Even if you have been to a gym or done a workout you have probably heard about pilates. Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, the son of a gymnast and a naturopath, this form of controlled exercise was developed with the idea to improve a person’s overall wellbeing through movement. The “Contrology” method originally had six principles: breathing, concentration, centering, control, flow, and precision. Over the years his original method was refined by himself as well as his students and developed into the wildly popular methodology we know today.
While the use of exercise equipment is very widespread, pilates equipment is slightly less common and the Reformer is rather intimidating to see! It is, however, a really well-balanced apparatus designed to help the body “relearn” how to move and encouraging the type of flow that Joseph Pilates envisioned in his method. For the beginner, the movement of the reformer platform can feel disorienting at first but it is absolutely worth practicing and getting used to moving without gravity. Here are some muscle groups benefitted by the use of the Reformer:
The pilates powerhouse is more commonly known as the core, however, they do differ from each other slightly. The part of your body referred to as the powerhouse is between the bottom of your ribs down to your hips. All pilates exercises begin with the powerhouse muscles but the Reformer puts extra emphasis on complete natural movements that train strength into those muscles allowing them to support your body as move about.
Your abdominal muscles play such a huge role in your general health and you may not even realize it. Not only do strong abdominal muscles help with deep breathing, but they’re also what primarily forms part of the core muscles that help you stay upright and maintain correct posture. Your abs will be trained intensively on the Reformer as they must help you maintain position while flexing and stretching.
The lower back is also part of the powerhouse group. Lower back muscles are where people most commonly experience pain due to tension and stiffness. Some of the most important principles of spine health are taught in pilates and the reformer is great for completely supporting the back whilst focusing on the techniques that will alleviate pain and strengthen the muscles.
Ever felt envious of the more ample booty? No more need for that! The Reformer will help you to strengthen, tone, and yes – even enlarge your rear by encouraging the use of muscles that are often neglected with typical glute training routines. With the ability to adjust the tension of the springs on the machine you can control the tension of the exercises and target a specific goal.
While the pilates Reformer may seem like an advanced and intimidating piece of equipment, it is designed for even the most uninitiated beginner! It is expertly designed and worth checking out!