A Pilates Reformer Workout

Pilates Northern Beaches has something to offer people of all ages and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes.The original Pilates Method consisted of 34 exercises performed as mat work; on a padded mat on the floor. Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Method, later invented several pieces of equipment, each designed for use with its own specific set of exercises. Most of the exercises done on the various Pilates equipment or machines was for resistance training, making use of the increased resistance the springs brought to the workout. Using springs results in “progressive resistance,” meaning the more the spring is stretched, the more resistance there will be.

The most common piece of Pilates equipment is the Reformer, but there are other machines such as the Cadillac (also known as the Trapeze Table), the Ladder Barrel and the Wunda Chair that are often used in a modern Pilates studio.

Whether you use the added resistance of springs and Pilates equipment, or the constant resistance of gravity in mat work, the Pilates Method quickly builds strength and develops proper alignment and posture while increasing flexibility.

The Pilates Reformer is by far the most popular piece of Pilates equipment. It was invented in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Method. The Reformer is still widely used and is extremely popular because of its versatility. Many of the Pilates exercises can be performed on the Reformer, you can do mat work, spring exercises and Cadillac exercises on the platform.

There are many benefits to using a Pilates Reformer. You’ll build strength in your arms, legs, abs and back muscles… your “powerhouse,” or core. Pilates stresses the importance of building a strong core and all Pilates exercises begin from this core and slowly move outwards to the arm and leg muscles. The many pulling and stretching exercises are designed to lengthen and tone the muscles without building bulk.

The Pilates Reformer was originally built for rehabilitation of joint injuries and is still widely used for that purpose. It is also popular with professional athletes who use the Reformer exercises to strengthen their muscles while improving cardiovascular fitness.

Many Pilates instructors recommend mat Pilates for beginners. Mat work is a good way to learn how to control your muscles during the exercises without having to handle the extra difficulty of equipment. Most students will be ready to add the Reformer after practicing the Pilates Method for about three months. One of the advantages of using a mat workout is its convenience, you don’t need anything more than a Pilates mat; and if you prefer to workout in the comfort of your own home, there are many great Pilates DVDs that you can use for instruction. A Pilates DVD featuring a certified instructor can be found in every level and will provide an excellent workout.

When you’re ready to add a Pilates Reformer to your workout, you can join a Reformer class or even purchase one for your home. There are many Reformers on the market that are reasonably priced and designed for home use. These often come with an instructional DVD to get you started.

A Pilates Reformer can enhance your pilates exercises and maximize the results from your workout. Whether you prefer mat Pilates, Reformer, or a Pilates Yoga workout, the transformation in your body will amaze you!

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