What the heck is Pilates Reformer? I myself had absolutely no idea until I signed up for a class at my gym and gave it a try. The equipment always scared me, and I really had no idea what the class would involve, or if I could survive it! The equipment absolutely looks intimidating, but once I tried a class out I not only loved it, but I didn’t think the equipment was all that scary any more. It was actually pretty fun!

Pilates Reformer is much more dynamic then mat based Pilates because of the use of the Pilates Reformer machine. The machine adds resistance with use of the springs on the machine. Mat based Pilates also mostly focuses on core strength, while Pilates Reformer works the entire body with a repertoire of exercises that are more varied.

In my first class I started with the Pilates Cadillac machine. This machine definitely required two people to operate! So many working pieces helped me stretch and warm up. At one point I felt like I was hanging on a trapeze. It was fun apparatus to warm up with!
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?

From there I moved to the metal Pilates Reformer machine. Both the metal one and wood one had a tower attached so additional exercises could be done. On the metal reformer machine we did some really fun exercises where I would lay down and push myself off! The resistance made it difficult, but it was a really fun exercise.

What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?

The wood Pilates Reformer machine was very similar, but the exercises seemed more intense. Weights were added for resistance, and balancing was difficult and required lots of concentration. Switching from machine to machine really mixed things up and kept my adrenalin pumping.
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?
What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It?

I found that the Pilates Reformer class made me focus on my control and form in my exercises. With the machine you just can’t cheat. The technique has to be right on because the machine forces you to follow the rules of the exercise.

In a Pilates Reformer class the instructor assists those in the class with making the adjustments on your machine. The machines may look scary at first, but then after a few exercises it’s easy to become familiar with how it works.

Overall I loved the Pilates Reformer class. My first session was one-on-one so it was an intense hour workout. I was very sore the next day because I used muscles I didn’t even know I had. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Mandy Furnis

This is an excerpt from the article What the Heck is Pilates Reformer and Why Should You Try It? which originally appeared on http://sparkleshinylove.com.