Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meet the "Reformer!"

One of the most common comments I get from new clients is about how strange the Pilates equipment looks at first glance.  There are several rather unusual looking machines used in our practice, and while they may seem kind of intimidating at first, once you train on them for a few sessions, you will understand that they are really easy to use and can easily be adjusted to all fitness levels.  Over the next couple of posts, I am going to introduce the equipment we use at our studio so you can understand how each piece can be an integral part of a full Pilates experience.
The “reformer” is probably the most common machine seen in Pilates studios, and you may have seen them in other Indianapolis Pilates studios, or even at some public gyms.  The reformer was the first piece of Pilates equipment that I purchased when I became a certified Pilates trainer.  The reformer looks a little like a bed with a little headrest.  There is a flat slightly padded mat, or carriage, that you can lie, kneel, stand, or sit on, and which is movable.  The resistance required to slide it back and forth on its frame comes from several varying levels of springs that are attached combined with movement from your body.  Different exercises and different strength levels will require different tension weight on the springs.  You can move the carriage with your feet against a foot bar, and/or you can use straps on your hands or feet as well.  As your trainer, I can adjust the tension according to your strength and needs.  Interestingly, there are some exercises that you will find are actually more difficult with less resistance.
All the machines and equipment are great at working all aspects of the body, but you can really get a killer “core,” (or ab), leg and arm workout on the reformer.  It is really the workhorse of Pilates training and after a few sessions with it, you will see your strength and balance improve and you will appreciate the variety of exercises that can be achieved on this particular apparatus. I train both privately on the reformer, as well as offer several classes utlizing the reformer extensively. If you would like to learn more, or schedule a session, please visit me at

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