The Benefits of the Pilates Reformer

Designed by Joseph Pilates, the reformer is a machine based on spring resistance. It has a carriage that moves forward and back along stable rails. For certain exercises, cords with straps for your hands or feet may be added. The reformer challenges you to use your core as you push and pull against the springs.

Because Pilates is the “thinking person’s” exercise, and direction on the reformer is key, many report leaving reformer classes with a sense of clarity and focus. Building on key Pilates principals, you will leave the reformer feeling balanced and strong, lengthened and open.

Reformer classes are for all levels of fitness, various body types, and can be beneficial for people with specific needs. Depending on the class, a reformer workout can be challenging, very releasing and gentle, or both.

You should consider a reformer class if ...

  • you are looking for a physical and mental challenge.
  • you have balance issues. You can strengthen the appropriate muscles needed for balance without fear of falling.
  • you need to lengthen and release. The reformer’s corded straps — which you can attach to the arms or legs — will help you do this. 
  • you have an autoimmune or inflammatory disease. The flowing motion is gentle on the joints, and the mind-body connection is like no other workout. A reformer workout helps stimulate the central nervous system, which the muscles respond very positively to.
  • you have bone density issues. Osteoporosis is on the rise — 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men over 50 reportedly have it. Keeping the spine in a safe position while exercising is crucial. The reformer can help you focus on safe positions while working with resistance, which is exactly what you need to keep osteoporosis from progressing.

If you have any questions about the reformer, or if you'd like to schedule a session, feel free to contact me. You can view my upcoming group reformer classes here.

Group Classes vs. Private Sessions

If you have contemplated trying Pilates and are not sure whether to take a group class or private session, here are some things to consider.

Private Sessions

Injuries: If you are recovering from an injury and are ready to start moving again, a private session is a wise choice. Your session will be focused exclusively on you. You will be assessed and instructed on how to stay stable and strong while moving. Your posture and alignment will be the focus so you can strengthen and balance while staying safe. You will be able to give immediate feedback as to what may or may not feel right, allowing for adjustments in both your alignment as well as your range of motion.

Illness: For many of the same reasons listed above, people recovering from illness choose private sessions. The session will be adjusted to your ability, with the goal of building on strength, length and posture.

Specific Goals: You may be training for an event such as a marathon or have another fitness-related goal. Private sessions will enable you to be specific as to what you need and how you want to be challenged, and a plan can then be developed to master the goals.

You Prefer One-On-One: Private sessions—with their many benefits—may simply be your preferred way to take classes.

Transition: People new to Pilates may like to start off by taking privates to receive individual attention while they're learning. They will then transition into group classes but more often than not, they will also have private sessions.

Group Classes

Overall Workout: Group classes are usually a great way to get a well-balanced, full-body workout.

Group Setting: Some may prefer working out with a group for various reasons, such as the social aspect, the encouragement and motivation of others in the class, or simply the enjoyment of attending with a friend.

Accountability: Seeing others on a regular basis encourages some to show up weekly when they may not have otherwise.

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Whether you decide on private sessions or classes, a certified, professional, knowledgeable instructor is what will make your experience a positive one.

Contact us for more information on whether privates or classes are right for you.