"What year was that archaic machine built?"
"Is that medieval torture treatment?"
As I sit here in my sunny study in Camarillo I giggle as I reflect on all the crazy expressions I have received when I first show someone the Pilates Reformer. (Don't even get me started reaction to the Trapeze on the Cadillac!) I think "Medieval Torture Treatment" is by far the most common. The irony is that this description of the intelligently designed Reformer couldn't be farther from the truth.
I believe to my core (pun intended) that a Pilates mat workout is an exercises regime full of variety and complexity. (Just ask theYPD Virtual Pilates Clients if the mat work still kicks their butt!) In addition, if you have access to a Pilates Reformer, you know it can assist or challenge your workout depending on the dynamic you need that day.
SO what is the Pilates Reformer if it is not "Medieval Torture treatment?"
The Pilates Reformer is an exercise machine built of springs, straps, and pulleys, on which dozens of exercises can be performed. Exercises are supine, seated, standing, prone or side lying. Exercises can vary in choreography and be as simple as a stretch or as complicated as a full body movement. Like the Pilates mat exercises, the Reformer exercises establish core stability and postural alignment while working the legs and arms in a range of motion. The springs and straps are adjustable allowing for varying degrees of resistance. The client works in both directions of the movement (again similar to mat exercises) so that the muscles are lengthened rather than shortened. My favorite aspect of the Reformer is that anyone - from the Pilates novice to the experienced athlete - can benefit from its use.
In sum, the Pilates Reformer is beautiful piece of exercise equipment that is safe for the joints, enjoyable to use, and effective for your fitness goals.
Want to learn more about benefits of Pilates? Check out this article on how to Look and Feel Your Best with Pilates!