What’s Reformer Pilates & Can You Do it at Home? Instructors Reveal All

Pexels // Maria Charizani

Reformer Pilates, with a century-long history, is currently enjoying a surge in popularity, drawing in notable figures like Jennifer Aniston and Harry Styles. Despite being less beginner-friendly, this body-sculpting workout, hailed by certified instructor Hollie Grant as an “incredible, low-impact” method for enhancing musculoskeletal fitness, has garnered widespread appeal thanks to its effectiveness and cool aesthetic.

The Essence of Reformer Pilates

So, what exactly is reformer Pilates? This workout utilizes a specially designed Pilates reformer machine, elevating its intensity compared to traditional mat-based Pilates. The machine, invented by Joseph Pilates, features a sliding carriage with adjustable springs, handles, and straps, providing resistance and support for precise movements.

The reformer’s design facilitates various Pilates exercises targeting core strength, flexibility, and overall body conditioning. Grant emphasizes the machine’s versatility, offering options that traditional mat workouts cannot provide. Benefits of reformer Pilates include improved core strength, enhanced flexibility, better balance, perfect posture, increased muscle tone, and stress reduction. The dynamic nature of the reformer machine challenges balance and stability, making it an effective workout for various fitness goals.

The Key Is Mindful Movement

The popularity of reformer Pilates can be attributed to its mental aspect, fostering a strong connection between body and mind. Kristina Rihanoff, a former Strictly Come Dancing star turned reformer Pilates teacher, underscores the holistic approach, emphasizing controlled exercises focusing on breathing, alignment, and muscle engagement.

Pexels // Damir Mijailovic

Is reformer Pilates suitable for beginners? Rihanoff assures it suits most people, including beginners, pregnant and postnatal clients, or those in rehabilitation after an injury or operation. Modifications can be made to accommodate newcomers, although attending a beginner-focused class is recommended.

Pilates at Home

Can you do reformer Pilates at home? While it may seem intimidating, investing in a reformer Pilates machine for home use is an option. Machines are available at different price points, ranging from basic models to premium options with advanced features. Alternatively, mat-based Pilates can replicate some movements, focusing on core muscles and flexibility.

Reformer Pilates, with its unique benefits and growing popularity, offers a new approach to exercising. Whether at a studio or in the comfort of your home, the rewards of this exercise regimen are worth exploring.