Your Guide to Reformer Pilates

Have you heard of reformers before?

The reformer is a piece of equipment that leaves a lasting impression when you first see one, but even more noticeable are the changes in your body when you use them consistently for 12 sessions over a period of 1 month.

You’ll see these machines  lined up in Pilates studios as reformer classes are one of the most popular choices offered. What makes the reformer so special and addictive? To find out about what a reformer is, how it works and what the benefits are, read on.

What is a Pilates reformer?

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The reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates. It has a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs.

The springs create resistance through the push and pull movements along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks that keeps one from sliding off the end of the reformer, while pushing or pulling the carriage. At the spring end of the reformer, there’s a padded bar called a foot bar where you place your feet and push to move the carriage.

The reformer also has long straps with handles that are attached to the top end of the frame. They can be pulled with your legs or arms to modify the way your body moves. Body weight and resistance of the springs make the movement of the carriage difficult. Reformers can be used for different body sizes and for different fitness levels. Even if you’re a beginner, you can hop on a reformer for a basic but effective Pilates session.

How to use a reformer:

Once you’re on a reformer, nothing can stop you! Different variations of workouts can be performed on the reformer that promote strength, flexibility, and balance. Most Pilates reformer workouts focus on pushing or pulling the carriage or holding the carriage steady while the springs provide tension.

Reformers are known for their versatility. Workouts can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the foot bar, resting on the foot bar, resting on the shoulder blocks, upside down, sideways, and numerous other variations.

With the help of reformers, you can train every muscle of their body. There are numerous reformer exercises for beginners and advanced levels. Reformers are inclusive, no matter your gender, fitness level or age.

Benefits of reformers:

If you’re looking for overall strength, flexibility, toning, and balance, Reformer Pilates could just be the solution you need. Get ready to lead a better lifestyle with better posture, graceful and effective movement and even relief from pain associated with physical imbalances.

Pilates focuses on the core muscles that are used for building strength. A strong core and spine combined with a toned body are all results of this emphasis. While Pilates mat exercises do that too, the reformer creates a unique and varied experience because of the additional support from the frame.

The reformer is enough to accommodate full- range motion, which is necessary for adding flexibility while forming strength. Pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, and body weight in addition to the variety of movements helps create strong muscles. There’s also something called eccentric muscle contraction which provides added oomph to provide additional lean muscles.

The rolling carriage with the springs set at different levels of resistance provides all kinds of stability challenges that develop core strength and promotes better balance.

Another way to add variance is simply by adjusting your posture on the reformer. Having just your lower body on the carriage while you are seated upright forces you to engage your core and control the machine momentum as well as your balance. Changing the combination of springs used also determines which muscles have to work harder for a particular movement. These variations improve your overall balance and core strength which leads to better posture and increases overall health.

Learning how to use reformers:

The best way to learn Reformer Pilates is in a professional, dedicated Pilates Studio with a couple of private classes. At Neo Pilates, our experienced trainers specialize in offering in-studio reformer Pilates in Thane. We also offer online Mat Pilates sessions for those who can’t make it in-person. Once you have taken a class with our trainers and understood the basics of Pilates, you’ll want to include Reformer Pilates as a regular part of your routine. Don’t believe us? Contact us for a trial session now.

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