I know a lot of you take Pilates mat classes, and some of you are entertaining the notion of taking Reformer classes. And I think you should since the Reformer is my favorite piece of Pilates equipment. Not only is it the original piece of equipment, but it is so versatile you can work every muscle with this one machine. The variations are endless.
A Reformer is a little bit smaller and lower than a twin-size bed. The carriage moves against spring resistance — there are five springs with different tensions creating an infinite amount of possible weights to work with. For Footwork, the most basic exercise on the Reformer, you lie with your back on the carriage, put your feet on the foot bar and just push yourself out and control yourself back in. It is considered a warm-up exercise and is for rehabbing knee and ankle injuries, as well as integrating the pelvic floor with leg motion.
You can work your feet in the loops (at the end of the ropes) to work your legs. Or attach handles to the ends of the ropes to work your arms. Standing on the machine and moving the carriage really challenges your sense of balance and your core. Ahhh . . . so many variations, so little time.
To see some of my favorite moves you can do on the Reformer