The Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is done using the Pilates reformer machine and is often more intense than mat-based pilates via the use of the springs which form part of the machine. It is a form of exercise that shares the principles of centring, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow with mat-based Pilates, but is done on a reformer machine.

Reformer Pilates is more superior to mat-based Pilates because of the repertoire of exercises available which provides far more variety. These exercises usually work muscles through a large range of motion which is excellent for building and toning muscles as well as increasing stability through the joints. Mat-based Pilates is mostly core whereas Reformer Pilates works the entire body and the peripheral muscles of the arms and legs.

You can do a lot more using the reformer machine than you can on the mat. The reformer can create resistance or instability, or both, to make exercises easier or harder in a way that the mat can’t.

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What is the Pilates Reformer Machine?

The Pilates Reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment with a sliding carriage, springs, ropes and pulleys. The machine was designed by Joseph Pilates and dates back to New York in the 1920’s. The reformer machine can be quite intimidating, but it is actually the most versatile and effective piece of exercise equipment ever made. The springs are what provide much of the resistance on the machine and are generally very strong. There are 5 springs, but when using only one or two of them, this can provide a gentler resistance depending on the exercise and the muscle being worked. The springs mean that each person can vary their intensity, making it a very versatile piece of equipment to use as a workout or rehab tool.

The reformer machine can be used in many ways to benefit strength, flexibility and balance. The majority of the exercises involve pushing or pulling the platform against the spring resistance and controlling the movement back, or holding it in place. This can be done by either sitting, standing, upside down and using all the different elements of the reformer.

The Benefits of Reformer Pilates Exercises

Reformer Pilates has many benefits for fitness and rehabilitation.  It can help to improve overall physical fitness- leading to greater strength, flexibility and balance, which in turn helps to improve posture, movement and mental health.

Low Impact (High intensity)

Reformer Pilates is ideal for anyone suffering and recovering from an injury. The springs and ropes are designed to enable you to work in the horizontal position rather than weight-bearing, which helps to reduce the load through your body.

Low impact exercise allows for repetitive movements to occur which in turn tones and strengthens the injured areas to help speed up recovery.

Reformer Pilates Machine

It is a Full Body Workout

Using the Reformer Pilates machine with carefully choreographed movements will give you a balanced, full-body workout. The springs on a reformer globally strengthen the whole body to not just target the large muscle moves, but also activate the smaller stabilisers. If you have uneven weakness, you are also able to work unilaterally to focus on and correct imbalances.

Improves Core & Posture

Reformer Pilates is excellent for targeting and creating a stronger core. Many of the exercises performed on a reformer machine target the core whilst working the peripheral postural muscles at the same time. A stronger core is essential for ideal posture, which can also help to prevent injuries from occurring.

Build Strength & Tones Muscles

Reformer Pilates allows you to work on strengthening muscles. This form of Pilates uses the springs and levers of the machine to create resistance and allow for equal focus on the concentric and eccentric contractions to create long, lean, toned muscles.  The Pilates reformer is incredibly versatile, offering you different levels of resistance so you can continue to push yourself when exercising.

Improves Mental Health

Reformer Pilates has positive impacts on mental health. Using the steadiness of your breath to find mindfulness in movement is a key factor in improving your mental well being. Mindfulness in the movement to stress management and relaxation are also keys to helping your mental health.

Reformer Pilates can reduce the stress hormones like cortisol and increase endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals, giving you a natural mood boost.

Other Benefits

As well as lowered blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health, it’s particularly popular for people suffering from lower back pain and injury as it focuses on stabilising the muscles around the spine.

Rehabilitation – The Benefits to Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is great for rehabilitation purposes as well as fitness. The patient is able to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion and not be vertically loaded and weight bearing through their legs. For example, if a patient/ client has had knee surgery or a knee injury, this horizontal plane enables you to strengthen the muscles of the leg through a larger range of motion using a lighter resistance than their body weight, which helps to speed up recovery through controlled movement.

Pilates is about restoring the imbalances created by habitual muscle use or injury. It is a viable and effective method of movement re-education and an answer to physical limitation. Pilates can unlock rehabilitation by levels.

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Excelsia Studios Reformer Pilates

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Reformer Pilates Classes Covering the Central Coast Region

Excelsia Studios runs Reformer Pilates classes for all Central Coast locals or visitors. Classes include mums and bubs, freestyle, Jump around, Pump it Up and many more. Contact Excelsia Studios today to book in for one of our classes.

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