Level of difficulty: From rehab to advanced
Recommended for: Everyone
Many people peering into a pilates studio are probably quite scared of the reformer as it can appear intimidating and akin to a medieval torture tool. But after just one or two workouts it becomes evident that it is in fact a fun, versatile and an effective piece of equipment.
The Pilates reformer was designed by Joseph Pilates himself and dates back to the 1920’s and consists of a bed with up to 5 springs, a sliding carriage as well as leather straps and wheels. The springs provide the resistance and the number of active springs can be varied to adjust to both the purpose of the exercise and the ability of the person. This makes it an incredibly versatile piece of equipment to use as a workout or rehab tool.
The Reformer forms one very essential part of the classic pilates studio system of training. The added resistance from the springs can help bring the body back towards balanced aligned strength, stability and flexibility.
The Reformer equipment training is good for everyone at every level from rehab to performance athlete.
The training works on core stabilisation which is vital to every-body as well as muscle endurance, joint stability, muscle strength, balance and co-ordination.
On the other side of the spectrum Reformer training is used as part of your studio workout for rehab purposes as it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion, with the support of the carriage under your back for feedback. This can significantly lower the risk of further injury and can speed up recovery through controlled supported movement.
If you are a performance athlete you can also find a high intensity beneficial workout.
The exercises performed on the reformer form part of your studio workout and work the entire body in different directions which is ideal for building and toning muscles as well increasing stability through the entire back and joints. The reformer is also very effective for improving balance.
At Limhamn Pilates we use the classical Joseph Pilates design of Reformer, which uses wood and leather, which is not only true to our classical philosophy but also a lovely natural and nostalgic touch which makes the machine seem less intimidating.
What to expect in a class
During your intro class you are usually introduced to the basic reformer exercises which are selected according to your own bodies needs and capacity. Your instructor will move your body in different directions both laying, sitting and if appropriate standing on both the mat and foot bar. You can soon feel the benefit of the exercises and notice your own progress as your instructor increases the intensity as your entire body will allow.