Pilates on the Reformer offer many benefits including overall strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.
These things in turn lead to daily life improvements such as better posture, graceful, efficient movement, and for many relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as back pain.
When we talk about strength building and Pilates, the Pilates powerhouse muscles, the muscles of the core, are paramount.
Flat abs, strong backs, toned buttocks and thighs are all results of this emphasis.
The stronger the core, the better the balance, posture and overall well-being. Alignment and posture improve, relieving stress on the joints and muscles, this is one of the reasons Pilates is often recommended for back pain as well.
Pilates on the Reformer
New to Pilates
Trying anything new can be daunting, especially when the piece of
equipment you are required to climb onto resembles some
sort of torture apparatus.
The Pilates reformer is just that, an odd looking bed, on rollers, with
leather straps, ropes and pulley's. But this funny looking machine is
a) easy to use, b) safe for beginners right through to extreme athletes,
c) incredibly effective.
Pilates has helped many people improve their posture, flexibility, stamina
and strength. It has been used to reduce back and neck pain and as a
form of rehabilitation following injury.
The pilates reformer is a resistance machine, with its straps, springs and
gears. The reformers finely tuneable resistance lets you set it up to suit
your body perfectly, meaning that all the work you do on it will be
At Balance Pilates, you are required to complete a detailed pre exercise
questionnaire stating your health history, injuries, past experience and
what you would like to achieve. This information allows us to design
an exercise program specifically for you. From here we have our first one
on one pilates session and start to work towards your goals.
Depending on time and finances, often clients will begin with Private Pilates
sessions and once they are feeling confident they will pair up with a
friend and start to do Duet classes or semi private classes - a great way
to save money, keep motivated and have fun. See Pairing up for
Duets for more information.
Group Classes are an option many people like to progress to, its more
affordable and means you can come several times a week and there are
lots of times to choose from!
How Pilates on the Reformer works
To some, Reformer equipment might resemble a torture apparatus, looking like a single bed frame but with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, lying, sitting and even standing.
The resistance created by the pulley and spring system provide a more challenging strength and endurance workout than mat classes. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. It may also produce viable results sooner - arm, leg and abdominal muscles can look more firm and defined within a dozen or so regular sessions.
There is a foot bar that can be used by the feet or the hands as you move the carriage. In addition the reformer has long straps that are attached to the top end of the frame. They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage. Body weight and resistance of the springs determine the level of resistance for the client.
Pairing up for Duo's
Exercising with a friend is a great motivation and incentive to stay in shape, as your less likely to want to let the other half of the team down. But it is also a great way to keep in regular contact with a friend, plus you save money too!
Your duet partner should be of a similar level to you and have similar needs and goals, yet you will still get very focused, specific attention. Your instructor may choose to work you through a program that is identical for both of you or may choose to work you according to your individual needs. Flow is also a major part of the duet class as the instructor sets a pace and builds on the aerobic/cardio aspect of the workout.
All clients will need to complete a pre exercise questionnaire and will also need to complete a private reformer class/classes before you begin, this is to learn the basic principles and so you can be assessed by your instructor.
After an introduction to the reformer and completing your private session/s with us, clients have the option to continue with their private sessions or start duet classes.
Introduce a friend to Balance Pilates today and lengthen, strengthen and tone together.
If you cant find a partner, let us know and we will find one for you.
At Balance Pilates we offer Pregnancy Friendly classes, these are shown on the timetable with a PF next to the class description. These are normal classes in which we offer modifications for our mums-to-be, to support whichever stage they are at in their pregnancy. All clients need to do a One on One Initial Introduction before joining these classes.
We also hold both Prenatal and Postnatal Courses, so you can connect with other mums and mums to be in a safe, supportive, fun environment.
Incorporating physical activity, such as pilates on the reformer, when pregnant is ideal as the strength you gain will help during childbirth and will facilitate recovery once your child is born.
Or get your body moving Postpartum, this course is designed for ladies rehabilitating postpartum and who want to workout in a safe and supportive environment, with other mums. Babes can come too, regain strength and stability, have some time out and feel fabulous!
The Pilates Reformer is a bed like apparatus made up of a sliding carriage controlled by a system of springs, straps and pulleys providing support
and controlled movement for the body, which is why it is the perfect way
to exercise during or post pregnancy. With fine-tuned spring resistance
the Reformer allows precise work to develop good alignment,
core strength and flexibility safely.
Benefits of Prenatal Pilates:
Reduce backaches & alleviates pregnancy aches and pains.
Strengthen supporting postural muscles.
Boost energy and stamina.
Maintain body alignment and pelvic placement.
Improve posture & balance.
Increase breath awareness.
During pregnancy the body changes daily. As the baby grows, its added weight can pull the lumbo-pelvic region into an exaggerated curve, affecting centre of gravity and balance.As the breasts and tummy increase in size, the thoracic and cervical spinal curves can also become more exaggerated. As these curves increase, so does the stress on the surrounding muscles and joints.
Each exercise session on the Reformer redefines what ideal alignment looks and feels like for you. Once this is established, the reformer exercises will effectively strengthen and support the body through all phases of your pregnancy.
If you are interested in booking in for a One on One Initial Introduction or joining one of our courses, please press on the button below.
Pregnancy and Pilates
Many injuries are caused by muscular imbalances within our bodies. And many things cause these imbalances - our posture, the way we walk, bend over, sit, lie down, or work out - basically the way we move. Most of us move incorrectly in some way or another, which puts too much pressure on some muscles and weakens others, causing an imbalance.
Take the back, for example: the way we move may put too much pressure on the spine, while weakening the pelvic muscles in the front of the body or vice-versa. Either scenario creates an imbalance, which means the body is much more perceptible to serious strains, pulls, tears or worse.
Pilates exercises promote an even musculature throughout the body by strengthening the core. The core is considered the "centre" of the body and consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Pilates also stresses spinal and pelvic alignment, which is critical in getting us to move the way we're supposed to move to avoid injury.
Part of its success is indeed based on the approach to the principles of Pilates - core strength, an even musculature, etc. But another reason is that it provides a greater degree of flexibility than most conventional forms of physical therapy. This is true because Pilates exercises can be modified for each person and still be extremely effective. You can go from basic movements to very advanced, depending on how a patient needs to progress or how badly they are injured.
Pilates can work with injuries that alter a persons ability to live and move without pain.
Lower back pain
Postural pain, neck pain and headaches
Pre-, Ante- and Post- Natal Care
Pelvic Floor Strengthening
Balance and Bone Strengthening
Post Surgical Rehabilitation including shoulders, hips and knees
Rotator Cuff Rehabilitation
Specific Sports Conditioning
As long as you can get on and off the Reformer safely, all ages can use it. The exercises can be performed lying, kneeling, sitting or standing aiding your return to sport, walking or whatever your goal is.
To book in with one of our Pilates Specialists, click on the button below
and book a Private class.