Now offering Pilates Reformer sessions - but what is it?

Updated: May 5, 2021

Most people are now aware, or at least heard of, Pilates. Mat Pilates is very popular all over the world in gyms, studios, Physiotherapists and is being recommended by medical professionals worldwide.

But what is the Pilates Reformer?

The Reformer is one of the 'large apparatus' that Joseph Pilates made and it has definitely stood the test of time. It is used worldwide by dancers, gymnasts, athletes and is now common place in most good studios and Physiotherapists. To put it simply - all the mat exercises can be done on the Reformer. The moving carriage helps you engage your stabilising muscles more effectively and the springs add resistance to challenge your body but also give you support when needed. It is suitable for all levels of fitness and, when taught by a qualified instructor like myself, it can lead to a healthier, happier, stronger more confident you!

The basic parts of the Reformer are the following:

  • The carriage and shoulder rests - this is where you can lie down, sit, kneel, stand

  • Foot bar - situated at the end of the frame to place your feet or hands

  • Straps - situated at the top of the frame and where you put your hands/feet to pull and push the carriage

  • Springs - these attach from the carriage to the frame and are what give the carriage resistance but also help with certain movements (support)

  • You can even add a 'jump board' to the bottom of the carriage to add a cardio element to you Pilates practice - you push of the jump board, with spring resistance to work your whole body

Fun fact: the dancers in New York gave the Reformer the affectionate name 'The Plié Machine' as it helped with their dance technique so much.


Now let me take you back to World War I to give you an insight into how it was made. The British interned Joseph Pilates as a prisoner of war and he spent his time developing a new approach to exercise and rehabilitation. During his internment he got to know a nurse and began working alongside her. One of his first experiments was attaching springs to hospital beds so that patients could start rehabilitating their bodies while still bed bound and the Pilates Reformer was born.

Fast forward to 1923, Joseph and his wife Clara moved to New York and they opened the first Pilates studio (previously called Contrology). The concept was a hit and it took no time at all for famous dancers like George Balanchine to become devotees. They found that Pilates not only helped rehabilitate their injuries but also stopped them from reoccurring and soon a wider audience heard of the method.

A gentleman called Alan Herdman brought the Pilates method back to England in the 1970's after being sent to New York by The London School of Contemporary Dance to investigate this exciting new type of exercise. Later that year the first Pilates studio called The Place was established.

This specialised piece of equipment is very popular worldwide as a full body workout. The aim being to lengthen, strengthen and tone your body, all while learning body awareness with the option to add the amazing cardio kick from the jump board. I am so pleased to now be able to offer 1-2-1 sessions at my studio.


Below is a short clip of me on my Reformer and I would love to offer a 45 minute taster session for just £22 when booked in January - February of 2021. To make the most this offer and to book you sessions, please contact me on the contact form at the bottom of my website.

I look forward to introducing you to the Reformer!



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