reformer or simply reformer. There are almost 60 different kinds of exercises that can be done using Pilates reformer. This type of Pilates should be done under a trained instructor’s supervision. Reformer Pilates is expensive, generally starts from $40/session. They are best for the spine, legs, and shoulders.  Once you’re an expert, you can buy the reformer at your home, too.

The reformer has a long flat platform with a slide that glides back and forth. On the top, there are strings tied to provide resistance, and on the bottom side, there is a rod (foot bar) to support the legs in certain types of Pilates exercises. Pilates reformer costs between $3,000 to $9,000. The add-ons accessories like a reformer box, rotational Diskboard, Jumpboard, Vinyasa Triangle, etc. cost about $300 to $500.

Here’s what a Pilates reformer looks like.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PILATES
An image showing the machine/equipment used in one of the Pilates types called reformer Pilates

Image source: merrithew.com 

3)  Clinical Pilates

Clinical Pilates is a therapeutic exercise offered by some qualified physiotherapists as a part of treatment for various injuries and health conditions. Clinical Pilates is meticulously customized for each patient as per their location of the injury on the body, weight, and health issues. This type of Pilates is claimed to be helpful in stabilizing the muscles of the neck and lower back, accelerating recovery after surgery, and reducing chronic pain.

4)  Classical Pilates

Classic Pilates is the original form of Pilates that is based on a sequence of exercises. These exercises are carefully designed by Joseph Pilates that follow steps in a particular order. It starts from the basic foundation exercises and leads to more complicated ones gradually. The seamless transition from one exercise to another and its sequence are the core concepts behind classical Pilates.  

5)  Contemporary Pilates

Contemporary Pilates means including various other types of exercises in classical Pilates. Contemporary Pilates = classical Pilates+ additional workout from other exercise categories. Other categories may include yoga, physiotherapy, aerobics, aerials, etc. Some people even consider clinical Pilates to be a part of contemporary Pilates.

Unlike classic/traditional Pilates, which follows a strict sequence of steps and exercises, contemporary Pilates are modified and adapted as per the user’s needs, body types, lifestyles, and physical conditions. Many Pilates instructors use various prompts like stretching bands, rollers, dumbbells, gym balls, etc., along with traditional mats and Pilates reformers.

6)  Stott Pilates

Stott Pilates is based on two main principles.

  • Restoring the original curve of the spine.
  • Protecting, realigning (in case of injury), and improving the condition of the muscles surrounding the joints.

Stott Pilates is helpful to anyone having any severe pain, surgery, or injury in the spine, neck, back, and shoulders.

What Is the Difference Between Stott Pilates and Pilates?

In classical Pilates, the focus is on the flat back while exercising, while Stott Pilates’s workouts are designed to restore the spine’s natural curvature. In other words, Stott Pilates is designed to support and restore the original curve of the spine. Another difference between Stott Pilates and classical Pilates is that many of Stott Pilates’ exercises are designed to incorporate tools like stretching bands, exercise balls, weights (dumbbells), rings, etc. While basic Pilates doesn’t require any of such tools.  

7)  Winsor Pilates

Developed by Mari Winsor, Winsor Pilates emphasizes breathing coordination and targets the “band of energy”, i.e., the middle area of your body (abdomen) to reduce weight. It also includes other classical Pilates exercises. There is a total of 13 breathing and physical exercises which are performed on the mat for 20 minutes. The breathing exercises are developed in a way that they increase the oxygen level in the blood. It also improves the working of abdomen muscles and enhances the metabolism which ultimately accelerates the weight loss process.

Here is an original video from Mary Winsor: How to do Winsor Pilates

What is Hybrid Pilates?

Hybrid Pilates means combining Pilates with different other exercise types. Here, you’re adding some tools and techniques of Pilates and merging them with other exercise types like Yoga, Aerobics, Aerial, dancing, etc. For example, when you use an Aerial (A silk fabric hammock, tied on the ceiling and hung 3 to 4 feet above the ground) to do Pilates, it’s a contemporary hybrid Pilates. In the same way, when you do poses of yoga using a Pilates reformer machine, it is also a hybrid Pilates. Another way of doing hybrid Pilates is working on your breathing by combining Windsor Pilates and breathing yoga exercises like pranayama and Surya Bhedana.


Medha Mehta

Medha Mehta

Medha is a Sr. content marketing manager at Yottled. She is passionate about writing, SEO, and digital marketing. She's a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast.

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