The Pilates Reformer and what is it all about
I admit, the Pilates Reformer does look like some sort of torture device – but it totally isn’t and when you have had a go on one you won’t look back. Imagine a piece of equipment that challenges you not only with body weight exercise but that supports you in ‘your box’ and adds resistance. You set the control and working through different resistance springs you are able to get that perfect ALL OVER workout. Pilates on the mat is great and you need to learn how to control the exercises and keep them within your range of movement and in ‘that box’, when you exercise on the Reformer ‘the range of movement box’ gets easier to control.
The key differences between Mat and Reformer Pilates
Mat based Pilates is easily accessible for everyone and you can either use body weight or a range of equipment to help add resistance. Basically if you have a mat you can do Pilates, it is also widely heard of. With Mat Pilates for beginners if you do not hold core strength it can take time to understand how the controlled form of exercise works.
A Reformer can add support for beginners and challenge the strength of the advanced level. A Reformer-based Pilates routine is an effective programme to provide a full-body workout because the constant resistance of spring tension on a moving carriage keeps the whole body active and working through controlled ranges of movement. The Reformer is like your teacher as you have to get into the right position to ensure you’re working the muscles correctly. All reformer sessions are 1-1 so you are constantly monitored for correct posture and alignment for your reassurance.
Have you heard of the Reformer?
Pilates took off when it got popular with dancers as they realised how important it was to be long, lean and strong throughout the whole body. The design of the Reformer helps you to achieve long, strong muscles because you are in control of every movement. It works on a ‘Pull’ or ‘Push’ action of the carriage against spring tension and you will improve strength and tone without bulk. Working every part of your body it improves posture and core stability as well as improved definition in arms, legs and abdominals.
A Reformer is not a cheap piece of equipment to buy and also to qualify to teach on and with very few teachers owning them hence the lack of knowledge locally about them.
Recommended sessions on a Reformer
In Pilates, the way the exercises work the focus is all about quality of movement over quantity of repetitions so you leave energised rather than broken. The beauty of Reformer Pilates is that, unlike some other physical activities it can be done everyday. It is gentle enough not to tear muscles like weights, yet can be challenging enough to keep you working hard and get you stong. There are so many exercises and movements on the Reformer you won’t get bored.
“Joseph Pilates said that with his method of exercise ‘In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.’ This is always my feedback from clients that between 6-10 sessions the penny tends to drop and they start to notice a difference in the way they hold themselves and how they feel.
As the Reformer sessions are 1-1 often the budget from each client will dictate how many sessions he or she has a week. It is very much once you try you are hooked though! Be warned.
Long term benefits
With regular Pilates practice (on mat or reformer) it will improve your overall strength and flexibility and help you move more efficiently in daily life. Pilates also helps you to improve your posture and to strengthen muscles that help stabilise the spine and pelvis. This core strength helps to minimise back pain due to muscular imbalances and the body working incorrectly. It is important to remember that like any activity, the more you do it the better and stronger you become. As you advance, the benefits just keep building and the results will continue to improve. You will always be able to push yourself no matter if a beginner or advance level – this is the beauty of Pilates for everybody.
Benefits for everyone
- Everyone can do it!
Pilates is the most gentle, safe and effective way to exercise, and the beauty of doing it on the reformer is that you can adjust the level of intensity to suit your own body, using the springs.
- Tone and Reshape
If you’ve done mat Pilates before, add on the resistance of the reformer as well as the body weight you have a whole new way to tone up your body. You will never bulk up with Pilates- you will just re-shape it.
The reformer is a great way to start exercising after an injury. The equipment is so gentle, and this combined with the fundamental principles of Pilates – precise movements performed in a safe way – will help you regain your strength and posture.
- Antenatal and Postnatal
Pilates is a great way to exercise when pregnant as it involves deep core, pelvic floor and posture exercises. It will significantly help you recover after giving birth and also bounce back quicker to the shape you were before. For Postnatal the Reformer helps you to get your strength back safely.
You will increase your flexibility from doing reformer Pilates. Being more flexible will reduce any stiffness and soreness as well as help in building those long, lean muscles.
Exercising is one of the key factors in improving energy – come and try the Reformer and see how much energy you have after the class. You will sleep better, learn how to manage stress and generally feel much healthier.
1-1 Sessions are available on a weekly basis. Please contact me via Facebook for more information.