Do not fear the Pilates Reformer! I continually see people refer to the Reformer in articles as “what appears to be a torture device” – I am here to tell you that this is incorrect. First of all, let me be clear, the Reformer is NOT a torture device. To be quite frank, it doesn’t really appear to look anything what I would imagine a torture device to look like. Anyway, if you are at all familiar with fitness equipment you will recognize that the Reformer is a fitness tool. However, what I can see as being tricky is understanding how this tool can be utilized for “get fit” purposes.
Once you get the hang of it, it is an amazing way to experience mind body fitness, and there are always new things to learn and new ways to build upon your current understanding and use. About.com writes about the Reformer, “Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations thereof. In other words, the reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment.”
Using the Reformer, you’ll see many of the same benefits as you would from a Pilates mat class: strength, flexibility, muscle tone, balance. What you might notice is that these subsequent “results” result faster when using the Pilates equipment versus the mat classes. From this increased strength, flexibility and so on come the benefits that Pilates is so well known for: the long, lean look; better posture; the incredible mind-body connection and overall sense of well being.
If you’re a newbie to the Pilates Reformer, I always recommend starting off with a private session. This allows you to feel completely comfortable and allows time for the instructor to offer customized modifications that a group class may not allow time for. However, right now at the studio we’re offering Group Reformer Sample Classes! These 30 minutes sessions are complimentary and limited to 3 people – a great way to ease into a larger group class. I highly recommend giving it a shot – I might be biased, but I think you’ll love it. Check out our schedule on MindBody Online for dates and times!