For those that have been to the Edinburgh Pilates Centre studio or seen pictures of it, you would most likely recognise the Pilates reformer, even if you haven’t used one before. It is the big machines that have a sliding carriage where you can lie, sit, stand, kneel to complete the different movements. The machine originated from when Joseph Pilates was helping injured soldiers rehabilitate by removing the springs from under the hospital beds and attaching them to the bed’s themselves to complete the movements Pilates had developed.
It may look a little intimidating the first time you see it, but it is actually your best friend in your journey to create a stronger core and tackle problem areas.
Target specific muscle
One of Pilates’ strong points is its ability to really work into a certain area of the body. If you work to your maximum capability on the day, are committed to the movements and the process you will see results. A study in 2015 found that women who committed to 4 months of reformer workouts gained lean mass and lost fat from their waist, thighs and triceps.
An example of a specific muscle being targeted, in the video below, Chris demonstrates using the machine to target the outer hamstrings and the process needed to complete the movement effectively.
Maximum effort, minimum repetitions
The level of precision that you are working at using these machines over the mats, means that you only have to do a few repetitions to get results. Also, as the machine has an adjustable level of resistance depending on your level, you are able to achieve more and an even better posture than if you were only using your body weight on a mat. As you become more in tune with your body and gain a higher knowledge of Pilates, the fewer repetitions you have to do because you are able to effectively and efficiently target the muscles.
What does this all mean for you?
Ultimately, it comes down to how deep you want to go into sorting out an injury or any niggles that you may have. The main thing is that you find a teacher who you feel comfortable knows how to understand where you and your fitness is at and adapt that to the machines. From my own experience, Chris is fantastic at this, I was pushed enough each time to improve and to build confidence and from what I saw in the studio that is what he did for others too.
Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more about Reformer classes, or Pilates in general.