The Reformer. You’ve heard of it but aren’t quite sure what it is. It’s a hefty machine that consists of a sliding carriage rigged with springs, bars and straps. You lie, kneel, stand and sit on the Reformer to create a balanced body and strong core — or “powerhouse,” as creator Joseph Pilates called it.
At the spring end of the Reformer, there is an adjustable foot bar to utilize with your feet and even hands during your workout. The Reformer also has long straps with handles on the ends that attach to the top end of the frame and can be incorporated to your workout with arms and legs. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what affect the mobility of the carriage; you adjust the Reformer to your body size and skill level by changing the springs on the machine.
So now that you know what the Reformer is, let’s look at what it can do for your body. The benefits of the Pilates Reformer are endless and will leave you wanting more!
5 Reasons to Try the Pilates Reformer
- Full Body Workout. The Pilates Reformer works your entire body through a range of movements targeting groups of muscles in your torso, arms, legs and shoulders. Additional benefits include improved muscle tone as muscles are lengthened and strengthened without appearing bulky.
- Increased Core Strength. Exercising on the Pilates Reformer requires proper form and technique within the core, your abdomen and lower back muscles. By conditioning the core muscles, they will contract with all movements to stabilize and align your spine. A strong core will increase the effectiveness of all exercises due to your ability to maintain proper alignment. Core strength increases your ability to generate power to your muscles and decreases the risk of injury.
- Improved Flexibility. Through deep stretches and slow transitions between controlled movements and balance on the Reformer, your muscles will strengthen, and your posture will improve, but most of all your flexibility will increase. Flexibility is vital for your overall health and fitness and will help prevent injuries as you increase activity.
- Improved Posture. Workouts on a Pilates Reformer will improve spinal alignment. With improved alignment, your muscles will strengthen and increase spinal support and stability. Improved posture will lengthen your joints giving you a taller appearance. Muscular imbalances will be corrected decreasing the risk for injury, especially to the lower back. Awareness of proper posture during exercise will carry over to awareness of proper posture when performing everyday movements.
- Reduced Body Fat. Exercise increases your metabolism, your body’s ability to burn calories. Increased muscle mass increases the number of calories burned. When the amount of calories burned is more than the amount of calories eaten, excess body fat is burned and used for energy to meet the increased demand.
In addition to many of its own unique benefits, the Pilates Reformer can step up the positives a Mat program provides, including better back health, flexibility and body awareness. Check out our schedule and register for a class today. Your body will thank you for it!
(Sources: www.livestrong.com, www.verywellfit.com)