Here at Omni Pilates we value our ability to practice Pilates on a reformer. A lot of people who haven't heard much about Pilates will automatically ask "what is a reformer?" Although the name sounds somewhat medieval, it is actually an amazing machine that allows you to preform countless exercises elegantly.
The reformer is a piece of resistance exercise equipment designed by Joseph Pilates. 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.
The reformer provides finely tuned exercise resistance that allows one to work very precisely to develop good alignment, core strength, and flexibility.
The Springs, Foot bar and Gear System
The height of the foot-bar is adjustable. There will be two to four notches on the inside of the frame that will allow you to adjust the height of the foot-bar. Your instructor will help you figure out which height is best for you.The springs provide resistance from the machine.
The carriage is the part you put your body on. The carriage is moved by pushing against the foot bar, or by pulling the straps or ropes at the other end of the reformer.
Head Rest and Shoulder Blocks
Many Pilates reformer exercises are done lying down with the head on the headrest. The shoulder blocks keep you stable on the reformer as you push or pull the carriage.
The Straps or Ropes
The straps are connected to pulleys at the top end of the reformer. The straps have handles on the end that you can grasp to pull or push the carriage.
Overall, the reformer makes a dramatic impression when you first see one, and an even more dramatic change in the body when you use it.