When you first see a pilates reformer, you could be forgiven for thinking it looks as though it was built for torture, rather than exercise. But don’t think of it as something that will cause you pain – in fact, it might end up preventing future pain, by giving you added strength and flexibility.
Pilates, as an exercise system, has gained a lot of attention for producing long, lean muscles that so many people want. But the core of the philosophy, if you’ll forgive the pun, is strengthening the “powerhouse” muscles – the abs, lower back, hips and glutes. And that’s exactly where the reformer can help make the biggest difference.
While it’s true that you can practice pilates on an exercise mat, the reformer gives you added resistance to work against as you build your strength. A reformer essentially consists of a frame, inside of which is a padded platform for you to sit on. The platform can glide back and forth, but the frame is also equipped with springs, a foot bar and straps that you’ll use to push, pull and create resistance.
Because these are expensive pieces of equipment and can be complicated to use, it’s a great idea to take pilates reformer classes. Not only will you learn the most effective ways to use the reformer, giving you the best results, but a certified pilates instructor can ensure that you’re working your way through the exercises safely.
There’s also an advantage in working with a trainer in private pilates classes. One-on-one sessions can help you specifically address your needs and goals, which is particularly helpful when you’re trying to overcome injury or take your athletic skills to a higher level. Studio U offers a variety of options for pilates reformer classes, so you can find the class that’s right for you.