If you’re looking for a low-impact workout that’ll still be guaranteed to have your heart pumping? Well look no further than reformer pilates.
Unlike traditional mat-based pilates classes, pilates reformer classes are conducted with the use of a reformer machine, meaning there’s a greater focus on building up your resistance in a more rhythmic fashion than you may experience with resistance bands alone. But there’s much more to gain from reformer pilates than just the invigorating experience alone!
Read on for all the positive benefits that you can expect when you add reformer pilates to your workout routine.
Toning the body and burning fat
Any seasoned gym junkie knows that although anaerobic exercise can be super effective when it comes to burning fat, maintaining that level of high-intensity activity for too long can lead to lactic acid build-ups in the body, and a decreased likelihood of recovering adequately in the days following that workout.
In truth, the real secret to burning fat quickly is incorporating elements of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise in your workout routine. As pilates reformer classes tend to alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity movements, the mix between anaerobic and aerobic activity naturally makes pilates an effective workout for those who are looking to prioritise body toning in their fitness routine.
Whether you’re using a pilates ring, chi balls, foam rollers, or the reformer machine, all of the movements involved in pilates are designed to target specific parts of your body to guarantee that you get a low-impact full body workout with every class. This rings doubly true for reformer pilates, as the reformer machine naturally engages both your arms, legs, and core as you use it.
The reformer machine’s pulley system uses resistance rather than weight (which is used in traditional strength training) to encourage muscular contraction, which works your fascia, inspires muscle lengthening, and innately increases your overall flexibility too.
Even though reformer pilates is quite different to traditional strength training, you should always be sure to take rest periods between sets that focus on a shared specific muscle group, just to minimise your risk of muscle strain and promote healthy fitness gains.
Strengthening your core
Like mat-based pilates, reformer pilates will have you performing a variety of movements with strength and rhythm. As the reformer machines are designed to make you actively hold your core in place as your arms and legs move across the machine in order to complete movements, reformer pilates is inherently designed to get you communicating with your core in a way you may not have thought to before your training commenced.
Alongside this, it’s also worth noting that because of the machine’s pulley system, reformer pilates is incredibly gentle on your spine and hip flexors, so you’ll also be likely to experience better posture and overall flexibility after just two weeks of regular classes.
Correcting hormonal imbalances
Practicing pilates is essentially setting you up for a positive feedback cycle: you work hard, your body strengthens and tones, you feel confident internally, and you’re able to work even harder. As can be observed with any good exercise regime, you’ll be sure to experience positive effects not just on your body, but also on your mind and your physiology too. The release of endorphins during this workout will keep you happy today, and the continuous strengthening and toning that this activity supports will in turn, encourage your body to correct any hormonal imbalances, ultimately improving your mental health, and also making it easier for you to lose weight and keep that weight firmly off.
With reformer pilates, you’ll experience these positive impacts without the strain that may accompany other higher impact workouts. This means that all those hard-earned endorphins can be experienced in all their glory and without mind to what you’re going to feel like the day after every session.
In essence, reformer pilates encourages you to practice regularly, because the activity itself is so fun and inviting. You build a connection with your body during reformer pilates classes, and with every new class, you feel this connection deepen and grow, until it’s impossible for you not to be physically present wherever you are, whether you’re sliding on your reformer machine, or walking to work on a Monday morning. If you ask me, that connection alone is the only reason you should need for taking up this wonderful workout.