The Pilates Reformer
What is a Pilates Reformer?
The Reformer is an adjustable bed-like structure invented by Pilates’ founder, Joseph Pilates. Probably the most famous of all Pilates’ equipment, it operates by using your bodyweight against spring resistance to build core strength. By increasing the power at the core of your body, all other kinds of movement become easier and stronger.
The Pilates Reformer is also ideal for yoga practice as it allows you to move between positions more easily, giving your mind the space to focus on your breath. There’s also plenty of scope for your yoga positions on the Reformer by using it as an aid to move deeper into certain poses or build strength with postures you find challenging before moving onto your mat.
What is so special about the Pilates Reformer?
Part of the Reformer’s charm is its adaptability. It gives you just the right workout for your body by adjusting to different body shapes and working with all levels of skill. The variety of positions available means that you can build movement fluidity and strength in every part of your body. The Reformer’s stable structure means you can work safely with areas of injury while other parts of your body rest.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced in yoga or Pilates, the outcome of working with a Reformer is a happier, healthier body and mind. The Reformer will give you improved posture, ease of movement, and a more toned physique.
How does it work and how do I work it?
You lie on the bed-like part of the structure (known as ‘the carriage’) and move backwards and forwards within the frame. How easy or difficult you find this will depend on the level you select on the springs. You can start off with an easy setting and work your way up to a higher resistance.
The most common Reformer exercises are based around moving the carriage. However, you can exercise using the Reformer from many different positions; lying down, sitting, upside down, etc. Many yoga positions will feel more comfortable with the support of the Reformer; it’s all about finding an adaption that suits you.
Image Credit: Dharma