10 Things You Can Get Out of a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore
A Pilates Reformer is probably the most recognizable equipment for this type of fitness regimen. Its hulking size may seem intimidating at first, but if you can go past your first impression, you’d be surprised at the range of benefits it provides. Here we break down 8 reasons why a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore will be a good addition to your fitness regimen.
What is a Pilates Reformer?
Pilates is either performed on a mat or specialised equipment called a Reformer, originally called a “Universal Reformer”. It is one of the 12 original Pilates devices which is designed as a bed-like structure rigged with bedsprings, headboards, and footboards. At first look, it may appear like a medieval torture device, but the overall design is intended to provide resistance when executing Pilates exercises.
Today, a Pilates Reformer comes with a more streamlined design. Different companies add their own spin to it with the intent to make it more efficient. The market now has a range of designs, from a Home Pilates Reformer to commercial-grade machines strapped with all the necessary bells and whistles to improve core strength, flexibility, balance, and stability.
Benefits of a Pilates Reformer
1. A strong core
Centering is the focal point of the Pilates method. It refers to the core of the body, or the “powerhouse,” where all the energy begins and radiates outward to the extremities. The level of resistance is adjusted by the number of springs that are attached. For example, one would provide the least resistance, while five represents maximum resistance that you can get from a standard Reformer.
This versatile, impact-free workout puts emphasis on strengthening the pelvic floor and the deep core muscles. When these muscles are engaged properly, they develop a stronger body with a stable foundation. Research even showed that a Reformer Pilates session can improve core stability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. With the strength arising from the core, one can maintain good control of the movements performed.
2. Improves overall strength
While targeting the core also allows better execution and command of the different muscles, Reformer classes also challenge the entire body. The pushing and pulling motion experienced by all your extremities against the resistance springs, carriage and body weight gradually builds strength. Without creating so much impact on your joints, it allows you to work all your muscle groups, even up to the smallest musculature in a precise and controlled fashion. This kind of strength training preserves and enhances your muscle mass.
3. Provides a full range of motion
The cables and bars of a Reformer device allows you to move your body with a full range of motion which is something that you might not be able to achieve on your own. It encourages you to extend to the fullest while you follow the track. With usual exercise, and without so much guidance, it will be easy for you to fall back into your old pattern of movements that are not as beneficial, or it may even be detrimental to your posture too.
Regular Reformer work trains your body to adapt to this full range of motion which also helps in proper body mechanics. This will ultimately result in fewer body aches and pains.
4. Improves coordination and balance
With its core stabilizing program, Pilates repeatedly stretches and strengthens the core muscles which maximizes the spine’s mobility and stability. Balance is achieved because a Reformer exercise can help maintain the proper musculoskeletal structure which also protects important muscles that are crucial for balance.
5. Better posture
The Reformer improves your posture because it trains you to develop and use core strength, instead of holding up your position with superficial musculature. It is an effective method in reinforcing movement patterns and strengthening efforts to ultimately improve your posture.
6. Faster results
The resistance provided by a Reformer exercise allows you to get results faster. You can adjust the springs and the moving carriage accordingly to a level that suits you best. As you become more proficient with the current level of resistance, you can proceed from reclined exercises to those that require less contact of your body and the carriage.
Since it encourages your body to assume proper body alignment with the core strength to boot, the results can be achieved much faster than other exercises.
7. Better back health
Core weakness is a recognized biomechanical deficit among those who are suffering from low back pain. With core strengthening comes better spinal alignment and a gentle release for tensed back muscles. Even the simplest Reformer exercise has the capacity to support the deep postural muscles of the trunk.
Having roots that go all the way back to ballet, some of the movements can be quite challenging. This explains why many of the exercises must be avoided if you have degenerative disc disease and significant back pain. It is advised that you consult your physician first before you sign up for any exercise program.
8. Promotes Better Alignment
Reformer exercises also put emphasis on neutral alignment of the spine and the shoulder blades. It levels the pelvis while the lumbar and thoracic curves are neutralized. Without this alignment, it can be difficult to perform other Pilates exercises. The Reformer acts as an assistant to help the person get into position or to perform the move.
9. Improves Muscle Tone
Pilates tones the body without the muscle bulk. With controlled and progressive movements, it can eventually reshape your body. It creates long, strong muscles for that leaner physique instead of a beefier build.
10. A Good Tool for Rehabilitation
A Reformer Pilates machine is great for rehabilitative purposes because it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion. It spares the legs from weight bearing and the vertical load, which is particularly beneficial for those who just had knee surgery or a knee injury.
Reformer vs Mat Exercise
A mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates classes in Singapore gives you pretty much the same results. It is done under the principle of essentially building core strength by working against resistance. But if you are looking for more variations and quick results, a Reformer class is for you.
It is superior to mat based Pilates with its repertoire of exercises that offers you with more variety. It works the muscles using a wider range of motion which complements efforts to build and tone your muscles while stabilising your joints. Compared to matwork which focuses mostly on the core, a Reformer Class works the entire body.
While it may seem intimidating at first look because of its appearance, it can be a good fitness partner. With the essential techniques provided by your instructor can be adjusted accordingly to suit your own needs. Therefore, private sessions are preferable at this stage because it allows beginners to get accustomed to the equipment.
How to Get Successful Results Reformer Pilates Class
1. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Since you’ll be using a full range of motion, it is important that you wear comfortable clothing. Stretchable clothing with a good fit, but are not too revealing, helps you assume various positions with ease.
2. Take It Slow
This exercise is not a race, so there is no reason for beating yourself up by pumping up the speed. Doing so can affect the quality of your movements and may end up being incorrect. With slower movements your body demands more energy triggering your muscles to work harder.
3. Maintain Proper Breathing
Breathing helps the body bring the body back to a relaxed state which helps you to focus on your movement.
4. Non-Skid Socks and Gloves Can Help
While going barefoot is the usual practice, some instructors will allow you to wear non-skid socks or gloves. The grips can provide traction and it prevents your feet from slipping on the machine, especially if your hands and feet tend to get sweaty. This allows you to focus on activating the proper muscles instead of focusing your efforts on crunching your fingers and toes to stay in place.
5. Be Mindful of Your Posture
Correct posture helps prevent injury while exercising. Not only will it benefit you while you train, you can also carry good posture even outside your fitness regimen.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore? Here at the Pilates Plus studio, we want to focus on your specific needs and how best we can tailor-fit our Pilates programs to your needs. You may check out our list of programs, here, and see which would best suit your preference.
Come and try a session with us today! Stretch your way to better health with our Reformer Pilates classes.