Pilates offers a No impact, highly versatile, three dimensional exercises. Pilates is suitable for rehab to pro-athlete clients, total muscular conditioning and postural alignment, and facilitates balanced strength and flexibility. Pilates is a no pain, all gain workout!
What is the Pilates reformer?
The Pilates reformer is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep a practitioner from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformers parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and for differing levels of skill.
How is it used?
One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility. In other words, the reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment. All kinds of exercises are done on the reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most Pilates reformer exercises have to do with pushing or pulling the carriage, or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.
What Are the Benefits of Pilates Reformer?
The reformer offers all the famous benefits of Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. These things in turn lead to daily life improvements like better posture, graceful, efficient movement, and for many, relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as back pain . When we talk about strength building and Pilates the Pilates powerhouse muscles, the muscles of the core, are paramount. Flat abs, strong backs, toned buttock and thighs are all results of this emphasis. Other equipment and Pilates mat exercises do that too, but the reformer creates a unique and varied exercise environment.
The reformer is large enough to accommodate full-range motion which is wonderful for increasing flexibility while building strength. It seems to invite the length we want to create in the body. And it trains the body to sustain that length. Pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, and body weight is generally strength building. The exercises provide enough resistance and movement variety to help build strong bones. And there is a special feature: eccentric muscle contractions. This is when a muscle lengthens as it resists a force. The reformer is a set-up for eccentric contraction. That is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
Exercising with the reformer is possible for anyone, at any level of fitness. It’s no wonder the full name of the reformer is the Universal Reformer.
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