What is a Pilates Reformer?
Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates exercise, also invented the Pilates reformer machine. A reformer is essentially a resistance tool which promotes the development of good alignment, core strength, and flexibility. Pilates reformer exercises offer a range of variations and can be done lying down, standing, or sitting.
Most of the reformer exercises, however, are about pushing or pulling the carriage or holding it steady during an exercise. Exercises vary according to whether you are a beginner or an expert.
The Benefits of Using a Reformer
The reformer machine provides you with a huge variety of exercises, all working on your strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. This will all help to improve your overall fitness, but many also find it very helpful in targeting key problems like back pain. The exercises also build strong bones and long, strong muscles as the reformer is set up for eccentric contraction. The core is also a main beneficiary, as the instability of the rolling carriage really challenges your core.
What’s The Difference Between Using a Reformer and a Pilates Mat?
There is nothing wrong with performing your Pilates on a Pilates mat. For many beginners, this is a good place to start and helps with learning the basic techniques and positioning. There is also an argument that using a mat and relying solely on your body’s resistance, with no external support, builds high levels of muscle endurance very quickly. However, the benefit of a machine like a Pilates reformer bed is that resistance doesn’t just come from your body; it comes from the pulleys and springs as well.
We have a range of Pilates accessories that can be used on their own or in conjunction with a Pilates reformer.
There are four main types of Pilates studio equipment: Cadillac, Reformer, Ladder Barrel and Wunda Chair. The Pilates Cadillac can also be referred to as the rack or even the trapeze table due to its swing and bars, and is often a better option for Pilates beginners who are not yet ready for the moving platform of a reformer bed. Cadillacs can also be used as an add-on to the reformer machine.
The Cadillac is a raised horizontal table surrounded by a four-poster frame on which bars, straps, springs, and levers are fixed. The reason it looks the way it does is that Joseph Pilates was originally using the design on war veterans, so it does resemble something like a hospital bed. Models vary according to what they offer, but a standard Cadillac will include a push-through bar, a roll-down bar, a crossbar, arm springs, leg springs, and thigh and ankle cuffs.
What To Look for When Buying a Reformer
A Pilates reformer is an excellent piece of kit, but it can cost money. So, to ensure you spend your money wisely, consider the following before buying a Pilates reformer for your home.
Pilates Reformer Price
Remember, you do get what you pay for. A good quality Pilates reformer will last longer than a cheaper model. Regard the purchase as an investment and see it as something that should save you money in the long run, as you will no longer have to pay out for Pilates studios. We have a wide range of Pilates reformers for sale, so you're bound to find one that suits your budget.
Personal Comfort When Using a Reformer
Ensure you choose a model with a well-padded carriage, as it will prevent any discomfort or bruising. Check that it suits your height and weight and that it has adjustable headrests and straps, as they are also useful.
High-Quality Pilates Reformer
Always look for a good quality build, as this will ensure that you make a sound long-term investment. So, look for solid metal, high-quality wood, and also a reformer that can support at least 300 pounds in weight.
The Versatility of Pilates Reformers
As with above, if you are going to invest in an expensive piece of kit, do check that it can grow with you. So, look for adjustable resistance levels so that, as you get fitter, you can adjust your fitness goals. It also helps to have adjustable straps and ropes and at least three resistance levels. Also, consider a reformer bed that can be adapted in the future with different add-ons so you can continue to add variety to your Pilates workout.
Do You Have Space for a Full-Size Pilates Reformer?
You may be lucky and have a good-sized home gym ready and waiting for a reformer, but if you need it to fit in a small space, then size up the machine accordingly. Some can be easily stacked up, and some can be folded away.
Explore the range of Pilates reformer machines for sale today for great deals on Align Pilates equipment plus a selection of finance options. Looking to create a Pilates studio at home? Get in touch today to find out about our comprehensive gym design service.