Reformer Pilates is a phenomenal workout for your body’s “powerhouse,” or your abs, lower back, hips and glutes. It is heavily focused on alignment and accurate muscle engagement, which can lead to improved posture, better balance and more stability, especially when in motion.
Core Strength. Core Stability You’ve heard those terms before but what are they? Well, they are much more than the latest fitness buzzwords – they are keys to a healthier lifestyle through mindful movement and Pilates.
Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat or a variety of equipment. It evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates and can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs.
What is mind-body exercise?
Mind-body exercise like Pilates is activity that keys on the mental focus of the physical movements being performed. With this type of exercise quality of movement is stressed over quantity of movement. You’ll often see instructors using a lot of verbal “cues” and coaching on things like the quality of breathing, rhythmic inhalation and exhalation during the exercise, and proper body alignment.
Simply put mind-body exercise contributes to overall fitness and assists with engagement of the mind.
A refreshing mind-body workout
By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely in tune with your body. You actually learn how to control its movement.
In Pilates the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Last but not least, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.
Develop a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back
Pilates exercises develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
More conventional or traditional workouts are weight bearing and tend to build short, bulky muscles – the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Create an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance, and prevent injuries
In the same vein, a lot of these same conventional workouts tend to work the same muscles. This leads weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance – a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain.
Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease, better performance and less chance of injury.
Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is so safe; it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.
Is Pilates reformer a good workout for you?
The Pilates reformer is best for individuals who are seeking to achieve core stability and good postural alignment. Pilates reformer can be a great workout for anyone. “Both the equipment and the exercises can be modified and adjusted to anybody, which makes it perfect for those looking to tone up, rehab from an injury, train for a particular hobby or sport, or for those looking for low impact, full-body workout”. Pilates reformer work is low-impact and adaptable to all fitness levels. It benefits everyone from teenagers to seniors and elite athletes to people with a more sedentary lifestyle. “Pilates reformer work focuses on core strength and proper muscle engagement which improves athletic performance, back pain, injury recovery, weight loss, balance, bone density and posture to name a few. It is a movement system designed to better our everyday life and well-being.”