Pilates Reformers

WHAT IS THE PILATES REFORMER?

The Pilates reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates and is a bed-like frame with a flat platform that rolls back and forth on wheels.

The reformer assists the individual in achieving the goals of Pilates, which include the use of diaphragmatic breathing to organize the body’s posture through coordinated movements with an emphasis on postural control.

The platform is called the carriage, and the carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs allow you to adjust resistance to the carriage, which will be pushed and pulled along the frame by your own body weight and strength. There are also shoulder blocks on the carriage that keep you in a stable position so that you’re not sliding off of the end of the reformer .

There is a footbar at the end of the reformer — an adjustable bar that holds the springs. Your feet and hands can be placed on this bar depending on the exercise. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that your feet or hands can be placed in to; these are at the top of the frame opposite of the footbar. The springs can be adjusted to affect both the footbar and the handles, to modify the workout for different skill levels and body types. In fact, the reformer is used not only by people looking to strengthen their core, but also by dancers for training and injury rehabilitation.

WHAT RESULTS CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A PILATES MACHINE?

The reformer accommodates a full range of motion, which is great for increasing flexibility while building strength. The pushing and pulling with the arms and legs against the resistance of the springs, carriage and body weight makes this a unique strength-building full-body workout that’s different from the regular Pilates exercises performed on the mat. Specifically, when you hold the cables in your hands or put your feet in the cables, you allow your muscles to extend to the fullest position. And while mat Pilates does include some exercises that work the legs and arms, they’re usually done with no resistance unless you’re using light dumbbells or a Pilates ring as an accessory. The reformer is able to target your arms and legs while still focusing on the core, providing a more comprehensive workout.

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