I know that you are wondering what an earth a Pilates reformer looks like. You have heard about it and your best friend attends lessons at the local studio but WHAT IS IT?
A Pilates reformer is a piece of equipment that you can either lay on (front or back) sit on, kneel on or stand on to perform exercises. There are hand straps, pulleys, springs to add resistance, shoulder rests, foot bar, and a head rest.
The carriage of the reformer glides back and forth when you pull on the straps either with your hands or feet. You may also push the carriage away by using your hands or feet on the foot bar.
There are quite a few choices when it comes to purchasing this piece of equipment and the price can vary depending on what you need to use your reformer for. Expect to pay thousands of dollars for a new reformer! Try to purchase one second hand if you can.
Also a word of advice. If you can afford a reformer that will adjust for different heights and flexibility then it is worth the extra money in the long run. There are many versions out there where you cannot remove the shoulder rest or adjust the carriage distance from the foot bar.
The reformer is very versatile. Try to find someone trained in the use of this wonderful piece of equipment to get the most out of your exercises. DVD's are great if you have had one on one training and are able to self adjust and correct on your own at home. Quite often we think our hips and spine are in the correct position for example (because we move like this through the day) but another trained set of eyes looking at us may tell us something very different.
The carriage on the reformer is moving as you use it so you have an added challenge. You are not sitting or laying on a stable surface so you are once again challenged to engage you core and place emphasis again on stabilizing your body as you move.
This is a picture of an Aero Pilates reformer with cords and a re-bounder board attached at the foot bar end.
Unlike the expensive brands there is no adjustable stopper to choose the stopping position of the carriage. This might be a consideration for those of you who are taller. It has cords not springs. The cords can be knotted to achieve the desired strap length. The stand and re-bounder board will be a separate purchase if you are thinking about buying a reformer like this.
Remember that you can also duplicate some of the reformer exercises with resistance bands.
This reformer was designed for the at home enthusiast. It is an affordable version for most people. It can fold to be stored If you also have a bad back or know that you have difficulty lifting objects then try and find a space where you can keep your reformer stationary.
Here is a picture of a Stott Pilates® Reformer. This reformer has springs and a movable gear bar. The foot bar can be moved to the desired height and the shoulder rests can be removed. The carriage stopper can also be moved to suit the height of the client. This reformer would be for studio use or at home for the serious Pilates enthusiast.
These reformers can be ordered in custom colors and they are quite expensive. Therefore, it is a substantial investment in a quality piece of equipment. This reformer is also a heavy piece of equipment and moving it, storing it or even finding space for it (inside your home) might be a challenge.
The opinions throughout my website are my own personal opinions. Please be sure to conduct your own research for the products that you hope to use and purchase.