Have you experienced the world of Reformer Pilates yet? I have never loved working out. But, when I was first introduced to Reformer Pilates about 4 years ago that changed. I found a work out that I looked forward too. Now, do not get me wrong. When I first walked into my first Reformer Pilates class I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect but with my BFF in tow we rocked that class and kept coming back for more!
That was 4 years ago, I missed it, but life to hold and jobs changed which meant my beloved Pilates studio was just too far away to justify multiple visits. About 2 months ago I found out that the same studio was moving just minutes away from me. It was opening soon, would be brand new and I was ready. I signed up and I have been going multiple times a week since. It is wonderful!
Today I am sharing my tips and information for those that might be wondering what this whole Reformer Pilates thing is all about. Now, let me be clear, I am not a Pilates expert but I know that from experience those of us that are not experts are the ones with some great tips and information. So, are you ready to find that work out that will challenge you, change you, and get you hooked in just one class?
What Is Reformer Pilates?
The reformer was invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates. It is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep practitioners from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage.
What To Expect At Reformer Pilates
You Will Work Every Muscle
Seriously, even those muscles you forgot you had. Reformer Pilates is a great way to build strength and fitness. Pilates is specifically defined as exercise for the core or abdominal muscles, it is important to know that the core includes the entire trunk, which is the abdominals, the hips, the inner and outer thighs, and the back. So expect a workout that works your entire body.
Wear Tight But Comfortable Clothing
Even if you typically prefer loose-fitting workout wear, you’re going to want to wear body-hugging options for Reformer Pilates classes. With tighter clothing the instructor can see your movements better and your clothes won’t get caught in springs or other equipment. Most important thing to think about is being able to have full range of movement while on the reformer.
Invest In Socks
It is important to have grip socks while doing Reformer Pilates. These are my favorite. The grips provide traction and prevent your feet from slipping on the machine. This is especially once you start to sweat. The socks also allow you to focus on activating the proper muscles and not crunching your toes to stay in place on the machine.
Breathing Is Key
Activating your core is one of the first things you learn when starting Pilates. In addition to this core focus, it is really important that you take time to breath. Yes, during the class you will feel like you are thinking about so much because of the positions you are working on but breathing properly is key. There is a specific breathing technique pattern designed to aid the movements and muscle activations for each exercise. Your instructor will help you with your breathing.
You Will Be Sore The Next Day
While you may not be crushing high-intensity exercises at Reformer Pilates the mostly bodyweight routines that Pilates classes offer can be pretty intense. Dedicating your entire focus to even the smallest movements means that you’ll work the muscles that each exercise intends. And that means you can be dealing with muscle soreness after your workout. While next-day soreness may be at a whole new level after your first week, your body will get more used to the movements with time. Being sore the next day just means you’re challenging your muscles in new ways or working muscle groups that don’t usually get much attention.
Listen to your body and listen to your instructor. If something hurts, tell your instructor. When you bring the reformer machine into the mix, there’s a lot of moving parts especially if you’re a beginner. It’s easy to get lost trying to change resistance, properly place your hands and feet on the platform or using the handles attached to the reformer. Simply asking your instructor to repeat the instruction or look around at your classmates for confirmation.
Modify If Needed
When walking into your Reformer Pilates class make sure you introduce yourself as a newbie. Even if you are in the best of shape you might need some modifications as you get used to this work out. A good instructor should give you modifications so that you can perform each movement with good form. A good form helps you maximize your work out and keeps your body safe and healthy.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN! If you have a good instructor you will find that your 60 minute class will go by in a flash and you will even crack a smile or laugh a bit when you are challenged. It is okay to take breaks and usually when I do, I laugh or smile at this amazing challenge I put myself in! It is a good feeling.
I loved doing mat Pilates in college but adding the Reformer to my Pilates routine has changed the way I love to work out. While you may have experienced mat Pilates it is important to know that Reformer Pilates is a completely different thing. I urge everyone to give Reformer Pilates a try. As discussed before, this type of movement is for any ability, shape, size and fitness level.
Have you tried Reformer Pilates before?
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