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Try This Classic Pilates Mat Sequence for March MATness (or Any Month This Year)

It’s time to join MOVE for what has become the annual tradition in recent years known as March MATness. Every March, the Pilates community celebrates the original mat exercises created by Joseph Pilates himself. While Pilates has evolved in so many ways, March MATness is all about returning to the roots of Pilates and performing the classic mat sequence of 34 exercises. Studios and Pilates enthusiasts around the world will all participate in their own way with contests, special classes, and tributes on social media. MOVE Wellness is no exception and we can’t wait to get going on our annual challenge and celebration.

Pilates Teaser on the Mat

How to Participate in March MATness

There are so many ways to join in the fun. Whether on your own or in a studio, we encourage everyone to dive deep and work their way through the 34 exercises. March MATness began in 2013 as one trainer, Benjamin Degenhardt, had an idea to share his journey through the original exercises on social media. The end goal is to rediscover the basis of Pilates and increase awareness. The only “rule”? Do all 34 mat exercises.

If you are connected to a Pilates studio, the simplest way to participate is to join in with whatever your studio has planned. If you don’t have access to a studio or Pilates trainer, you can start by grabbing a copy of Return to Life, the original text written by Joseph Pilates. Know your limits and practice the exercises within your personal abilities. Many of them are not easy. This is when working with a certified trainer is helpful. They can help modify the exercises in ways to achieve maximum benefit for each individual.

Pilates trainers on the mat

Next you’ll want to follow along on social media, and think about how you want to share your own journey. Document your progress with photos, videos, drawings, or variations and post it for the world to see. Be creative! Follow along with the rest of the Pilates community by keeping an eye on @MarchMATness, @MoveWellness, #MarchMATness2020, and #MOVEMatness. Be sure to tag your own posts too so everyone will see them. There is also a schedule of hashtags for each exercise (see below) arranged by day throughout the month. Use them when you post if you want the community to see what you’re up to.

Every studio will participate in their own way, and likely change it up each year to keep things fun. MOVE Wellness likes to support our clients in performing the 34 exercises by hosting an annual challenge. We will also participate in the online movement through social media by bringing awareness to our studio’s participation. If you join us, you can expect a sense of community, deeper knowledge of your movement practice, and some fun competition and prizes.

March Matness Logo

The MOVE Wellness 2020 client challenge will take place in four parts this year (rather than daily) with 8–9 exercises each week. Grab a tracking sheet at the front desk, and make sure you like and follow @MoveWellness on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.  

How to Participate:

  • Sign up at the front desk to receive your tracking sheet.
  • Challenge yourself to complete as many of the exercises as you can. Modified versions accepted!
  • Check off completed exercises in classes, private sessions or at home.
  • Post about your efforts on Instagram or Facebook to earn bonus points. 
  • Be sure to tag @MoveWellness and #MOVEMatness and #MarchMATness2020. 
  • Earn 1 point per completed exercise, and 5 points per bonus social post.
  • HINT: Ask your trainer to take your photo for a social post!
  • All participants will be eligible for weekly prizes drawn at random.
  • All participants who complete 30/34 original Joseph Pilates mat exercises will receive a MOVE swag prize for finishing the challenge.
  • The client with the most points at the end will receive the GRAND PRIZE of $100 in MOVE Bucks.

We hope you will join us and discover or re-discover all that mat Pilates has to offer your movement journey. Contact us for more information on how to get started.

Pilates Mat Sequence

Ready to celebrate March MATness? Here is the sequence of the original 34 Pilates mat exercises, along with the social media posting schedule, should you wish to follow it. Work through the exercises daily, or weekly along with MOVE Wellness. Once again, the only rule is to give each one a try.

#MOVEMatness Part One:

March 1: The Hundred (#hundred)
March 2: The Roll Up (#rollup)
March 3: The Roll Over (#rollover)
March 4: One Leg Circle (#onelegcircle)
March 5: Rolling Back (#rollingback)
March 6: One Leg Stretch (#onelegstretch)
March 7: Double Leg Stretch (#doublelegstretch)
March 8: Spine Stretch (#spinestretch)

#MOVEMatness Part Two:

March 9: Rocker with Open Legs (#rockerwithopenlegs)
March 10: Cork-screw (#corkscrew)
March 11: Saw (#saw)
March 12: Swan Dive (#swandive)
March 13: One Leg Kick (#onelegkick)
March 14: Double Leg Kick (#doublelegkick)
March 15: Neck Pull (#neckpull)
March 16: Scissors (#scissors) and Bicycle (#bicycle)

#MOVEMatness Part Three:

March 17: Shoulder Bridge (#shoulderbridge)
March 18: Spine Twist (#spinetwist)
March 19: Jack Knife (#jackknife)
March 20: Side Kick (#sidekick)
March 21: Teaser (#teaser)
March 22: Hip Twist (#hiptwist)
March 23: Swimming (#swimming)
March 24: Leg Pull — Front and Back (#legpulls)

#MOVEMatness Part Four:

March 25: Side Kick Kneeling (#kneelingsidekick)
March 26: Side Bend (#sidebend)
March 27: Boomerang (#boomerang)
March 28: Seal (#seal) and Crab (#crab)
March 29: Rocking (#rocking)
March 30: Control Balance (#controlbalance)
March 31: Push Up (#pushup)

Pilates Extension

While March shines a spotlight on Pilates, we need to remember all year long that the benefits of Pilates are vast. There is mounting research that Pilates indeed supports a number of pathologies, postural issues, and is an effective method for whole body strengthening helpful to all bodies at any age. Just a few of the benefits we can enjoy as a result of practicing Pilates include increased core strength, stability, flexibility, and mobility. All things that move us through our daily lives with ease.

Become a Pilates Enthusiast Any Month of the Year

It doesn’t need to be March for you to try Pilates! MOVE Wellness offers Pilates classes and private training sessions year-round. Contact us today and sign up for an introductory session. We’ll help you design a Pilates program tailored to your individual needs and goals.