There is quite probably no piece of Pilates equipment that is more famous than the Pilates reformer. There are very good reasons for this. The reformer makes quite a dramatic impression when you first see one, and an even more dramatic change in your body when you utilise it. You will see reformers that are lined up in Pilates studios as reformer classes are frequently one of the main choices offered. Portable reformers are also popular as home exercise equipment.
Although the reformer is sometimes thought to be a later addition, potentially owing to its popularity on social media, it was part of Joseph Pilates’ original technique that was designed to help bed-bound WW1 patients.
This was alongside other ‘apparatus’ such as the chair and Cadillac – the latter which has bars to hang from. The Pilates reformer was then brought to the UK by pioneering teacher Alan Herdman after he worked in New York and being trained by Joseph Pilates himself.
What Does The Pilates Reformer Look Like?
The Pilates reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates. It has a bed-like frame with a flat platform that rolls backward and forwards on wheels.
It is a piece of apparatus that is used as a part of a Pilates exercise session under the direction of an instructor. The reformer uses springs for assistance and resistance in order to achieve proper muscle length and strength in an organised manner.
The reformer assists the practitioner in achieving the goals of Pilates, which include the usage of diaphragmatic breathing in order to organise the body’s posture through coordinated movements with an emphasis on control of the posture.
The platform of the reformer is called the carriage, and the carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a number of springs. The springs give you the opportunity to adjust the resistance to the carriage. This will be pushed and pulled along the frame by your own body weight as well as strength. There are also shoulder blocks that are situated on the carriage which keep you in a stable position so that you’re not sliding off of the edge of the reformer.
There is a foot bar at the edge of the reformer and this an adjustable bar that holds the springs. Your feet and hands may be situated on this bar depending on the exercise. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them which your feet or hands can be placed into. These are at the top of the frame and opposite the foot bar.
The springs may be adjusted in order to affect both the foot bar and the handles so that the workout can be modified for different skill levels as well as body types. In fact, the reformer is utilised not only by people looking to strengthen their core but also by dancers for training and injury rehabilitation.
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