So you what to get the skinny on Pilates Reformer?
Maybe you have heard of Pilates, a friend may be encouraging you to give it a go, or you saw a class offered at the gym or community center, and you are curious.
Maybe you are already familiar with the Pilates apparatuses, and just want a little info on the Pilates Reformer.
Either way, we have you covered.
We are going to discuss what Pilates is and how it benefits the body. Then we will discuss what Pilates reformer is and how the machine operates. After that we will review the 6 best home Pilates reformer machines and give our thoughts so you can decide for yourself.
Pilates Reformer Machines
|Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP|
|Stamina AeroPilates 700 Premier Reformer|
|AeroPilates 5-Cord Reformer|
|Elina Pilates Wood Reformer|
|Allegro (R) 2 Reformer|
|Studio Reformer Strata Rock Maple Reformer|
- What is Pilates and what is Pilates good for?
- Benefits of Pilates reformer
- What is Pilates reformer?
- TOP 6 Best Pilates Reformer Machine Reviews 2019
What is Pilates and what is Pilates good for?
The Pilates reformer is a simple yet creative and extremely versatile machine designed to perform the classic Pilates moves.
Pilates, as an art, is focused on 9 principles:
- Breathing: Respiration is a central theme in Pilates. Joseph Pilates, creator of Pilates, advises those performing the art to exhale out when exerting effort, and inhale while returning.
- Concentration: Pilates calls for concentration and focus on how the exercise is performed, which is of greater importance that the exercise itself.
- Control: All exercises are performed with control over the muscle movements.
- Centering: The center is similar to the idea of the core; in Pilates it is sometimes called the “powerhouse”. The abs, back, hips inner thighs and glutes make up the center. All exercises in Pilates move from the center out to the limbs.
- Flow: Once Pilates exercises have been perfected, one exercise should flow into another, building not only strength, but stamina.
- Postural Alignment: Using correct posture and body alignment are foundational themes of Pilates.
- Precision: Performing movements perfectly, an idea similar to having “good form”.
- Relaxation: The idea is relaxation, and a relaxed state facilitates better, more perfect movement.
- Stamina: Stamina in Pilates occurs once the precision is achieved and exercises are more easily performed, so the practitioner can easily move from one exercise to the next.
The creator of Pilates used what he called “apparatuses” in the art. Today we might call these apparatuses exercise machines or exercise equipment, if you want to think of it that way.
The most popular apparatus Mr. Pilates used was the Pilates Reformer. The Pilates Reformer was originally called the Universal reformer because it reformed the body, and still does so today.
Keep reading to find out more
Benefits of Pilates reformer
Since it focuses on the center or powerhouse as the starting point for each exercise; the exercises naturally focus on the abs and other core muscles.
Pilates is slow and focused, controlled, low impact movements. No jarring jumps or heavy weights.
Improves focus the tenants of Pilates call for mindfulness of respiration and muscle movement at all times.
Focus is a central theme you will continually practice as you perform Pilates. This exercises you ‘focus muscles’ along with the body muscles.
Increases flexibility-many believe that you need to be flexible to do Pilates well. This is not the case.
Pilates was designed to “Lengthen” or stretch, and you will gain flexibility by performing the exercises.
Great machine for those with injuries, especially lower back pain and neck pain.
What is Pilates reformer?
The Pilates Reformer is perhaps the most popular Pilates apparatus available. It is a manual machine used to perform Pilates exercises.
Mechanics of the Pilates Reformer Machine
- The Frame: The Reformer features a rectangle frame that sits on the floor, sometimes made from wood.
- The Carriage: The frame holds a gliding platform, sometimes called a carriage. The platform is padded and has a headrest.
- The Resistance End: One end has a foot bar, and resistance springs. The platform has a headrest.
- The Pulley End: The other end has hand straps in pulleys for arm movements. Some models have a platform extension and box you can place on the platform for an endless variety of exercises.
Introduction to the Pilates Reformer John from Free Range Pilates Studio introduces us to the features and function of a Pilates reformer.
Effective at Home Pilates Reformer workouts
Pilates Beginner Reformer WORKOUT Kathi Ross Nash gives an informative beginner workout where she gives many tips on how to perform moves correctly and shows how to adjust the machine.
30 Minute Full Body Pilates Reformers Workout Robin gives us a 30 minute intermediate level workout that addresses all areas and muscle groups. Robin is great at explaining each exercise and demonstrating the move.
Reformer Monday – Intermediate Reformer Workout This fun and lively workout by John Garey is a mix of traditional Pilates moves and fitness based moves.
This workout uses the box and platform extender with the reformer.
Is it worth it?
Consider what you pay for reformers classes. Private Classes can be between 50 and 125 and group classes may be between 40 to 75 dollars per class. (resource)
Pilates Math Class:
40 per session, minimum x 2 days per week =80 dollars per week.
That’s 320 dollars per month, and 4,160 per year!
The most expensive best at home Pilates reformer machine we reviewed is not more than that.
Important things to look for when seeking the best Pilates reformer machine
You get what you pay for. Inexpensive reformers have been known to glide improperly or stick. The gliding carriage is the centerpiece of all Pilates movements.
It MUST glide well, and be well designed.
A full size commercial Pilates machine is over 8 feet long, so measure your exercise space before buying.
Wood vs metal, the wood framed Pilates machines are beautiful. They are also heavy, so they will probably need to be parked in a permanent home.
The metal ones are easy to stow out of the way if need be. Honestly, we much prefer the wood frame and believe they make the best at home Pilates reformer, but it is not always the most practical solution.
TOP 6 Best Pilates Reformer Machine Reviews 2019
Do you plan to purchase a reformer? Let us know what you think the best pilates reformer is in the comments below.