What is the Pilates Reformer?
The Reformer is the most versatile and popular piece of Pilates equipment with over 500 exercises on it alone. Named for its ability to "Reform" the body, it elongates and tones the entire body without building bulk .
Knowing that resistance training would probably improve his students' mat performance, Joseph Pilates partnered with an engineer and metalwork expert to produce his first reformer. Decades later, studies conducted by Michele Olson, PhD, confirmed that regular use of the Pilates reformer results in "significant improvements" in flexibility, strength and muscular endurance.
The reformer's basic components include a frame, headrest, foot bar and a sliding platform with attached springs that glides back and forth on rollers. An assortment of adjustable accessories ,springs, cables, bars and pulleys is used to create resistance and allow the body to perform a number of exercises while standing, sitting or lying down. Leather straps, or ropes, facilitate correct positioning of arms and legs, and an adjustable headrest helps to insure stability and proper breathing patterns.
The basic purpose of all Pilates workouts is to develop the body's core strength--the powerhouse--through focus on the breath and mindful movements of the body. Once the basics of proper breathing and focused movement are mastered, the reformer helps to increase core strength and improve flexibility, while encouraging the smooth flow of movement that is necessary to maintain correct form and alignment of the body.