Pilates Reformer Has Big Body Benefits – Here’s Why
At first glance, you might think that a Pilates reformer looks like a medieval torture device, but the reality is quite different!
Both Reformer and traditional Pilates involve slow and focused moves that improve muscle strength and posture.
Reformer Pilates uses resistance against spring-loaded machines, helping you to feel the main benefits of Pilates, but at a higher level.
Both traditional and Reformer Pilates have physical advantages, but if you want to maximize your workouts, Reformer Pilates can deliver amazing benefits for the body!
We’ll cover some of the main advantages of a Pilates reformer in this article, including whether it’s good for weight loss, and how long you’ll have to train to see results.
Keep reading to find out some of the great things Reformer Pilates has to offer!
Reasons Why A Pilates Reformer Is Great For The Body
Presents A Challenge
Pilates involves a lot of moves that aim to strengthen the core. A Pilates Reformer maintains this focus on abdominal strength but makes strengthening other body parts a lot easier to do.
You can use the machine to do exercises which make the legs and arms stronger. For example, a Pilates Reformer has straps that let you do glute kicks, leg and arm curls, and shoulder raises.
You Choose The Resistance
A Pilates Reformer uses springs as resistance, but you can add and remove as many springs as you choose. This lets you decide how challenging you want your workout to be.
For instance, if you have issues performing squats, you can conduct the movement while lying on your back.
As you position your feet on the reformer’s end, you can perform squats without the added stress on your knees.
This makes the movement a lot kinder to your joints, and also makes it simpler for those with balance problems.
Conversely, if you want more of a challenge to your squats, you can add heavier springs to the reformer.
This means you’ll have to deal with more resistance, making the squats harder to perform, which works out your muscles more.
Your Muscles Will Work In Several Ways
Pilates reformers are great for your muscles, as they work them through a few of their possible movements. These are concentric, isometric, and eccentric.
Concentric movements are muscle contractions. These occur when your muscle fibers start handling added resistance, becoming shorter as a result.
Eccentric movements occur when the muscle fibers become longer, which is the opposite of concentric motions.
For example, when you move from a forward fold position to a plank, your abdominal muscles use eccentric motions while you lower down.
Reformers make eccentric motions a lot easier when performing Pilates movements.
Isometric motions are different from the others, as they involve controlling the muscles through a static hold. A good example of this is a plank.
You hold your core in tight for a certain period, controlling your muscles in the process. This isometric contraction is one of the best exercises you can do for core strength.
Reformer Pilates Is Versatile
A Pilates reformer is a multipurpose machine. You can add attachments like poles, plank bars, and jump boards to it, giving you several ways to perform strength movements on the machine.
You can do open chain or closed chain movements on a Pilates reformer. Open chain movements are ones where your hand or foot (which may be in a strap) can move easily.
Closed chain motions are ones where your foot or hand is bound to an item, usually the reformer’s platform. Both forms of movement can be performed by kneeling, standing up, or lying down.
As the reformer is so versatile, personalizing workouts become easy. You can adapt the movements according to your goals and fitness level.
You can accommodate for any previous injuries or physical restraints too.
Kinder To The Joints
A great advantage of a Pilates reformer is that compared to traditional Pilates, it won’t place stress on your joints.
The exercises are performed from a lying or seated position, so the movements are non-weight bearing. Gravity won’t be affecting your joints.
As it’s kinder to your joints, a Pilates reformer is ideal for runners who want to resistance train.
For the same reason, those with arthritis, or any other health conditions that cannot perform high-performance movements should also consider reformer Pilates.
People who are rehabbing injuries can become stronger with a Pilates reformer without putting their joints in any danger.
However, if you are rehabbing an injury, only do so while working with a doctor and experienced Pilates professional.
Moves Body Through Its Full Range Of Motion
The cables and bars on a reformer allow you to perform exercises through their full range of motion. Doing this on your own can be difficult for some individuals.
However, when you attach the cables to your feet or arms, your only option is to follow each movement through their full extension.
Some people believe that reformers can give people longer and leaner muscles, but this isn’t true.
Muscles can’t be made longer than they are, but you can stretch and move them through their full range of motion.
This helps to work out the whole muscle, not just a certain part of it. You’ll also get a nice stretch while making the muscle stronger, simultaneously.
Working out and moving your muscles through their whole range of motion is important for keeping mobile and strong while you age.
If you don’t use your muscles while you can, you’ll lose your strength a lot more later.
Can A Pilates Reformer Help You Lose Weight?
Pilates reformers can help you lose fat, but this isn’t their main benefit.
Pilates is a type of resistance training. These movements help make your muscles stronger by placing them under stress.
The motions are challenging, but unlike cardio workouts, they won’t increase your heart rate that much, so you won’t burn a lot of calories.
Pilates reformer movements are great to add to your training routine, but they shouldn’t be your main focus.
It’s better to add them to a routine that consists of a form of cardio, like running, cycling, or even gentle walking!
You’ll burn more energy with these exercises, and as long as you’re in a calorie deficit, you’ll lose weight.
The Bottom Line: How Long Does It Take To See A Difference?
All forms of exercise take time to see a difference. How long you’ll have to train to see results depends on several factors, such as your genetics, diet, and how often you train.
In most cases, you’ll feel a difference after ten reformer Pilates sessions.
Most people start seeing an improvement in their physique after 20 sessions, then after 30, they’ll see a marked difference in their body.
Don’t take this to mean that you’ll look like a whole new person after 30 sessions!
If your dream physique is very different from your current one, you’ll probably have to make dietary changes and train for a few months to attain it.
However, as long as you’re consistent, a Pilates reformer can make you feel a lot stronger, taller, and more energized than you did before you began training.
If you’re interested in all of these physical benefits, you should definitely consider looking into training with a Pilates reformer!