Have you heard about Reformer Pilates classes

Have you heard about Reformer Pilates classes? Our resident wellness and lifestyle gurus Steph and Helen tell us about their classes at Studio One

For most people when they think of Pilates, they visualise mat classes. Although mat Pilates is very popular and most studios and gyms offer it, there are many other ways that you can do Pilates.

Joseph Pilates began to develop the Pilates Technique as we know it today whilst he was interned in the Isle of Man during the First World War. He encouraged the other men in his block to take part in daily exercise to keep their bodies and minds strong and healthy. He felt that the injured soldiers should also be encouraged to exercise to help with recovery, so he started to utilise the bed springs to create resistance for those that were bedridden to work against.

This is where he first developed the idea for his first machine, the reformer. After the war he moved to New York and opened his studio, located just off of Broadway. Due to the location, he attracted dancers, actors and other performance artists. He found that the spring resistance that he had used to help with rehabilitation was also perfect for supporting the body to encourage dancers to be able to practice larger, more acrobatic movements safely.

Today, most Pilates studios look very similar to Joseph Pilates’ original Broadway studio and the equipment has barely changed. The most popular machine is the reformer, it is used along side other prices of equipment in studio sessions and most studios will generally offer classes specifically on the reformer.

Click to watch this great Instagram demonstration video

#happysunday! This #extension exercise on the #pilatescadillac is a beautiful balance between allowing the springs to take you into a wonderful lengthening #backbend whilst the body meets the spring resistance to support and avoiding compression of the #spine. This #exercise is amazing for #spinalextension, #shoulderstability and #shouldermobility. Allowing the spine to release into the springs creates an amazing #stretch throughout the front line of the body, opening the #heartchakra and energising the spine. We hope that you all have a lovely Sunday and get the chance to relax, unwind and get out into nature. 💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚 "Opening your heart chakra: get out into nature. Visualise green light filling your heart. Inhale green light. Be love. Give love. Be thankful for all that you have." ~unknown

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When you first see the reformer, it can look a little like a torture device (some of our clients would argue that it is!). It is a flat carriage with springs attached at one end that can be adjusted to increase or decrease resistance and ropes attached to the other end that can be used for the legs and arms to pull against the springs, moving the carriage up and down its frame. There is also a foot bar at the spring end which we use for the feet to push against and in some exercises the hands.In a Pilates Mat class we generally work with  the weight our own bodies, which can sometimes be difficult for those with weaknesses and injuries.

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For example if someone has a neck injury, they may find it difficult to do the Pilates Mat abdominal work without feeling the neck take over. Instead of the abdomen getting stronger, they may end up over straining the neck.  The springs on the reformer can provide support and resistance for the body to work against, which means that the exercises can be adapted to take into account any injury that the individual may have, but still encourage areas such as the abdomen to strengthen.

The reformer is extremely versatile and can be used for clients that require postoperative rehabilitation, but also for those that want to take their Pilates training to the next level. Every Classical Pilates Mat exercise can be done on the reformer, with the added spring resistance to challenge balance, strength and stability.

The gliding action of the carriage is perfect for all manner of exercises in various positions, lying down, sitting work and standing work. The exercises can recreate and support actions that the body regularly makes, this can be especially good for keen athletes that want to dissect their movement’s to rectify any muscle imbalances, amend joint dysfunction and improve technique.If you are interested in trying out a reformer class, the Pilates Foundation website has a list of well qualified equipment studios and teachers www.pilatesfoundation.com


Helen and Stephanie x

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Royal Victoria House
51-55 The Pantiles
Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5TE
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