What is Reformer Pilates?
The reformer is a piece of equipment specifically designed for Pilates, where a variety of exercises can be performed. You can be lying down, sitting, kneeling, standing, on your hands and knees just to mention a few.
The reformer is made up of a moving carriage that can be pushed or pulled. There are 5 adjustable springs with varied tension that can be attached or removed for the purpose of the exercise. Adjustable straps where your arms and legs can either move the carriage or keep it still. Some reformers have additional props and towers that offer more attachable springs and bars that add even more variety to programs.
What are the benefits of
The same Pilates principles apply to the reformer as they do on the mat - an opportunity to work on your breathing while strengthening deep abdominal muscles that aid in supporting the spine. Pilates also improves posture, correct muscle imbalances, and work on flexibility, balance, and control.
Reformer Pilates challenges your stability and truly fires up your smaller more neglected muscles. You’ll feel muscles that you never knew you had. It’s great for creating an overall balance between the body and other types of training, especially if you tend to focus on high-impact and HIIT-style workouts. Depending on the desired outcome, Reformer Pilates can assist or challenge strength, flexibility, stability, coordination, and control.
The great thing about the reformer Pilates is that it is suitable for anybody. It can cater for all shapes and sizes, ages, and all levels of experience from beginner, intermediate, advanced as well as injured clients but should always be under the supervision of a qualified reformer Pilates instructor.
Rehabilitation and Recovery with Reformer Pilates
Over time, when we exercise, we can develop muscular imbalances through the body, especially if we partake in a sport or a particular type of exercise repetitively. We tend to overuse the same muscles and underutilize others. With the same repetitive movements regularly, it’s no wonder we succumb to certain injuries in the localized area!
Reformer Pilates challenges you to work on continuous movement. It challenges you to stabilize the spine and pelvis and control the movement through each phase of the movement, therefore continuously working the body. However, don’t mistake lower intensity as easy. Pilates on the reformer is very humbling, it will highlight where you tend to undercompensate but also offers you an opportunity to work on them. What you learn through Pilates on the reformer, will be transferrable to other areas of your regular training and life.
Individuals with hip and back injuries/pain, sciatica, lower and upper limb injuries can work on their rehabilitation, build up strength and movement awareness in a safe and controlled manner. The range of motion through joints can be progressed without compensating with other muscles, helping to correct imbalances and reducing pain over time. Working on flexibility and mobility can be easier, and more enjoyable, with the support of a reformer - the footbar and the moving carriage. The carriage is a foot off the ground which can be helpful in getting into a more comfortable position without stressing the joints. So if you have poor hip and hamstring flexibility, reformer Pilates is a great way to work on improving it.
The reformer really is amazing with an abundance of benefits and once you try it, you’ll wonder why you never tried it sooner! Instead of being scared or curious about that “weird piece of equipment” why not book in to see how it can help you with your wellness or fitness goals?