Reformer Pilates is very different to ‘Pilates on the Mat’ and I see many clients who try the Reformer and never go back.
But why is it so popular, what are its benefits and how can it be used in Women’s Health?
What is the Reformer?
The Reformer is an exercise machine which uses various spring resistances to offer different types of challenges to exercise. Depending on the aims of each exercise being performed, the resistance of the machine can be altered to focus on core work/strengthening or control. Different muscle groups can be targeted through specific exercises, but each exercise works the whole body, particularly the core.
Because of this, as far as muscle strengthening and toning are concerned, the Reformer gets results.
And women want to see results!
What are the benefits?
Exercising on the Reformer has many benefits and some of these are listed below.
- Improved Core Strength
The principles of Mat Pilates [and Pilates in general] are also applied to the machine. Breathing, precision and flow of movement and positioning are key elements which bring about specificity to each exercise, with a strong focus on ‘centering’ or core engagement. This deep and strong connection with the core enables the client to improve stabilisation, which impacts on functional movement and strength.
- Improved control/balance and co-ordination of movement
Pilates is known for focusing on these core principals, and using the Reformer turns up the volume on them even further. The use of the springs can be adjusted to focus on core and control work which can be just as challenging as strengthening work!
- Pelvic-floor safe, functional exercise
Exercises on the reformer can be tailored to suit each individual person. Low impact, functional exercises on the machine [which may involve squatting/lunging/pulling and pushing], with a focus on breath and core activation can bring pelvic floor work into each exercise, whilst also strengthening the main muscle groups of the body.
- Bone safe exercise
Exercising using the reformer strengthens all of the body’ main muscle groups and this strengthening can pull on the bones, which helps to strengthen them also.
- Improved posture
Pilates focuses on alignment, maintenance of posture and position and the repeated emphasis on these key elements enables the client to improve body awareness and postural awareness. The muscles of the core have an important role to play in spinal stabilisation and posture and so by strengthening these muscles groups, posture may be improved and enhanced.
Could it be for you?
Reformer Pilates can be hard work! But it’s important to remember that a good Pilates teacher will always modify and adapt exercises to suit, your specific level of ability and any specific issues you may have. As a result, it can suitable for a variety of conditions and levels of experience.
If you have never used a Pilates machine before its important that initially you have an induction to ‘get to know’ the machine [its not as intimidating as it may look!]. Its also great if you have done Mat Pilates before or at least, have an initial foundation in Pilates work and the key principles involved. These will always be taught to you during each class anyway, but having a background is really helpful!
If you’d like to give the Reformer a try, contact us to arrange your induction session now.