Pilates Reformer Overview
REFORMER: Tendon Stretch
The innovative exercises developed by popular trainer and gymnast Joseph Pilates focus on strengthening of muscles that help you to maintain a symmetrical and revitalized body. There are two main ways of performing Pilates exercises. The first one is floor exercises on a mat using your body weight and is called Pilates Mat work. The second is using specific pieces Pilates equipments that were designed by Joseph Pilates to assist and resist his students through ranges of motion and get them strong enough so they could do the Pilates Mat work properly.
This equipment includes the Pilates Reformer, Pilates Cadillac, Pilates Chair, Pilates Barrel, Pilates Circle, Pilates Spine Corrector, Pilates Ped-o-pull and several others.
Today we will be focusing on the main piece of Pilates equipment called the Pilates Reformer. We will go over some of the main features of this important exercise equipment, the history as well as the benefits of performing exercises on a Pilates Reformer.
Pilates Reformer is th central piece of Pilates equipment is also commonly used tool for exercises by both men and women, young and old.
The Pilates Reformer should ideally have the following characteristics:
- strong wood, aluminum, steel or composite frame
- sliding platform with mat
- soft rollers
- elastic cords
- foam pads
- padded cushion
- non-slip frame caps
- foot bar
The Pilates Reformer has a sliding platform attached with springs at one end and it can be moved by pulling on ropes or pushing off from a stationary foot bar. The nickel-plated steel springs glide smoothly or move back and forth on the rollers. The springs are used for resistance instead of weights. These springs provide variable or measured resistance — from light to heavy — to the muscles while exercising. The springs offer more resistance at the strongest point of muscle contraction and less resistance at the starting and finishing point. This type of resistance reduces stress on the tendons and ligaments in the body. The swivel pulleys allow variable angles of resistance as you can pull the ropes easily in any direction. The rope length adjusts swiftly and easily with nautical cam cleats. The curved head and shoulder help to stabilize your body and refine breathing patterns. The adjustable straps allow you to locate the proper arm and leg positions. The wheels move in vertical and horizontal way. The two-position headrest is upholstered with synthetic leather and helps in making the movements smooth. While the headrest can usually be set in two positions, the foot bar could be kept in four positions. The non-slip frame caps keep the strong steel frame in place when you are performing exercises.
You can perform a wide variety of exercises in different positions: standing, sitting, kneeling or lying down. There are a variety of Pilates Reformers available in the markets which come with a wide array of attachments to make your workouts safe and effective. You can also get a special Pilates Stand.
The ideal size of the Reformer can be:
- Length: 88 inches
- Width: 24 inches
- Height: 37 inches
- Weight: 129 lbs
- Mat: height 10 inches, Length 97 inches, Width 23 inches
- Foot bar height: 21 inches
- Small platform height: 6 inches.
Among the accessories, you can opt for:
- Padded foot bar (26 inches x 18 inches)
- Standing platform which can also work as a storage box for handles, loops etc (22 inches x 7 inches)
- Pair of cotton loops and pair of handles
- Risers with adjustable pulleys (pulleys can be elevated from 2 to 13 inches).
There are numerous benefits of performing various exercises on this important tool. It not only facilitates workouts without unwanted stress on the joints, it also allows you to do certain specific exercises in case you have a minor injury. The exercises on Pilates Reformer can be done by sportspersons to augment their performance in different sporting activities. You can get the required relief from fatigue and stress after long traveling. It can also be done by women in their initial stage of pregnancy under the guidance of an expert. All exercise performed on a Pilates Reformer help to correct muscular-skeletal imbalances. In essence, it can make you feel rejuvenated.
It will help you to gain:
- slender and longer muscles
- strong shoulders
- strong chest
- better biceps and triceps
- leaner calves
- slimmer hips
- slimmer thighs
- tighter buttocks
- firm abdominals
- refined breathing patterns
- increased flexibility
- correct postures
- better mind-body coordination
- Pilates Reformer exercises can be done by anyone irrespective of age and sex. If you have normal health, these exercises perk up your trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle. It improves breathing patterns, corrects spinal and pelvic alignment. It streamlines the control over movements of the body.
- It develops an athlete’s core or deep abdominal muscles along with those muscles that are closest to the spine. It makes the athletes more agile and boosts their performance. It also helps prevent injury through proper mind-body coordination.
- For those suffering from Diabetes type I or type II, regular exercise on Pilates Reformer can help to control their blood sugar level.
- For those suffering from bone problems or osteoporosis, appropriate exercises on Pilates Reformer can help to improve their balance and overall functioning of the body.
- For those having heart problems, suitable Pilates Reformer exercises can be done under the guidance of experts. It can streamline the blood supply and improve the overall functioning of the body.
- For pregnant women, suitable Pilates Reformer exercises can be done under the guidance of experts. It can improve blood circulation, muscular relaxation and boost energy level.
- For those having back, hip or knee problem, Pilates Reformer with a special stand can be more useful.
Thus, the Pilates Reformer is a vital equipment to revitalize your body. It’s a sure way to keep you shapely and healthy. If you suffer from any medical condition, remember to consult with your physician or medical counselor before exercising using the Pilates Reformer.