Reformer pilates classes are the most popular form of Pilates in fitness studios. This is because the Reformer provides a more challenging workout to target muscle groups that are not traditionally worked as hard during a typical mat workout. The equipment also helps decompress the spine and allows for more dynamic movements, while still helping strengthen the core to improve posture and balance. Many research studies are showing the positive mental health benefits that come from the use of the Reformer in addition to the physical strength, tone, flexibility and pain relief.
When starting a reformer program, it is important to find a knowledgeable and caring teacher to help you learn and build confidence in your practice. Taking a few private sessions, or even a few group reformer classes in a studio can be a great way to get familiar with the equipment and the movements before jumping into a more advanced class. It is also recommended to use a light spring setting, especially for beginners, as it will allow for easier movement and focus on core stability.
Whether you’re looking for an intense full-body workout or a relaxing, soothing session to relieve stress, there is a reformer class that will meet your needs. From HIIT-style reformer classes to Pilates that focus on sculpting, there is something for everyone to enjoy and experience the benefits.
In addition to being a fantastic full-body workout, reformer Pilates is also an excellent exercise for injury rehabilitation, allowing for a low impact workout that can be modified for any body type and ability. Injured or rehabilitating areas can be targeted with the springs and other equipment, toning and strengthening the core while working on the peripheral postural muscles to speed recovery. It is also a low-impact exercise that helps reduce stress hormones like cortisol and increases endorphins, the natural mood boosters of the body.
For those interested in trying reformer pilates but are unsure of what to expect, there are beginner classes that are designed for all fitness levels. Beginner classes will teach you how to set up and use the Reformer equipment, as well as the basics of the Essential movements that are foundational in the practice. Then, as you become more familiar with the machine and your instructor, you can move on to more advanced beginner classes, all the way up to intermediate level reformer workouts.
Regardless of the reformer level you choose, be prepared for a great, mind-body workout that can feel weird or unnatural at first. But with a good instructor, and practicing slow and steady, you will soon be moving with confidence on the reformer. And you’ll be feeling those new muscles in a very good way! Just remember to ease into it and give yourself time for your body to recover. This is the best way to prevent injury or soreness and to ensure you get the most out of your workout. Happy reforming!