The Pilates Reformer: A Tried and True Pilates Must Have


It’s true that most people have heard of Pilates. This core strengthening exercise developed years ago by Joseph Pilates is one of the most common and popular classes at the local health club. What many people don’t realize is that the Pilates Reformer has been around for as long as Pilates has. The Pilates Reformer, though now created by various companies, was originally designed and created by Joseph Pilates himself.


In fact there are numerous photographs of Pilates, his wife, and his niece (Mary Pilates LeRiche one of his most devout students) standing and sitting on and amongst the Pilates Reformers. With the name like ‘reformer’ many automatically think that this is a new twist on Pilates but really it’s quite old.


So by now you’re probably wondering just what this piece of equipment with the daunting name is and what it can do for you. While most gyms or health clubs generally don’t have the Pilates Reformer, studios focused on Pilates and yoga will.


The Machine Basics


The Pilates Reformer consists of 6 major parts that work in synchronicity to give the user a focused Pilate’s workout. These parts are:


  1. Wood or metal frame
  2. Carriage
  3. Gears
  4. Straps or ropes
  5. Spring system
  6. Adjustable footbar


Basically the Pilates Reformer resembles the traditional leg press machine you find in virtually any gym. The user lies down flat on their back on a type of padded seat. Your feet are then ‘attached’ (usually there are leather straps on the footbar to help hold your feet in place) to the footbar. The ‘seat’ where the user lies slides much like a rowing machine or leg press up and down freely.


The exerciser uses the arm and leg bands to get a full, focused Pilates workout while sliding up and down the frame of the Pilates Reformer. It sounds (and looks) intimidating but once you get used to it the Pilates Reformer can work wonders for you body.


The Pilates Reformer is Great For:


  1. Re-aligning leg posture
  2. Re-aligning torso
  3. Increasing upper body strength


When you use the Pilates Reformer the leg straps are an integral part of the workout. Placing your feet in the straps (or your hands for the upper body workout) you follow through specific movements designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the body.


A few of the most common workouts on the Pilates Reformer are the frog in leg straps, leg circles, pulling straps, hundreds, hug a tree, rowing, Eve’s lunge, and more.


This is one of the most popular types of Pilate’s workouts around. It can really help to keep you aligned and in the proper positions to get the most out of your Pilates workout.


If you are considering purchasing your own Pilates Reformer shop around. Not only do these machines take up a great amount of room they can be costly. Prices range from $200 to $20,000. If you don’t have experience with these machines consider trying out a few workouts on the Pilates Reformer at a studio with one of their own before you make the investment.


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