8 Reasons To Love The Reformer
When people think of Pilates, more often than not they imagine Matwork. However, Joseph Pilates’ original exercise system started out machine based, and it still is.
The commonest piece of Pilates kit, but by no means the only one, is the Pilates Reformer, and if you get the chance to have a go on one, take it! They’re great.
Here are a few reasons why
1. The Reformer is spring loaded which means that there is a resistance to work with and work against, depending upon the exercise and the outcome you’re after. The resistance is adjustable allowing for plenty of scope with exercise intensity.
2. The Reformer gives plenty of opportunity to work both the upper body and the lower body. Load/weight bearing exercise is really important, especially with advancing age and with shoulder rehab or back problems. Progressively developing load bearing exercises are beneficial.
3. The Reformer allows you to work the hip extensors very effectively. These are the muscles of the buttocks and the back of the legs: the glutes and hamstrings. Often they are weaker than muscles at the front of the legs (the hip flexors) and movement can be greatly benefited by balancing out these sets of muscles and by strengthening the extensors.
4. The Reformer allows for a real examination and therefore correction of problems caused by having a dominant leg or dominant arm / shoulder. This is a very common problem which causes muscle imbalances, gait problems and back pain.
5. One important part of a Pilates programme are the exercises designed to keep the spine healthy and mobile. The Reformer offers a variety of ways of articulating the spine, under load or using the Reformer to assist movement.
6. With the addition of a canny piece of extra kit: the Jumpboard, you can add a whole sequence of exercises to a Pilates Reformer class that have a cardiovascular element. It’s good fun too – like being on a trampoline but whilst lying down!
7. The Reformer is marvellous for developing flexibility. The positions that you can adopt make stretching more versatile and can enable you to reach more muscles whilst still having the body well supported.
8. The Reformer has moving parts: the carriage and the feet/arm straps. The exercises are, more often than not, dynamic: they involve the body undergoing plenty of movement. We move about all the time (or at least we should do..) and so our bodies need be strong and effective whilst we’re moving. A good exercise programme needs to incorporate plenty of movement in multiple planes of movement and the Reformer provides this.
Maybe you simply want to get out of bed in the morning without wincing, comfortably zip up clothing at the back, reach into a high cupboard, turn your the head safely when reversing the car, stand on the terraces without getting discomfort, walk or run 5km without being in pain. Pilates Reformer work can help improve these sorts of day to day functional movements.
Reformer work can help to achieve that fabulous combination of strength, suppleness, stability and mobility for everyday life, and beyond.
Source : Alison Plant