Pilates on the Reformer is an incredible movement system that is endlessly beneficial for your mind and body and one that should run so much deeper than the dream of a flat stomach! Beyond your toned abs your body will be transformed from the inside out. You will notice the difference in how your body looks and moves, improving your alignment, posture, strength and flexibility.
The calming power of reformer pilates will clear your mind, leaving you de-stressed and relaxed, while taking your body confidence sky high.
A Reformer Pilates class takes your whole mind and body through an incredible flow of movement, using actions such as squatting, lunging, rotation and extension. The aim is to get our bodies moving again, stretching, strengthening, increasing mobility and challenging our neuromuscular patterns to get our bodies back into sync.
Your coordination is not as good as you thought it was… While you thought you nailed your left from your right decades ago, there's something about trying to balance on a reformer machine that throws the whole system into disarray.
Exhaling and inhaling can be confusing… No matter how many times you're told to inhale and exhale throughout your session, you still find yourself holding your breath for prolonged periods, and only realising after your teacher spots your red face and pursed lips!
Rolling your spine is not something that comes easy…. While you're trying your hardest to complete the apparently fluid motion, you can't help but notice your spine touching the machine is more of a 'dunk, dunk, dunk' motion.
The sound of the carriage crashing 'home' is shameful…. While everyone else is able to keep their carriage steady and glide it 'home' with ease, you're accidentally smashing yours into the end of the machine and ruining the peaceful atmosphere.
The use of the straps is vaguely disconcerting... Seeing your feet in stirrups conjures flashbacks of labour, which is not what you need when you have core-work to do.
The image of yourself falling off the carriage never leaves you... Squatting is hard at the best of times but when you're on a surface which can move at a moment's notice, you do wonder whether a toned body is worth it.
You enjoy the sound of your voice telling people you do Reformer Pilates... You may struggle to get through a sequence without getting confused, but hey, no one except your trainer and classmates need to know that.
You leave every class feeling like a total superstar... Yes, you may have some improving to do, but when it comes to it, you're owning those straps, that carriage and those abs like a total pro.
What is the difference between Mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates?
With the introduction of Group Reformer classes to the timetable you might find yourself wondering…...”should I be rolling out a mat to do Pilates, or strapping into a Reformer “
Pilates mat workouts and Pilates Reformer workouts provide similar benefits. Working against resistance is essential to the Pilates method which is designed to train the body’s “powerhouse” (the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks). You can accomplish that in Pilates using either a mat, where your own body weight creates resistance, or a Reformer, where pulleys and springs create resistance.
But the question still remains: should you do pilates on a mat or on a reformer?
Here’s a breakdown of the two types of classes to help you decide.
Most beginners will start with mat classes in order to learn the techniques, build strength, flexibility, and posture. By building a foundation with mat Pilates, you teach your body how to control your muscles.
With reformer Pilates, you may see muscle tone and feel stronger in a shorter time than with mat Pilates, but the truth is that neither is better than the other. Mat training provides a foundation for learning to control your muscles while reformer classes add resistance to improve strength. A combination of the two will give you well-rounded strength and agility.
We recommend mat classes as the best bet for beginners. On average, beginners could typically add Reformer work after three months of once-a-week mat classes.
When doing Pilates on a mat or a Reformer, the amount of resistance and tension can often vary, but with a reformer it can be regulated. To some, Reformer equipment might resemble a torture apparatus, looking like a single bed frame but with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. However, far from painful, these cables, bars, straps, and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing.
The resistance created by the pulley and spring system can provide a more challenging strength and endurance workout than mat classes. It may also produce visible results sooner — arm, leg, and abdominal muscles can look firmer and defined within a dozen or so regular sessions. Plus, if weightloss is your goal, the reformer has a jump board, so you can get some cardio calorie burning in with plyometric work,
For people with physical limitations the Reformer is a far superior option. The Reformer can better help support and stabilize a person with compromised mobility — which potentially provides a better outcome.
Pilates is about balance. The Pilates Method was designed to include both mat and reformer practices. They were created to complement each other. Both forms will teach you how to use your powerhouse, make performing daily activities and sports easier, and tone your body along the way.
Almost all exercises found on the reformer can be found on the mat. You may not be able to execute a teaser on the reformer right away, but practicing on the mat will build strength and confidence for you to reach that goal on the equipment.
The bottom line is neither one is better than the other.
They both provide the fabulous benefits that is the Pilates Method
A Pilates programme on the Reformer will optimize knee function. To help you understand how to help your knees, it is important to understand the way your knees work.
The knee is a hinge joint and its primary function is flexion and extension. The knee joint lacks what we call intrinsic stability and so therefore it relies on the ligaments and muscles which surround the knee for support. An imbalance in the ligament and/or muscle strength will affect the function of the knee.
The ligaments provide anterior and posterior stability. They become vulnerable when the knee is twisted or hit from an angle. The muscles around the knee create movement and support the joint. The four muscles which support the knee are the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Hip abductors, adductors and external rotators and the lower leg muscles. When all these muscles work in perfect harmony our knees will keep us going for a lifetime without any problems!