So, picture this: Pilates, the OG of strength workouts, but with a chill vibe. It’s all about building up your core strength while keeping things flowing and dynamic. We’re talking about those essential moves: breathing right, keeping your neck in line, stabilising those ribs and shoulder blades, getting your pelvis moving, and tapping into your core like never before.

Joseph Pilates, the mastermind behind this whole shebang, cooked up this method after diving deep into yoga, martial arts, meditation, and even ancient Greek and Roman exercises. He was all about helping people get stronger, especially those who couldn’t move around much. And get this: he realised that supporting folks’ limbs while they worked out actually sped up their recovery. Boom, Pilates was born. Plus, he was all about that mind-body connection, making sure every move was both gentle and challenging, depending on what you needed.

Flash forward to today, and Pilates has become a full-on craze, especially in the good ol’ US of A, with around 9 million people getting their Pilates on in 2018 alone. That’s some serious love for those sleek moves and killer core workouts.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. We’re gonna break down Mat Pilates versus Reformer Pilates, so you can figure out which one’s your jam. Then, we’ll zoom in on Reformer Pilates— who’s it for, how’s it done, and what kind of magic benefits you can expect to see from jumping on that Reformer bandwagon.

Ready? Let’s get into it.

Reformer Pilates – Definition

Imagine this cool contraption called a Reformer machine. It’s like a sleek sliding platform nestled in a boxy frame. You can chill on it in all sorts of positions—sitting, standing, kneeling, or just lounging back. Now, here’s the kicker: this machine isn’t just for looks. It’s all about support, giving you a full range of motion, and dialing up the resistance as you move. How? Well, it’s got these nifty springs, pulleys, and wheels doing the heavy lifting.

Guess who came up with this genius idea? None other than Joseph Pilates himself. He whipped up this gadget back in the day to help injured soldiers bounce back faster from war wounds. Talk about innovation, right? So, next time you hop on a Reformer, just remember, you’re stepping into a piece of history designed to help you move and groove like a pro.


Reformer Frame

Imagine the frame as the backbone of the Reformer machine. It’s gotta be rock-solid to handle all the action—supporting you and all the gear attached to it. Traditionally, it’s crafted from sturdy hardwood, but nowadays, metal frames are also in the mix.

Reformer Springs

Think of these bad boys as your resistance buddies. They team up with your body weight to give you that workout burn. Picture 4-6 springs hooked onto a bar, ready to amp up or dial down the intensity as you go.


Meet your trusty resting spot—or your launching pad for some serious moves. The footbar’s there to give your feet or hands a breather, and maybe even help you push off to glide that carriage like a boss.

Gear System

This is the magic behind adjusting that spring tension. The gear system works its wizardry, tweaking the distance between the spring bar and the carriage’s end, so you can fine-tune your resistance levels.

Reformer Carriage

It’s your cozy platform for all those stretches and poses. Just think of it as your workout stage—a flat board where you’ll be lying down or kneeling. And hey, don’t forget about the shoulder blocks and headrest, there to lend you some extra support.

Reformer Shoulder Blocks and Headrest

These babies are all about adjustability. They’ve got your back—literally. Use ’em as props for your feet, knees, or hands, whatever floats your boat during your Reformer session.

Reformer Pilates – Who is it for?

Pilates reformer workouts are praised for being gentle on the body and adaptable to everyone’s fitness level, making them accessible to all. Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness enthusiast, the equipment and exercises can be tweaked to suit your needs.

The beauty of Pilates reformer lies in its versatility. It’s not just about sweating it out; it’s about tailored fitness. Whether you’re recovering from an injury, enhancing your athletic performance, or toning up, Pilates reformer can cater to your goals and even accommodate certain medical conditions like spinal issues.

To ensure a safe and effective workout, communication with your Pilates instructor is key. Let them know your fitness level and any medical concerns you may have. While Pilates reformer is generally inclusive, it’s important to note that it requires being able to lie on your back for extended periods, which may not be suitable for pregnant women in their third trimester due to breathing difficulties.

Embarking on your Pilates journey, especially if you’re new to fitness or haven’t exercised in a while, is nothing to be ashamed of. We all start somewhere, and taking it slow is perfectly okay. Starting with a few sessions and gradually increasing intensity can kickstart your journey to a healthier lifestyle and help you achieve your weight loss goals.

In today’s hectic world, where stress seems to be a constant companion, Pilates reformer classes offer a sanctuary. Studies have shown that Pilates training can positively impact stress hormone levels, providing not just physical but also mental health benefits.

Feeling nervous about starting? Fear not! Certified Pilates instructors are there to guide you through every move during reformer classes. You can also opt for group sessions with friends or join larger classes offered by studios like Club Pilates, fostering a supportive environment for your fitness journey.

Reformer Pilates – The Benefits

  • Strengthens arms and legs, with a core focus.
  • Reduces injury risk and enhances balance and mobility in older adults, particularly those prone to falls.
  • Boosts bone density.
  • Improves flexibility and muscular endurance.
  • Develops strong, lean muscles, emphasising core strength.
  • Enhances posture.
  • Aids in lowering blood pressure.
  • Facilitates weight loss.
  • Reduces stress levels.