The Benefits of Reformer Pilates Classes

You’ve heard that Reformer Pilates classes come with a wide range of benefits, physically and mentally. But that doesn’t answer the question of what those benefits are, or any of your other questions about Reformer Pilates. What is Reformer Pilates, and how is it different to Mat Pilates? 


We answer these questions and more as we dive into the benefits of Reformer Pilates classes, how Reformer Pilates differs to Mat Pilates, and how a one on one session can be beneficial. To find out more or to book a Reformer Pilates session or class, contact our friendly and experienced team at 13th Beach Health Services today. 


What is Reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is a form of Pilates using a Reformer Pilates machine. This machine is a bed-like frame with a flat platform that glides back and forth with the assistance and resistance created by springs. Reformer Pilates has been around since the early 1900s, and remains so popular due to its ability to help with both exercise and rehabilitation.  

The Reformer machine allows you to train your whole body while improving flexibility, strength, core control, and body awareness. The machine itself can look a bit intimidating when you first see it, but trust us, it’s nowhere near as scary as you may think!   

How Is Reformer Pilates Different From Mat Pilates?

If you walk past a Reformer Pilates class and then a Mat Pilates class, you’ll be able to tell the difference with just one look! Reformer Pilates is done on the Reformer machine, whereas Mat Pilates is done on mats on the floor, without the machine.  

Thanks to the additional equipment, Reformer Pilates lets you work out lying down, sitting, or standing. The options to lie or sit down make it an excellent choice for those recovering from injury or with less stamina or leg strength. Reformer Pilates can also provide options that aren’t available in Mat Pilates, giving you a new challenge to take on. 

When Is a 1:1 Session Beneficial?

For personalised attention, a one-on-one Reformer Pilates session can offer you the flexibility (see what we did there?) to work out how you’d like. A one on one session with every move tailored to you can help you achieve your goals in privacy, or help you to master the fundamentals before joining a group class. 

5 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates can assist with a range of benefits, including: 


1. Improving Core Strength

Reformer Pilates places a lot of importance on core strength. The Reformer machine, with its springs and resistance, offers increased benefits over Mat Pilates when it comes to increasing core strength. A stronger core will help you to strengthen your whole body, and over time you’ll likely experience better posture, coordination, and balance. 

2. Increasing Range of Motion

Stiff joints and muscles can make you feel confined and achy. Reformer Pilates allows you to stretch out these stiff and sore muscles and joints, and safely move them through their full range of motion. The cables on the Reformer machine force you to ‘follow the rules’, so to speak, whereas with Mat Pilates it’s possible to cheat! The machine helps you to stretch as you strengthen, which decreases stress and strain on those muscles and joints. 

3. A Full Body Workout  

Mat Pilates doesn’t engage the arms nearly as much as Reformer Pilates does. Plus, the Reformer machine allows for more arms-specific and legs-specific exercises, helping you to do arm curls, shoulder raises, and glute kickbacks in ways you can’t on the mat.  

4. An Option For All Fitness Levels

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a professional athlete, Reformer Pilates has an option for you. The springs, foot bar, straps, and headrest are all customisable to you, so you can make it as easy or challenging as you like. 

5. Rehabilitation

The Reformer machine allows you to sit or lie down as you work out, so people with leg or knee injuries are able to participate without putting pressure on their injury. For example, you can do squats lying on your back with the Reformer, which means less stress on your knees (plus, doesn’t it just sound fun to try?!). 

Ready to be Reformed? 

We hope this blog has helped you to discover the many great benefits of both types of pilates! At 13th Beach, we’re proud to offer group classes and 1:1 or 2:1 classes for locals from Barwon Heads, greater Geelong, and the entire Bellarine Peninsula.  Please note that we no longer offer reformer pilates, but we do have a great team running clinical or mat pilates classes.
If you’re not sure what type of pilates is best for you, or if mat pilates is what you are looking for, contact our team or simply book in online if you’re ready to get going.



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