There is not much equipment that is used in a Pilates session. This is because, as opposed to weight training, you can use the same piece of equipment to exercise various parts of your body. The reformer is an excellent example of this.
What is a Pilates reformer?
The Pilates reformer is an exercise machine which is used to integrate Pilates exercise techniques for a challenging as well as intense workout. Springs, leverage in addition to body weight are utilised as resistance during the execution of the movements that target specific muscle groups.
Workouts consist of controlled, flowing movements that work your muscles through a full range of motion. The reformer adds enhanced resistance to the movement. By working in order to overcome the resistance, the Pilates training results in increased fitness levels.
Benefits of using a Pilates reformer
The Pilates reformer offers all the advantages of Pilates including total strength, flexibility, coordination, as well as balance. These benefits, in turn, lead to life improvements on a daily basis such as better posture, graceful as well as efficient movement, and for many people, relief from pain associated with the physical imbalances like back pain.
The reformer is big enough to accommodate full range of motion, which is superb for boosting flexibility while building strength. Reformer work invites the length you want to build in the body, and the machine trains the body to be able to sustain that length.
Pushing in addition to pulling with the legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage, as well as body weight is generally responsible for building strength. The exercises provide sufficient resistance as well as movement variety to assist with building strong bones.
Volatility of a rolling carriage, with the springs set at various levels of resistance, provides all sorts of stability challenges which develop core strength as well as promote better balance. For example, if you have less of the person’s body on the carriage this is one of the ways that Pilates exercises can get more difficult.
More bodyweight needs to be supported by the person performing the exercises. In addition, the body and machine must be controlled even more from the core. Ironically, when the springs are set lighter, some movements are more challenging for the core as it has to work harder to control as well as stabilise the movement. The stronger the core is, the better the person’s balance, posture, and total well-being.
Pilates reformer exercises
When using the reformer, there are a number of series of exercises that you can do in order to work various parts of the body. These series are:
*Long box series
*Feet in straps series
*Short box series
*Stomach massage series
*Knee extensions series
In the rest of this piece, we’ll look at the two exercises which make up feet in straps series as well as the different muscle groups that are worked by these exercises.
*Lie supine on the carriage.
*Flex your legs into a 90-degree tabletop position with your feet placed in the straps.
*Medially rotate your feet so that the reformer ropes are lying in between you legs and your heels are touching.
*Relax your arms and extend them by the sides of your body with your palms flat on the carriage.
*Ensure that your head is lying on the headrest.
*Your back must be in an imprinted position.
*Inhale to prepare.
*Exhale. Keep the abdominals strong and connected. Extend and adduct your legs together. Squeeze your buttocks and adductor group during the movement.
*Inhale. Ensure that you keep the awareness of your abdominals as you slowly and in a controlled fashion return to your starting position.
In the frog, you’ll work your glutes, hamstrings, adductors, abdominals and back-stabilising muscles.
*Lie supine the reformer carriage. Put your feet in the straps. Adduct your legs and extend them to a 45-degree angle to your torso.
*Your lower back must be in an imprinted position. Your arms must b relaxed and extended at the sides of your torso. Ensure that your palms are flat on the carriage.
*Put your head in a comfortable position on the headrest.
*Inhale. Keeping awareness in your abdominals lift your extended and adducted legs to a 90-degree angle toward your torso. Keep your buttocks and lower back firmly placed on the carriage.
*Exhale. Keep your abdominals contracted and strongly abduct your legs. Circle them away from you body to move the carriage outwards.
*Inhale and keep awareness in your abdominals. Return to your starting position.
Muscles which are worked in this exercise are the glutes, hamstrings, adductors and abdominals.
Working out with the reformer is possible for anyone no matter what their level of fitness is.