What is Reformer Pilates?
Heard about the Pilates reformer but not exactly sure what it is? The Pilates reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment which dates back to the 1920’s invented by Joseph Pilates himself. It looks like a bed that uses springs as resistance, a sliding carriage, ropes and pulleys. Each spring has a different tension creating varying forms of resistance depending on the goal of the exercises.
The Pilates Reformer is a very versatile piece of equipment. Most of the exercises are done lying on your back, some are in a seated position, some kneeling and some standing. The horizontal anti gravity motion allows for clients to offload their back, focus on core control and regain muscle strength without straining joints. This anti-gravity motion works especially well for rehab purposes. For example clients coming back from knee surgery or injury, the horizontal weight bearing and loading enable the client to regain strength and full range of motion without the strain of body weight which will in turn speed up their recovery.
The Pilates Reformer is a full body work out. It can target big global muscles and use coordination to integrate multiple muscle groups together. It can also just single out and target specific smaller stabilising muscles especially in the glutes. It can work single and unilaterally to strengthen and off set imbalances in the body from side to side. It can also target and tone different muscle groups by using different planes of motion, on the back, lying on the side and on the tummy prone position.
Reformer Pilates is high intensity but low impact which is key for many people. It is great to offload pain in the back and knees but target core muscles. Reformer Pilates can also be used as a sport specific cross training tool.
Reformer Pilates works on core stabilisation which is vital to any athlete as well as muscle endurance, lactate tolerance, peripheral joint stability, muscle strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. Focusing on correct technique using the reformer Pilates machine can aid in their training especially for marathon runners, golfers and soccer players.