The Reformer machine found in a Pilates studio defines itself – It reforms your body! It is probably the most famous piece of Pilates equipment. Reformer Pilates is more intense and more dynamic than mat based Pilates as it adds resistance to the Pilates exercises. Building strength in specific muscle groups is achieved by pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, leverage, angles, pace and body weight. Muscles have to exert force to overcome resistance which allows muscle fibre increase to occur, and connective tissue is strengthened. Training results in increased fitness levels, muscular endurance, and a beautifully toned body by working to overcome this resistance.
Muscle endurance enables you to perform everyday tasks effortlessly without quick fatigue setting in. Muscles are stretched and lengthened out rather than becoming heavy and bulky. Another benefit is improved lean muscle tone. Reformer Pilates is great for rehab purposes, as it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion and not be vertically loaded with weight-bearing through their legs. Clients who had knee surgery or a knee injury will benefit tremendously.
Pilate’s exercises are all about improving your core strength. The focus of proper positioning is within the core, abdomen and lower back muscles. Core muscles include all of the muscles of your midsection, including your abdominal muscles (front, side, and deep), low-mid back muscles and all of the hip muscles (glutes, hip flexors and pelvic floor muscles). Exercising on the Reformer requires proper body form and technique. Conditioning the core muscles correctly will stabilize and align your spine. Joseph said; “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young”.
A strong core, or as we like to call it, your powerhouse, will increase the effectiveness of all exercises due to your ability to maintain proper alignment. Core strength increases your ability to generate power for your muscles and decreases the risk of injury.
The Pilates Reformer dated back to the original Pilates Studio established in New York in the 1920s. Joseph Pilates designed the Reformer himself, and it has stood the test of time!