3 Results to Expect From Pilates Reformer Classes
Pilates reformer classes: They’re all the rage on social media and in gyms everywhere.
And with pilates reformer machines and accessories gaining traction amongst celebrities, the odds of this workout regime quickly turning to a flameout are almost zero.
You can be sure that the results from pilates reformer classes do indeed back up all the hype.
Today, you’re about to find out:
- Why you need to take these classes
- What results you can expect from taking these classes
- How you can prepare yourself to make the best out of these classes
- How you’ll feel after your first pilates reformer class
Pilates Reformer Classes and the Chuck Norris Effect
The Chuck Norris effect is based on the titular actor, whose legacy is grossly exaggerated. For instance, “When Chuck Norris does division, there are no remainders,” is a blatant overstatement.
But have pilates reformer classes also faced this effect?
Primarily, no. The physical, mental, and psychological benefits pilates reformer classes have had on individuals are mind-blowing. Pilates is a strict workout regime that trains you to understand your body’s limits and work within them. This is precisely why the results of a successful pilates reformer class will be unique and truly astronomical.
And the reformer only enhances the results of a regular pilates class. Pilates mat classes are still a favorite and may be taken at an introductory level before dealing with the big machine. Pilates reformer classes are a testament to how far Joseph Pilates’ invention has come since the 1920s.
We know that seeing is believing, which is why we’ve outlined these five surefire results you can expect after taking pilates reformer classes.
1 - Improved Posture
Did you know that poor posture can cause an enlarged abdominal area, popularly known as a potbelly? Studies prove that continuous instances of couch slouching can lead to the anterior pelvic tilting forward. Reformer pilates counteracts this by improving your posture.
In a pilates reformer class, your instructor may guide you on using handles or handlebars to lift and hold your body weight in a straight sitting position. Repeat these movements till they’re in sync with your muscles. Remember, pilates’ mantra is: repeat, repeat, repeat.
Posture braces are orthopedic posture correctors that help straighten your back, but they’lll only weaken your muscles and make them dependent. A reformer will strengthen your core muscles.
The pelvis, hips, stomach, and lower back are where the core muscles are located. Every pilates activity involves these muscles. Even the simplest activity of rolling on the carriage strengthens your lower back muscles, thus improving your posture.
Your core muscles must be moved constantly to keep them in perfect working condition. The movements have to be precise and controlled. This means that your joints won’t be overwhelmed by the exercise. Remember, pilates reformer classes are more about quality than quantity.
Your pilates reformer class instructor will monitor your workout and advise you on how to sit straight.
Some classes allow you to come with a friend as part of their complimentary package. Your friend may check to see if your posture is improving or if you seem to struggle while doing a particular exercise.
You might feel the burn after a pilates reformer class, but that’s just your body getting used to being pushed beyond its comfort zone. Despite slow movements at the beginner level, soreness is natural and will completely dissipate within three days.
“Yes, it was a struggle to laugh or cough the days that followed said workout ... but there was a new found ballet-esque quality in my posture that I wasn’t expecting…”
- Jessica Wang, Mamamia
Our Vaissal Pilates Spine Supporter helps maintain your spine’s shape and achieve proper form. You sit on the reformer as if in a chair and relax. After several workout sessions, your back muscles will slowly get used to this optimal sitting position.
2 - Heightened Body Awareness
The fancy word for body awareness is kinesthesia or proprioception. Body awareness involves:
- Embodying your body; living from your body’s perspective
- Understanding what each body part does and how to optimize results
What pilates reformer classes do is that they keep your body so fit that when tensions arise, you’ll be able to detect them a mile away. Also, since you’ll know your body’s limits, you’ll be less likely to harm yourself while doing daily activities.
The reformer has springs that act as resistance. The resistance increases or decreases the workout’s difficulty depending on your needs.
Resistance levels vary and are depicted as four different color codes on most reformers. You’ll see these colors on the springs’ carabiners or the hooks attached to the trolley:
- Yellow: Least resistance
- Blue: Light resistance
- Red: Medium resistance
- Green: Heavy resistance
Attending pilates reformer classes lets you understand what kind of resistance works for your body at a certain time, and how to increase after each session. Your instructor will help you achieve this state of body awareness by coming up with new and challenging reformer fitness activities for you.
However, the most pivotal impact pilates reformer classes have on your body awareness is increasing your sensitivity to your core muscles. You’ll be able to feel your muscles move, even under the slightest pressure.
Consider our Vaissal Pilates Wall Unit for the best reformer pilates at-home experience.
“Pilates is complete coordination of body, soul, and spirit.”
- Joseph Pilates
Some who swear by reformer pilates argue that the classes have the following mental health and wellbeing benefits:
- Stress relief and helps deal with traumatic experiences
- Working out with other people builds a sense of community
- Mind-soul-body sync
Our Elite Cadillac Reformer has six resistance springs ranging from light to strong (2 light, 2 medium, and 2 strong). Adjust your reformer to whichever resistance you need for your body goals.
3 - Improved Flexibility
Fun Fact: Pilates was originally meant for boxers. However, too many dancers flocked to Joseph Pilates’ first studio in New York. The dancers wanted to be more athletic and flexible in their dance routines.
A reformer works to stretch your muscles further and with very little tension. Every reformer pilates video you’ve watched incorporates some form of movement, automatically implying that the body is in a moving state.
As the rails move, your body moves on the carriage. This ensures that your muscles are moving and being stretched.
Lower flexibility makes you more vulnerable to injury. Simply put, injuries to your body are caused by underusing various muscles. Reformer pilates helps to put these muscles into use by systematically moving them.
Vigorous movement may tear your muscles. Therefore, your instructor can build difficulty slowly for you depending on where you are on your reformer journey. And a brief warm-up before hitting the reformer exercises will help to prepare your body for any workout.
Incorporating physical activity complements your pilates reformer classes. Your body will stretch more and with less strain.
Remember, in pilates, less is more. Pilates helps improve your flexibility so that your workout will be easier and more fruitful.
Quick Tip: For your first pilates reformer class, bring with you:
- Grip socks
- A water bottle
- A teachable spirit
Also, don’t wear jewelry or jeans to class. Leggings will do the trick.
How Should You Feel After Pilates Reformer Classes?
Pilates reformer classes will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You can work with your instructor to incorporate lessons from your previous classes to increase your productivity.
Whether you’re buying a pilates reformer for your home or starting a gym or studio, our reformers are your best bet.
In the following table, we highlight which pilates reformer is best for what.
|Expected Result||Best Pilates Reformer|
|Improved posture||Pilates Spine Supporter, Aluminium Pilates Reformer HL1, 3, 4|
|Heightened body awareness||Pilates Wall Unit, Elite Cadillac Reformer|
|Improved flexibility||Cadillac Trapeze Table, Wall Board ONNE|
Ultimately, your instructor will help you see that pilates is a lifestyle, not just a workout.
Your first pilates reformer class can be all you dreamed of and more. And after a few sessions, you’ll be a pro on the reformer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pilates reformer classes suitable for pregnant women?
Pregnant women can also enjoy pilates reformer classes. Just be careful to avoid intense workouts or strong resistance on the reformers. You can talk with your instructor about this.
Can my child take part in pilates reformer classes?
There are dedicated pilates reformer classes specifically meant for children. They’ll be taught body awareness from a young age, which will benefit them in the long run—but some instructors do have a no-children policy.
How soon can I expect to see results?
Typically, with about two or three sessions a week, you can expect to see results in three weeks max. The movements become more intuitive after a few classes, and your flow (how you transition from one exercise position to the next) noticeably improves. This will be reflected in how your body feels after each class.
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