If you’re like me who has been practising Pilates for quite some time now, there comes a point when you begin asking yourself how else you can improve on the various moves that this exercise and fitness system has to offer. You’d be glad to know that there are now platforms that can substantially improve the way we reap the many benefits of Pilates. Known as reformer machines, these contraptions can amplify the benefits we obtain from our classic Pilates moves. But, just how can a reformer machine help you?
Great for Strength Training
Not many people realise that Pilates can be a great regimen for strength training. But you can only achieve this if you use the right Pilates reformer machine. In selecting a Pilates reformer machine for such a purpose, you’d definitely want to get a machine that has resistance components. These can come in the form of resistance bands, tension cables or springs, and even weights.
The thing to understand about Pilates reformer machines is that they come with a movable platform which can be connected to a number of resistance mechanisms. While lying on the platform you can push with your feet to move the platform relative to a footboard. The springs or tension cables connecting the platform to the frame of the machine will try to prevent you from moving. As such, you will have to exert with all your might. Other systems also come with weights or even resistance bands for you to pull with your arms.
In both systems, you are strengthening the muscles of your legs and arms. And if you observe the principles of Pilates moves, you can also easily strengthen your core muscles. You can do these with a conventional Pilates mat or other contraptions, but the addition of resistance systems in a reformer machine enhances it.
Improves Range of Motion
One of the obvious benefits of Pilates is an improvement in joint range of motion which can easily translate to increased flexibility. When a Pilates reformer machine is used, the flexibility of the joints is further increased because of the addition of resistance systems.
It’s like the machine is inviting, encouraging you to work not only your muscles but also your joints. With the unique placement of the various reformer components, your limbs can be extended and maintained in a given position for a much longer time. If you use conventional Pilates equipment or devices, you may not be able to maintain the near-perfect alignment of the various tissues.
Stabilises the Core Muscles
The fundamental aim of Pilates exercises is the stabilisation and strengthening of the core muscles. I didn’t get this the first time I was practising Pilates, but now I understand. And when you use a reformer machine, the stabilisation of the core muscles can be further enhanced.
Again, the trick here is in the addition of resistance systems. You might think that putting the resistance at the lowest possible setting will be a lot friendlier to the core muscles. I found out that it does the opposite. Instead of your core muscles relaxing because of the lower levels of resistance where these muscles have to work against, the machine will try to disturb your balance. This effectively makes you want to control your balance by engaging more of your core muscles.
Believe me, it’s not easy trying to balance your body when something is trying to disrupt such a delicate balance.
Pilates reformer machines are ideal for those who want to up the ante of their Pilates moves. It stabilises the core, strengthens the muscles, and improves flexibility far better than conventional Pilates equipment.