The Pilates exercise method has a vast amount of repertoire and it’s not only performed on a mat. There are several pieces of equipment used in Pilates, including the Reformer. Clients can do Reformer group classes or one to one sessions.
The Reformer is a great way to target muscles with accuracy and really make a profound change in your posture, strength and endurance. Reformer helps you look great: strong upright upper back, toned legs and flat abs. The more knowledgeable the teacher, the greater the ability to cue and correct the client, and really get results.
The reformer looks like a leg press of sorts, with ropes, springs and a foot bar. Sometimes we use a box to facilitate exercises.
So how does it work?
Clients are taught how to use their abdominals properly in order to get the benefits of Reformer. Every exercise helps challenge your abs and in turn strengthens the lower back. There are two different pelvic positions and these help you to assess your abs and your posture.
No shoes are used, to help us get better hip, knee and ankle alignment in leg work. Better ankle strength is achieved and improved leg endurance.
The feet in straps exercises will help strengthen underutilised muscles, such as hips, inner thighs and glutes (buttock muscles). They also lengthen leg muscles and strengthen the lower back.
The repertoire also has plenty of upper body exercises, which are great for helping weak shoulders and arms. By strengthening the deeper muscles in the shoulder (rotator cuff), we can teach clients to gain control of their neck, upper back and shoulder blades. Many people suffer with neck pain and are not strong in their shoulders. The Reformer has a unique way of allowing you to work in strength zones without experiencing the pain of lactic acid build up in muscles yet still get strong in the true sense.
There was a time where I would have trained only with weights for strength. Then I found Pilates which added an extra dimension to understanding how my body works and offers a way to keep my physical body young. A flexible strong body is a young body. Reformer offers the extra missing component to strength: healthy joint movement, deep stability and also tone. Many people in sport choose Reformer to help lengthen and relax over-worked muscles. It also helps to work muscles which are not directly used in that sport but are certainly need for prehab (preventative rehab), continued stability and to keep the in the game, on the bike or running strong.
In addition to all that, Reformer workouts leave you feeling lengthened and strong without the bulk. If we stretch without strengthening our muscles we leave ourselves open to weaker muscles. Pilates looks at the strength length relationship within our bodies and gets us injury free and feeling like we can move free and easy.