A friend of mine’s description of her first Pilates class has always stuck with me. She and her husband were living temporarily in Argentina and that is when she first tried Pilates. The teacher told her (and you have to imagine this in a beautiful Argentinian accent), “I will sculpt your body.” Wow, that’s quite a statement!
I don’t even know if it was a mat class or a reformer class, but I’ve always imagined it on a Reformer because this piece of Joe’s apparatus always makes me feel sculpted after a workout. Though the Reformer may sound and look like a medieval torture device, I assure you it isn’t! It is an extremely versatile piece of equipment on which you can do many exercises similar to a mat class, but with SO MANY MORE variations and options to really get a whole body workout.
The “mat” portion of a reformer is called the carriage where you will lay, kneel, sit, or even stand. The carriage moves, sliding along the Reformer’s frame. Resistance comes from your body weight, as well as a series of springs. The springs have varying degrees of tension and are like a box of chocolates: choose different springs for different amounts of resistance and support.
Besides the Reformer alone, we sometimes add on a box, which is great for doing swan or for ab and side work. Add the jumpboard on instead, and you now have yourself a cardio powerhouse, great for legs, butt, and feet, and also for building up a sweat.
The Reformer is utterly adaptable, meaning no two people look the same on it. Those springs that provide resistance also offer support for more assisted moving. If you are unable to bear weight on your foot, working while lying on the carriage is an excellent alternative to continue strengthening without causing stress or discomfort to the foot. Remember, Pilates improvised the first “reformer” with springs on a hospital bed for patients who were not mobile.
If you haven’t tried a Reformer class yet, what are you waiting for?!? Pilates in Holland makes it comfortable for even the newest newbie by offering Foundations Workshops and Foundational Privates. You never need to feel anxious about coming to a new class because our teachers will lead you through all the equipment used in the studio. The PIH studio is our happy place, and we want it to be yours too!