Mat Pilates borrows from disciplines such as dance, yoga and classic calisthenics. The standard Pilates system of exercise uses many different pieces of equipment, such as the reformer, cadillac and barrel. But, the mat Pilates series of exercise is performed equipment-free, with the moves adapted to work with just your body and a floor mat for cushioning and support.
Mat Pilates is a way to stretch and strengthen your body, primarily the muscles of the core, which span from your hips to your shoulders. Joseph Pilates developed this exercise methodology in the early 1900s to help fellow internees in a German national camp in England and, later, World War I veterans injured in the war. Later, Pilates brought his exercise system to the United States and opened a gym with his wife.