Pilates Reformer Classes

Pilates Reformer Classes Help Those With Knee or Ankle Injuries pilates reformer classes

We all know that a Pilates class is founded on floor exercises, on a mat, in which exercises help you strengthen and stabilize your core.  In Pilates reformer classes a piece of equipment called the reformer is used, as opposed to all mat work.  It is resistance exercise equipment designed by Joseph Pilates, and it consists of a platform that moves back and forth along a carriage. Resistance is provided by the exerciser's body weight and by springs attached to the carriage and platform.  HIP Studio also uses a piece of equipment called a jumpboard, and it fastens to the end of the reformer, adding a cardio component.  It also allows those with knee or ankle issues to workout without fear of injury, by taking gravity out of the equation for less stress on the joints.

In a Pilates reformer class, a new level of strength is added with the spring resistance on the reformer.  The spring also provides support for more difficult exercises to create an easier variation on a mat position.  This results in a deeper and more specific workout for specific muscle groups.  It also helps you with your concentration, as you must be in control of each movement your body makes.

There are six principles of Pilates that have been adopted by the Pilates community, and they are not only applicable to mat classes, but Pilates reformer classes as well.  They include concentration, control, centering, flow (efficiency of movement), precision, and breathing.

Concentration is the demand of intense focus.  You must concentrate each moment you are in class, on your entire body for smooth movements.  This takes a lot of control.  All exercises are done with control with the muscles working against the resistance of the springs. In order to have this control, you must find your center, which is the focal point of the Pilates methods.  The center, or your core, is made up of your abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, butt, and inner thighs.

Once you have precisely grasped the techniques and movements, the exercises are designed to flow from one position to another to build strength and stamina.  Pilates and precision go hand – in – hand.  You must do each movement with precision, you or will lose the benefit of the position.  All value will be lost with an incorrect movement or position.  This is why concentration and control is so important.  The last principle is breathing, and it is far from the least important one.  You must properly and fully inhale and exhale.  There is great importance to increasing the intake of oxygen and the circulation of this oxygenated blood to every part of your body.

Here is a fun fact about the reformer equipment.  When Joe Pilates invented it, it was originally called the “bednasium”, because he constructed it from a metal bed frame, ropes and mattress springs. It was used to rehabilitate wounded soldiers so they could regain their strength and control of their bodies.