If you’ve never exercised with a Pilates Reformer before, it might just look like a medieval torture device. But don’t be afraid: The reformer might be the tool you need to totally transform your body and take your workouts up a notch (or ten.) There’s a reason celebrities like Meghan Markle and Karlie Kloss swear by it.
What is the Reformer?
The Pilates reformer is a tool invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates to help strengthen and lengthen the muscles.
It includes a flat platform which is attached to the end of a frame by springs. That set of springs allows the user different levels of resistance. There is also a foot bar and long straps with handles to provide a full range of motion for different moves.
This one machine offers several modifications and opportunities for an extensive variety of exercises. So whether you’re new to the reformer or have been using one for years, there is always something new to learn.
Here are some reasons you should give the reformer a shot this year:
Strengthen Core Muscles
There is more to a strong core than endless crunches. The core is the cornerstone of many Pilates moves, and the reformer is a good example of that. The reformer’s rolling carriage and varying levels of spring resistance means the core has to work extra hard to support and stabilize the body.
You’ll be using your core in new and challenging ways, sometimes without even realizing it.
You can thank your core for better posture and balance, and the reformer will help you train those muscles quickly.
Eccentric Muscle Contractions
Pilates is famous for creating long, lean muscles without adding bulk. Where does that come from? Eccentric muscle contractions, which is when a muscle lengthens as it resists force. And when you use the reformer, that is exactly what you’ll be doing.
You’ll use the other two types of muscles contractions, concentric and isometric, as well. But there is special attention paid to eccentric contractions.
The reformer helps you strengthen and lengthen through pushing and pulling exercises, and using the springs to adjust resistance.
Evolution of Strength and Balance
The reformer might look intimidating, but it’s actually accessible to people at all stages of their Pilates journey. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry - there are plenty of introductory exercises to help you get used to working out on the reformer.
Part of the beauty of using a reformer is that you can use it to continually evolve. As you get stronger, you can increase spring resistance and incorporate different moves. If you need to modify, you can do that, too.
There are so many options using this one machine, and our students who work with it regularly love the versatility it offers.
Check out our schedule to join a reformer class, or contact us if you have questions.