If you think Pilates reformers are intimidating, you are not alone. But fear not, anyone who loves the reformer was once a beginner! With springs, straps and pulley it’s easy to shy away from it. Yet, press forward and you might discover your favorite new way to stay strong and balanced.
What is a Pilates reformer?
The Pilates Reformer is a piece of Pilates apparatus created by Joseph Pilates, the method’s founder. The reformer is made of a wood or metal frame with a leather-covered platform. The platform allows you to lie down, sit, or stand. The platform can move along a track with wheels or be secured by 3 to 5 springs in a stationary position. Above the springs is a foot bar which can be raised or lowered. Several exercises are done with the feet or hands pushing off the footbar.
On the backside of the platform are shoulder blocks, a headrest and pully ropes that loop through the back of the frame. Each loop has either hand or foot straps. Several props can be used on the reformer including the jump board, short/ long box, magic circle and fitness ball.
How intense is Pilates reformer?
A Pilates reformer workout varies in intensity. A well-trained Pilates instructor will teach the body in front of them, from absolute beginner to advanced. However, despite the level, Pilates works deep muscles at all levels.
New Pilates students may feel muscles engaged like they’ve never done before. With this in mind, yes, the Pilates reformer can be intense. However, it’s important to understand the approach to Pilates when discussing the level of intensity.
Pilates emphasizes correct alignment and form while working deep muscular levels. Because of this, expect to do fewer reps than a traditional weight training workout. Joseph Pilates said, “A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”
As you advance in your practice, the intensity of the workout can increase by picking up the pace, changing the spring load or adding in props.
Can beginners do the Pilates reformer?
Yes, beginners can do the Pilates reformer. Before jumping into a reformer class, all beginner students can benefit from a few private Pilates sessions. This will help you understand the key principles of Pilates and how to engage your core muscles correctly. Activating your core muscles is the foundation for all Pilates exercises. Additionally, you’ll walk into your Pilates reformer class feeling more confident and less intimidated.
What to expect in a Pilates reformer class
Joining a Pilates reformer class is an enjoyable, safe and effective workout. If it’s your first class, be sure to let the instructor know and if there are any conditions they should be aware of. This will help them give you a modified class if needed. As a beginner, they’ll be aware of helping you understand the movements and address any questions.
Most Pilates reformer classes are 45-55 minutes. You’ll be active through most of the class with breaks for instruction. You will likely experience exercises lying down in the reformer and possibly seated. Props may or may not be used while on the reformer as well.
Following the class, you’ll likely feel stretched and invigorated without being overly exhausted. Your core muscles will likely feel sore a few days afterward.
If you’re ready to step forward and try the Pilates reformer, join us! The certified Pilates instructors at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates in Peachtree City, GA create a welcoming environment for those new to Pilates. Visit us today!