Reformer Pilates is equipment-based pilates offering a unique and varied set of exercises on an amazing machine.

At first glance the Reformer Pilates machine looks a bit off putting, but basically it consists of a bed like frame with a carriage that moves along wheels that is attached at the end by springs. These springs are adjustable to tailor the difficulty level to suit each client.

You lie on your back on the carriage with your head resting on a head rest and your shoulders resting against shoulder rests. There is a foot bar at the end for your feet to rest on. There are 2 straps which can be used for your arms or feet.

The carriage is an unsteady surface so it really challenges your core to maintain stability and really improves your balance and strength.  

what is reformer pilates

What are the main benefits of Reformer pilates?

  1. Suitable & ideal for everyone –

    Reformer  Pilates allows people with limited range of movement, backpain, or injuries to exercise safely, with the aid of the carriage and adjusting the springs. No matter what your goal, the Reformer will get you there faster!

  2. Easy on your joints

    There is no impact and it allows for additional exercises to be added outside of mat.

  3. Lengthen your muscles

    This was the main benefit I found while using the Reformer. My muscles were starting to lengthen in the way Joseph Pilates explains they should do, through regular Pilates practise, and the use of the Reformer really accelerates this. I have really increased the length in my hamstrings by doing the split variations.

  4. Improve your posture

    You walk away from a Reformer workout feeling like you have grown 2 inches! So much emphasis is put on neutral alignment, sitting tall, standing tall and engaging your core muscles it will leave you with a heightened awareness of your posture until you can return for another workout.

  5. Strength and cardio training

    Once you become accustomed to the exercises the Reformer can really add an aerobic element to your Pilates routine. Exercises can be done quickly to get you out of breath or even slowly with precision to strengthen your muscles and get you sweating. Note – You will not bulk up by using the springs yet you are still weight training!  So, if your goal is to work and push your body to the extreme, yet safely, this is the ideal piece of gym equipment!

  6. Wider variety of exercises

    There are roughly 50 exercises in a mat repertoire, while there are over 200 variations for the reformer.

  7. Greater range of movement

    The adjustment of the springs really helps to support your movement for each Pilates exercise. You can ease into a position on the Reformer with support from the foot bar, carriage or straps to really get the most out of each movement which you simply cannot get from mat work.

There are many different opinions as to how and why it Reformer Pilates was developed, but I was taught that Joseph Pilates originally designed pilates for a  Reformer. He was German by origin but went to England in 1883 to work as a self defence instructor in Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of WW1 he was deemed an enemy with other German nationals and so was captured.

While in this situation he taught other German captives his theories on mind, body and spirit exercises and started to define his regime. He attached springs to hospital beds which enabled bedridden patients to exercise with resistance and build up strength which then lead to his later designs of the Reformer and numbers of other equipment. After his release he returned to Germany where his method grew very popular especially within the dance community.

While I trained in Mat Pilates first, I have always longed to learn the Reformer to really challenge myself and offer a different service for my clients. I have begun to introduce some Reformer exercises into my mat classes just to add a bit of spice and, while this is not the classical way, I do like to continually update and challenge my clients adding in a bit of a modern flare to my classes.

Who are my Reformer classes for?

While I have explained Reformer  Pilates classes are suitable for everyone,  at the moment I only have one Reformer machine, so I will be teaching this as a one to one personal training class. I will design a program for each individual based on what you want to achieve –  increased flexibility? Strength? Tone? Improve core strength? Ease back pain? Want to tone up for a special occasion? Improve your golf swing? A workout will consists of 40 minutes one to one and cost €40. We will work together on your program as you progress. Classes will be available weekly.

So, come along and be amazed by what your body can do and how much can change in a short space of time!