The Reformer itself was invented by Pilates founder, Joseph Pilates. It’s a (pretty terrifying-looking) bed-like frame, with a carriage that attaches to the frame via a set of springs. The spring/pulley system offers differing levels of resistance, and there are a range of straps, boards and boxes that attach to allow a variety of exercises.
The first time you see a Reformer you’ll probably feel a little intimidated… and I’ll be honest, the words ‘50 Shades of Grey’ do spring to mind. But try to case aside any misgivings, because once you climb on it’s actually pretty simple to use and – if you’re anything like me – you’ll pretty much never want to get off! Here are five reasons you should try it.
It can re-shape your body
One of the most famous quotes from Joseph Pilates is “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a whole new body.” It’s seriously not an exaggeration! Pilates on the Reformer increases strength, lengthens muscles, improves core and literally re-shapes your body.
It’s great for building core strength
Reformer Pilates strengthens your core like nobody’s business. Every exercise you do on the Reformer is designed to engage those deep core muscles, and you’ll find that it makes you more aware of your core in everyday life too. As well as a nice, toned mid-section, increasing your core strength means more protection for your lower back as well as improved sports performance.
The Reformer allows you to increase strength while keeping your body aligned, which is incredibly important during pregnancy. Improving your core strength will also help to prevent lower back pain, and as for the pelvic floor strengthening… your post-baby self with thank you for that. There are quite a few pregnancy-specific classes around, but I’ve also noticed quite a few pregnant women taking part in regular classes (with instructor-led modifications). [as a side note, pregnant women in particular should always consult with their doctor before beginning an exercise routine].
It’s a rehabilitation tool
The slow and controlled movements of Reformer Pilates put minimal impact on your joints, thus helping you to regain your strength and mobility without putting undue pressure on your body. The focus is always on alignment, core engagement and control, making it a great option when you’re recovering from recovery.
It can help to clear your mind
You’ll find there’s a real focus on breath during each Reformer Pilates session. Connecting that breath with your body takes a lot of focus, ensuring there’s no space for thinking about all the washing you have to do, the argument you had with your partner or what you’re going to have for dinner.
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