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What is the Difference Between Pilates and Reformer Pilates?

March 2, 2022

Starting a new exercise class can be intimidating, which is why many Australians shy away from the support they need. However, a reformer machine isn’t as strange as it may look, and can actually benefit you in ways that regular Pilates may not be able to.

Discover the difference of reformer Pilates and how it could benefit you – reach out to us at StudioXPhys for your next consultation.

What is a Reformer in Pilates?

A reformer specialises in resistance-based exercises, to achieve dynamic and full-body results. This machine is essentially a bench with springs, a sliding carriage, ropes and pulleys; all designed to make the most of your muscles. It was initially created in World War I to rehabilitate immobilised soldiers, and has since become an advanced tool for overall health and rehabilitative functions. A reformer is a versatile piece of exercise equipment, which acts as a support system for the body to aid proper form. The ability to increase or decrease difficulty makes it a suitable for people of all fitness levels, including those with a limited range of motion.

The Difference Between Pilates and Reformer Pilates

Pilates without a reformer is normally mat-based, which means it utilises your bodyweight for exercises. Reformer adds resistance via the use of springs, to provide a deeper workout. These springs can be adjusted to provide a gentler or more intense resistance, based on your exercise needs.

Whilst both forms of Pilates focus on the core, reformer Pilates also builds and tones other muscles and increases stability through the joints. This means you can undergo more forms of exercises on a reformer as compared to a mat, with the option to utilise different body positions. Reformer Pilates is more effective in achieving full body outcomes, as it works the entire body through a wide range of motions rather than focusing on the core alone. Not only does this provide more variety to your work out, but it can also enhance your results.

The Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates is beneficial beyond general fitness and weight loss goals. Rather, it can enhance flexibility, mobility and strength, in addition to aiding rehabilitation. It’s popular amongst athletes as a tool for overall stamina, rebalancing the body, maintaining core control and rotational movements.

1. Rehabilitation

Whether it’s sports rehabilitation or recurring spinal pain, reformer Pilates will help you minimise symptoms and improve your postural strength. A healthcare professional will start you at a base level, working your way upwards as you increase strength. Reformer Pilates will also allow patients to exercise safely in a horizontal motion which avoids weight bearing through the legs as seen in a vertical position. This is particularly beneficial when recovering from injuries of the knee or similar, where patients can safely strengthen muscles and speed up recovery. At SportXPhys, we’ll create a customised plan, tailored directly to your rehabilitation needs and fitness goals.

2. Core Strengthening

Reformer Pilates can also focus on safe and effective core strengthening, by isolating deep core muscles to achieve results. This can also be used as a sport specific training tool, improving core stabilisation, muscle endurance, balance, co-ordination and peripheral joint stability. However, this isn’t the only part of the body a reformer will focus on, it’s a useful tool for rebalancing the body from the core outwards and can be used to strengthen a variety of muscles.

3. Pregnancy and Post-Partum

Reformer Pilates is even known to ease the discomforts of pregnancy; reducing strain and back pain, as well as strengthening pelvic floor muscles and breathing techniques. It is one of the most effective yet safe exercises for pregnant and post-partum to ensure you are staying active. It’s important to seek the help of a qualified professional, to safely target the best muscles for real results.

Try Reformer Pilates

Is reformer Pilates sounding like a good option for your fitness needs? Whether you prefer a class setting or a one-on-one session, reformer Pilates is a safe and effective way to achieve your overall fitness goals.

At StudioXPhys, we offer quality physiotherapy and rehabilitation through a variety of therapies, including reformer Pilates. Our highly trained team of professionals will help you reach your goals in a supportive environment, tailored to your unique needs – get in touch to discuss your options.

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