The Ultimate Guide to Pilates Reformer
What is Pilates Reformer?
When talking about Pilates, the first thing that comes to mind is the Pilates Reformer—the bed-like apparatus with tension cables attached. It may look intimidating but the Reformer is no more difficult to use than the usual equipment in most gyms in Singapore. At Pilates Plus, Reformer workouts are gaining popularity among those who practice Pilates for weight loss, strength training, and resistance building.
The Reformer was invented in the late 1800s by Joseph Pilates, who sparked the global Pilates movement. It was initially called the Universal Reformer, one of 12 original devices Pilates designed to help soldiers injured in the war.
The bedframe-like platform is called the carriage, which is mounted on wheels that roll back and forth. There are cables and bars attached to the platform, with the overall design intended to provide full-body resistance during exercise.
When you pull the cables with your arms and push the bars with your legs, your muscles extend to the fullest position. The Reformer lets you move your body, executing a full range of motion that you usually can’t do on your own, or by using a single equipment.
Note, however, that you’ll need an instructor to guide you through the proper movements and breathing, which is essential to Pilates. Without proper guidance, there’s a risk of unduly straining the muscles, and you’re likely to fall back into your old movement patterns.
Pilates Reformer Exercise—what can it do for you?
Pilates Reformer is an excellent workout for your core—the body’s powerhouse comprising the abs, lower back, hips, and glutes. At the same time, the exercises target the arms and legs (remember those cables you need to pull and bars you need to push on?)
Using the Reformer regularly trains you to develop proper body mechanics and adapt to a full range of motion. And while Mat Pilates does include exercises that work the legs and arms, they’re usually done with no resistance unless you’re using dumbbells or a Pilates ring.
What’s more, Pilates Reformer workouts have more exercise variety than Mat Pilates. In short, you’re getting a more comprehensive workout that tones the muscles, stabilises the joints, enhances flexibility, improves posture, and corrects balance when in motion.
More importantly, the resistance that the Reformer provides lets you get results faster. You’ll achieve your fitness goals more quickly by using just one equipment instead of multiple gym machines, too.
As your body gets accustomed to the basic movements, you can adjust the springs and the moving carriage to higher levels of resistance. In a month or so, you can expect to move from reclined exercises to workouts that require less contact between the body and the carriage.
Pilates Reformer Workout—who benefits the most?
Since a Pilates Reformer workout is heavily focused on full-body alignment and accurate muscle engagement while working the core and limbs too, everyone benefits! These include cross-training athletes and workout newbies.
Pilates Reformer is also an excellent exercise for males looking to build strength or females who want to improve their physique (and vice-versa). Those who are approaching or are already in their senior years will likewise benefit from the flexibility-enhancing and balance-building workout.
Many studies show that doing Pilates Reformer once a week for 2 to 3 months can result in reduced risks of falling over. There are also significant improvements in dynamic (moving) and static (standing still) balance as well as functional mobility among adults 60 years and older.
Another great thing about Pilates Reformer is it helps treat back pains with its core-strengthening effect. As the spine becomes more aligned, tension is eased from the trunk and back muscles, so the aches and pains go away, the more you work out.
Also, Pilates Reformer is recommended for rehabilitative purposes as it allows the patient to exercise while lying flat on their back. Doing so spares the legs from bearing weight, which is particularly beneficial for those who have undergone knee surgery or have knee injuries.
Pilates Reformer Class—how much does it cost?
“Why are Pilates Reformer classes priced higher than Mat Pilates or other similar exercise programs,” you might ask. The simple answer is that it’s a more focused and specialised regimen, and there aren’t that many qualified instructors.
The equipment alone is costly, even the home-use ones, plus the workouts have to be done in a studio under the supervision of trained coaches if you want real results. The machines also have to be maintained and adequately calibrated regularly, hence the added expenses.
Here at Pilates Plus Singapore, we offer Reformer Group Class Packages at $475 for 12 sessions, valid for 4 months. The class is inclusive of Reformer Allegro, Reformer Fundamentals, and Reformer Strength Series courses.
We also have a Reformer Plus class, a unique hybrid package that lets you enjoy Reformer sessions and non-Reformer sessions for 4 months. We’ve made our Monthly Packages accessible to all (at $345 per month, unlimited, for all classes) so everyone can join!
Although group sessions are less expensive, we recommend taking private sessions if you’re a Pilates Reformer beginner. It’s because the essential techniques should be adjusted to suit your own needs and physical capabilities, and you have to get accustomed to the equipment.
So, if you want to see lean muscles, visible improvements to your posture, and tangible results in terms of flexibility and stability, come on in! Pilates Plus Singapore is here to help you achieve that body-mind balance we all need to lead healthy, happy lives.
People with degenerative disc disease and severe back pain should consult with their physicians first and foremost. Pilates Reformer is neither intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical treatments. Before taking up any exercise program, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.