The Benefits of Reformer Pilates
- 29 October 2015 29 October 2015
From its introduction in the 1920s to the packed out studios of the 21st century, the philosophy of Joseph Pilates has become a worldwide phenomenon and a household name in well-being. Traditional mat Pilates classes offer an effective workout, however, there is now an even more challenging form to try on your next luxury Pilates holiday in the form of Reformer Pilates.
Reformer Pilates consists of performing a combination of movements on a Reformer machine. Specially designed to challenge and strengthen the body, the ‘reformer’ is so named because it was created to reform the body of the participant. Consisting of a large frame, topped with a flat, cushioned platform; this platform (or carriage) is attached to the frame by springs and moves as you push or pull with your legs and arms. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them which can be pulled to move the carriage. Through a variety of carefully choreographed movement, Reformer Pilates provides a full body workout. Here, we present the benefits of this low impact exercise that will increase flexibility, improve posture and boost your overall health.
1. A full body workout
Pilates on a mat is famed for its results on your core, and Reformer Pilates is just as effective for getting those abs of steel. However, unlike its mat-based sibling, Reformer Pilates works just as hard on the rest of your body. Ideal for full body toning on a fitness holiday, the range of movements engage compound groups of muscles in the legs, arms and shoulders.
2. High intensity, low impact
The use of springs, straps and the carriage in a Pilates Reformer class makes it a low impact fitness option, perfect for treating an injury on a healing holiday. Lying on the carriage keeps the range of movements on a horizontal plane, taking any pressure off weak or damaged knees and ankles. The low impact nature also means you can do it multiple times a week, and this consistency is key to seeing long-lasting health benefits.
Tone up on a Pilates reformer bootcamp at Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand
3. Great for athletes
Not only is Reformer Pilates a popular option for those who want to improve their fitness for health reasons, but sports fans can also enjoy performance-enhancing benefits. This dynamic form of Pilates improves muscle endurance, promotes better co-ordination and balance – essential to giving you that competitive edge. Runners can use Pilates to switch up and benefit their routine too; better body awareness improves technique while stronger muscles help you to move more efficiently.
4. Increases muscle strength
The tough springs on the Reformer frame provide resistance as you perform Pilates movements, strengthening your muscles and toning your body. Unlike the more static, mat based version, in a Reformer class you will lift, push and stretch; working deep into your muscles without a trip to the free weights area. Furthermore, the springs can be adjusted to provide different levels of resistance, so you can vary your workout and constantly set yourself new strength challenges.
Enjoy expert reformer Pilates instruction at Chiva Som in Thailand
5. Gives your brain a boost
Breathing well is essential to mastering Reformer Pilates, just as with meditation and yoga, where the focused practice of inhaling and exhaling calms the mind and helps you get into a more rhythmic flow. Concentrating on trickier movements also strengthens your mental muscles, keeping both your body and mind active as you improve their performance and efficiency.
6. Ideal for pregnancy
It can be difficult to know how to keep up your fitness when pregnant, but Reformer Pilates provides a safe option for staying healthy and active on a pregnancy wellness holiday. The low impact nature is perfect for swollen joints, the pelvic floor exercises will help during childbirth and core work will help ease back pain. Exercising during your pregnancy will maintain a base level of tone and fitness, helping your body to snap back more easily after pregnancy.
7. Perfect for posture
Engaging your core during Reformer Pilates isn’t just about getting great abs; it does wonders for your posture too. Your muscles contract to keep you balanced throughout the movements, thus improving your stability and creating better posture and alignment. Joseph Pilates believed posture was at the root of good health, and fitness experts agree. From better breathing and increased circulation, to more confidence and injury prevention, posture is a powerful tool for improved well-being.
Learn the ropes of reformer Pilates at Sianji Wellbeing Resort in Turkey
8. Small classes
Due to the size of each reformer machine, most Pilates Reformer classes tend to be no larger than around 10 participants. Offering a focused group for a learning Pilates holiday, you’ll get much more attention from the instructor, guiding your technique and motivating you to stretch that little bit further. Exercising within a small group will also introduce you to likeminded health fans, providing you with an essential support network when on an active singles holiday.
9. Improves flexibility
Providing a deep stretch for your major muscles groups, Pilates movements are all about quality, not quantity. Reformer Pilates will work your body hard - slowly transitioning between controlled movements engages and stretches your muscles as you try to maintain your balance. As your muscles strengthen and your posture improves, so your flexibility will increase. From office workers to athletes, flexibility is vital for overall fitness levels and an injury-free active lifestyle.
10. A great addition to your weight loss regime
Reformer Pilates is not going to see you shed the pounds on its own but when combined with a healthy diet and cardio-based fitness, it can be a valuable addition on a weight loss holiday as you hone your Pilates body. As you perform the movements your heart rate will increase and stronger muscles will give your metabolism a boost. With hundreds of possible movement combinations, Reformer Pilates will continually challenge your body and keep you from getting stuck in a fitness rut.