What is a Raised Mat?

A raised mat is a wooden raised platform which is covered in padding and then leather/PVC, giving users a firm, comfortable and safe area to workout. On the raised mat, we teach the mat exercises invented by Pilates himself. In the classical system, we have the three levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and the instructor works the body through the different levels according to body type, rehabilitation issue and fitness level.

The raised mat is a wonderful piece of equipment to work on as the body feels supported and safe. At the front of the raised mat are two additional blocks (called moon boxes) used for wide leg positions. At the front of the mat there is a strap which users can slide their feet under to give an extra level of security in certain exercises, and at the rear of the mat, two wooden poles extend from the mat to give arm stability in certain exercises.

What the Raised Mat is used for?

It’s difficult to explain the feeling when working on a raised mat. But the main use of a raised mat is to workout and feel amazing! The body feels supported and cushioned by the mat. The additional props (moon box, strap and wooden pole) gives additional support when needed. Although some clients find the raised mat the most challenging piece of equipment (due to the fact that its ultimately just you and your body with gravity), the mat clearly shows the areas of strength (and weakness) which exist – allowing the instructor to challenge and improve the areas required. The raised mat workout can also be completed at home workouts, so many students of classical Pilates will work on home exercises of the raised mat repertoire.

Specific Exercises/Workouts we do on the Raised Mat

The hundred is a classic exercise which opens the mat workout. An exercise loved by beginners through to advanced practitioners, it warms the body up and fully connect with the deepest abdominal muscles.

The stomach series challenges the abdominal muscles and gives practitioners a sense of development as they progress in their own Pilates journey.

Rolling like a ball – is seriously good fun, as well as being a challenging exercise to connect with the core. An amazing massage for the spine at the same time.