What is a Pilates Reformer?
From the desk of Kristen M. Reynolds, DPT, CPT...
Despite its intimidating looks, the Pilates Reformer is an intelligent apparatus that offers a challenging and effective workout for all. The most well-known piece of Pilates equipment, its sophisticated design of springs, pulleys and a platform offer a versatile repertoire of exercises that incorporate strength and flexibility training in a way that enhances posture, balance, and coordination.
Starting from the “foot of the bed” the parts of the Reformer are as follows:
- Stationary platform
- Adjustable footbar, which is pushed or pulled using the arms, legs, wrists and ankles in a controlled manner
- Springs of multiple tensions that easily hook and unhook on the spring bar to modify resistance for different exercises and muscle strength
- Carriage stopper which allows one to change the distance of the spring bar from the end of the carriage to accommodate leg length
- The body works on the carriage lying down, sitting, kneeling, or standing and glides it by working the footbar or straps at the head of the Reformer. An adjustable headrest and shoulder rests are present for comfort.
- Straps are connected to pulleys at the head of the reformer and have loops on the end that you grasp or put on your feet to pull or push the carriage
Essentially, the extremities move thru range of motion to push or pull the carriage against the resistance provided by your body weight and the springs while maintaining spinal stability and postural alignment. The variable springs allow for progressive resistance, which helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles provide an effective, non-impact workout. The joints are not stressed and the deep core muscles engage in a way that you have never experienced before.
Still not convinced that Reformer is the workout for you? Contact OMBE to schedule a complimentary 30 minute demo!
Kristen M. Reynolds, DPT, CPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Pilates Teacher
Kristen Reynolds earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science from James Madison University in 2006 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2009.
While practicing in orthopedics and sports medicine, a mentor introduced her to the Pilates Method and she has since pursued comprehensive certification to compliment her clinical interests. She has studied with Balanced Body, Peak Pilates, and most recently Balancepoint Pilates. She is an active member of the Pilates Method Alliance, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy Sections, as well as the APTA of Massachusetts Shoulder and Manual Physical Therapy Special Interest Groups.
Always interested in sports and fitness, she is a former YMCA and Junior Olympic gymnast, coach, and ACE personal trainer. Integrating the Pilates principles and Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair repertoire into her physical therapy practice has produced successful rehabilitation outcomes for a wide variety of patients, including adolescents, elite athletes and dancers, and individuals with chronic orthopedic conditions. Kristen utilizes this alternative therapeutic approach to improve muscle performance and joint mobility, correct posture and alignment, enhance body awareness, and create an evenly conditioned body that is more resilient to extremity and spinal injury. She greatly enjoys designing programs to target personal goals, educating clients to incorporate Pilates into their daily activities, and teaching small group classes.