March MATness Begins...

February 24, 2017


Ahhh, our favorite time of year is finally here again!


What is March MATness?


Originally created by Benjamin Degenhardt, every March we pay homage to the foundational work via sharing our versions (and love!) for the original 34 on social media. My favorite part of March MATness is it's lack of competitive spirit - yes lack of! There's no competition for "Best Pilates Exercise". Instead we celebrate everyones journey through the 34 and relish in the fact that each day, month and year maybe we get a little better. Our leg gets a little straighter, we roll up a little smoother, and hold the legs a little higher. 


"What is unique about the campaign is that for one month, the community pays respect to the traditional Mat exercises as documented by Joseph Pilates in his book Return to Life through Contrology. It’s an artful practice of 34 bodyweight movements that are invigorating and effective in conditioning the body."


-- Benjamin Degenhardt



Bringing us to the most important part: How do I participate? It's easy: 


1. Find a practice space and dedicate some time each day - whatever time you have perfect. The idea is to practice everyday, not stress about how much time you have. 


2. Get a copy of Return to Life (or just scroll down for the list of exercises). But really I encourage you to read the book - hearing in Joseph Pilates' own words why we do what we do is invaluable. 


3. Start the exercises! One each day until we reach March 31st. If you cannot perform an exercise, find a modification on our social media pages. By the end of March you will be completing your version of each of the 34 exercises in succession. A workout a day!


4.  Feel the difference. Mat Pilates everyday? Yes. I know it sounds daunting. Many of you don't even like the Mat. Get over it - it'll change your practice and how you feel. It's only 31 days - you can do it! And when you do, tag #corechicagopilates, #marchmatness2017, and the name of the exercise so we can all see what you're working on!


The Original 34: 


1. #hundred
2. #rollup
3. #rollover
4. #onelegcircle
5. #rollingback
6. #onelegstretch
7. #doublelegstretch
8. #spinestretch
9. #rockerwithopenlegs
10. #corkscrew
11. #saw
12. #swandive
13. #onelegkick
14. #doublelegkick
15. #neckpull
16. #scissors and #bicycle
17. #shoulderbridge
18. #spinetwist
19. #jackknife
20. #sidekick
21. #teaser
22. #hiptwist
23. #swimming
24. #legpulls (front and back)
25. #kneelingsidekick
26. #sidebend
27. #boomerang
28. #seal and #crab
29. #rocking
30. #controlbalance
31. #pushup


For more details please visit Benjamin's site: for the history of the movement, pictures from social media and more information on his newest venture: 360 Pilates. 




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March MATness Begins...

February 24, 2017

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