Just 10 years ago, the pilates reformer used to be an exclusive workout. Finding a studio that offers it were few and far between. Currently however, the pilates reformer has become more mainstream. There are a number of franchise studios such as Club Pilates. In Australia and New Zealand alone, the pilates market grew by 250% in 2022. In my neighborhood, there are about 10 studios that offer pilates reformer workouts within a 5 mile radius.
One way I try to keep an open mind is to try movement or sports that’s new to me. A few weeks ago I decided to try a pilates reformer workout. This is my experience. I went with a local non-franchise studio. I’ve discovered a long time ago that yoga works for me, so my experience includes comparisons with yoga. Overall, the reformer gave me a solid workout. I like that you can increase resistance with the bands and the instructor provided individual adjustments. Maybe it helps that it’s a small studio with a maximum of 6 people.
I don’t think I’ll be doing pilates reformer regularly for now, but I can see why those who love yoga also like doing pilates.
Form and Resistance
I gravitate towards low-impact movement, and if you like to workout with bands instead of weights, the reformer allows you to increase the range of motion you can access with resistance.
Adie from the reformer, we used 3 other equipments: a stepper, a foldable box, and a mini ball. And of course, you need socks.
I understand their uses, but I’m not a big fan of equipment-heavy workouts. I don’t mind props in an Iyengar practice where we use them to support a pose for long periods of time. And I understand why you need these equipments to do some pilates moves and add resistance, but it was a lot. The reformer itself is so large and versatile that it would be nice if that was enough.
Similar to yoga, instructions included specific muscle groups to target. This aspect for me is important because learning about how our body works lets us take care of ourselves more.
Mind and Body Connection
Unlike yoga, I didn’t feel elevated after pilates. I guess that’s what makes yoga more than a workout. After yoga, my whole body feels alive: mind sharper and calmer. I didn’t realize it until after trying the reformer, but being barefoot, connecting to the earth, adds to the yoga experience. Using just your body to move around space, the breathing, savasana, the words instructors use throughout a yoga class give me the complete package.
I can see myself occasionally attending a pilates reformer class, for sure. It’s a great workout, especially for people that don’t find the same release that I do in a yoga practice, but are in search of a low-impact workout. I like to introduce my friends to different workouts and to those who haven’t tried it, I’ll be sure to take them to a pilates reformer class.
Tell me about your experience with pilates reformer and new workouts: Do you workout with a pilates reformer regularly? Or have you tried it recently? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may use your contribution in a future article or newsletter.