If you have been practicing Pilates for a while now and are looking for a new challenge like I was, then you should try out reformer Pilates.
For some time, I have been looking for ways to push myself and my body and I tried it out after I heard someone recommend it.
Being someone with enough background in mat Pilates, it was easier for me to understand the terms and the poses I needed to do on the Pilates reformer machine.
Still, the machine has managed to test my strength, not only physically but also mentally.
It was also scary knowing that I would end up falling on my face into the hard machine (and not the mat) if I failed to master the pose.
At first, I enrolled in a reformer Pilates class to try it out and see if it was good for me.
Once I tried it out and loved it, I started looking for my own machine to use at home.
It has since then become my favorite workout in my routine. This is because it helps me tone, build strength and flexibility, without a strong impact on my joints.
This means, if you have issues with your joints, then you might find a reformer Pilates class easier than the mat version.
Here are some things I learned from working out on my Pilates reformer machine.
1. It Is Not An Easy Workout
If you are looking for an easy way to get fit or lose weight, then this is not the workout for you. Although I was fit and regularly doing mat Pilates, it was a bit of a shock for me.
The entire body gets worked out, even muscles you never even flexed or used before.
The movements also target certain muscle groups, despite the fact that the poses seem small and done slowly. Some regular Pilates moves become more complex on the machine as well.
The machine itself can provide different kinds of resistance, which means you can choose the difficulty of your workout a bit. Many machines have 3 springs in different colors.
Yellow provides the lightest resistance, while blue is medium and red is the heaviest resistance. If you are in a class, then your instructor will dictate the levels, but at home, you can decide.
2. Your Muscles Will Not Be Happy
Reformer Pilates is a great option if you are looking for a full body workout. Unless you have been hard at work exercising most of your body, you will experience sore muscles after your first few sessions.
The great news is that it has really done wonders for my core. The exercises work out the abs, pelvis, and lower back a lot, and I have the beginnings of a six-pack thanks to my new workout.
3. Dress Correctly
Tight clothing is important in allowing you to do the different positions properly without some annoying piece of cloth getting in the way.
Beyond that, grippy socks have been my savior. I use those grips to gain traction and prevent my feet from suddenly slipping, which happens often when you are sweaty.
Grippy gloves are also available, which is recommended for those with sweaty hands.
I find that using them helps me execute the positions properly and activate the right muscles. You will also not have to worry about your fingers or toes slipping.
Mixing up your exercise routine is always a good idea so that you do not get bored or you keep other muscles in shape.
As for me, moving from mat Pilates to the reformer machine has given me the challenge I have been looking for. I am extremely happy with the results and plan to continue on.