Pilates on machines – how does the exercise reformer work?

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The reformer is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to perform numerous combinations of Pilates exercises. How does the reformer work and how does a workout using it look like?

How is the Pilates reformer constructed?

This bed-like device is one of the most effective pieces of equipment used during Pilates training. The reformer consists of several basic parts. The main element is a frame that resembles a bed. In the middle of it there is a special moving platform, which allows you to perform specific exercises. Springs are attached to its surface, which allow you to set the appropriate resistance of the machine when pushing or pulling the platform.

The parts are adjustable, which makes it easy to adjust not only to the load, but also to the body size of the athlete. An additional element of the machine is the handrail located in one part of the bed. It is on it that the hands or feet are placed during exercises. The platform is also equipped with a bolster on which you rest your head. The last of the basic parts of the construction of the reformer are the shoulder pads, thanks to which the body maintains a stable position while performing exercises.

What does the training on the reformer look like?

Thanks to the advanced construction of the reformer and the possibility of setting individual parameters, the device allows you to adjust the level and type of exercises to each user. The equipment can be used for training to improve the sense of balance, develop body coordination, cardio, functional, and even motor skills.

Thanks to the possibility of adding to the reformer so called jumping board, i.e. a vertical platform, you can perform jumps which improve strength in muscles and positively influence body shape modelling. On the device you can also perform various exercises while lying down, standing or leaning forward.

The classes on the reformer allow for a comprehensive training of the whole body, even distribution of the load and adjusting it to the level of skills of each player. A major benefit of the machine is that during a workout, a properly set load builds muscle and develops the body.

Reformer’s impact on fitness

Pilates is one discipline that comprehensively develops physical fitness and benefits overall fitness and strength. Thanks to the wide-ranging form of the reformer, the equipment allows you to perform many types of workouts and exercises that are not likely to get boring quickly.

Regular inclusion of the device in Pilates training improves blood circulation throughout the body, flexibility and suppleness of joints, positively influences the ability to maintain balance and coordination, strengthens deep muscles, increases the overall range of motion of joints, as well as improves posture and helps maintain correct spinal alignment to combat back pain.

The specialized design of the reformer is also friendly to people struggling with spinal defects or complications after limb surgery. It allows for a safe, effective workout that does not negatively impact damaged tissues, joints, bones or muscles.

Is it worth investing in your own reformer?

Unlike other sports accessories used during Pilates training, the reformer is not cheap. Its prices start from over 1000 PLN, therefore it is not a device for every pocket. If you train regularly and want to improve your skills at home, the reformer is a piece of equipment worth buying. Systematic use of the reformer should pay for itself quickly, especially that the various exercises can be performed by yourself or with the help of an online trainer.

However, if your Pilates adventure is just beginning, you can still wait to buy a reformer. Most workout rooms and schools that conduct Pilates classes are equipped with a reformer, so it’s a good idea to use it first before deciding whether or not to purchase one.

Featured photo: Maddi Bazzocco, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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