A Beginner's Guide to the Pilates Reformer

A Beginner's Guide to the Pilates Reformer

 Have you just signed up for your first Pilates Reformer class? Congratulations! This is a class that will totally change the way you approach fitness and wellness. Reformer Pilates encourages a mind-body connection that has countless benefits and sets you up for a lifetime of exercise that challenges your muscles while supporting your joints. 

But it can also be intimidating if you’ve never used a Reformer before! This guide will help you familiarize yourself with the anatomy of the Pilates Reformer so you can walk into class confidently knowing the difference between a footbar and the platform and be ready to use both during your workout.

What is a Pilates Reformer?

The Pilates Reformer is the apparatus that is used to perform a variety of exercises that make up the Pilates regimen. Today.com explains, “The reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates and is a bed-like frame with a flat platform that rolls back and forth on wheels.” Springs, which are used to change the resistance within the reformer, attach the platform, which is called the carriage, to the reformer frame. 

Above the springs is a footbar, which can be adjusted to different levels depending on the movement and can also be used to brace the hands during planks and other exercises. The reformer also has straps that are used for both arm and leg work, as well as stretching.

Additionally, other props are used to modify exercises on the Reformer, including a box, ball, and magic circle.

What Does the Reformer Do?

With a Pilates Reformer, you have the ability to add support and weight where you need it. The springs are adjustable and can be layered depending on whether lighter or heavier weight will help modify in a given movement. In some cases, lighter weight may be easier, while, with other exercises, heavier weight may provide more support. 

Because of its springs, the Reformer allows you to customize resistance and work on creating long, lean, toned muscles.

How Do You Use a Reformer?

In a Pilates class, an instructor will carefully walk you through how to use the Reformer with each exercise. They will guide you through the recommended resistance, offering alternatives if you’d prefer to modify up or down. The Reformer is an easy-to-learn apparatus that only looks intimidating. Within a few classes, you’ll know the right adjustments for you. 

Why is the Reformer an Important Part of a Pilates Practice?

Both Mat and Reformer Pilates provide an excellent, full-body workout that builds strength, improves flexibility, and relieves tension, but the Reformer is an important part of a Pilates practice because of the level of personalization it enables. Because you can add or subtract resistance, you have the power to jump into a more challenging workout. 

The Reformer also protects your joints because it assists your own body weight. It gives you the ability to carefully target specific muscle groups, while also helping you stabilize your core. It’s both more challenging and more supportive at the same time.

And, in addition to the body benefits, Women’s Health UK reports, “The proven mental benefits include improving memory; training the brain; the good old endorphin kick; and relieving anxiety and depression.”

How the Frame Reformer is Different

It’s no surprise that we’re huge fans of the benefits of a Pilates Reformer workout here at Frame Fitness. That’s what inspired us to develop the innovative Frame Reformer!

Our Reformer is based on traditional Reformer technology, but with all the upgrades that we’d always wished for — and we made  it easier, more lightweight, and more aesthetically pleasing for use in your own home. 

The first thing you’ll notice about the Frame Reformer is its minimalist design from high-quality materials. While it’s portable and easy to move, it’s also a well-styled and modern piece of equipment that looks more like a piece of furniture than an exercise machine.

With both front and back platforms, as well as a 24" bluetooth-enabled, 180° swivel touchscreen monitor for ease of tuning into classes, the Frame Reformer is designed to be customizable to your workout needs. There’s no more need for clunky springs thanks to dual push-button technology on both the front and back platforms, with easy color coding from light to dark, that makes it easy to adjust resistance. The carriage provides a smooth, seamless experience and the sturdy footbar easily locks into place at various levels. For those who are taller, the box can be used to extend the platform.

The Frame Reformer is a truly personalized experience that moves as beautifully as it looks. We took the best qualities of the traditional Reformer and blended it with cutting edge technology and modern design. 


If you’ve used a Pilates Reformer before, what do you wish you’d known before your first class? What would you change about the Reformer to make your Pilates practice better? Let us know in the comments!


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