With the plethora of fitness blogs and IG accounts circulating, Reformer Pilates probably hasn’t escaped your visual radar. Sculptured glam squads moving in unison on what appears to be a bed like torture device. A version of Joseph Pilates matwork method, Reformer pilates is performed on an apparatus with pulley ropes and weighted springs to add resistance and aid in the controlled movement. A sucker for a tagline, Studio Pilates “Ultimate Toning Workout” had me asking myself - could I be part of the aforementioned glam squad?
Now, I’m not going to make myself out as a fumbling uncoordinated athletic novice for the purpose of sympathy or a good read. Truth be told, I rate myself as one of those, “in another lifetime” sporty spice types that like to keep active but like many, get bored easily and lack motivation to go alone to the gym. I’ve played a decent amount of sport, the success of which has been exaggerated over the years so I was more nervous about what to wear than apprehensive about my orientation class.
Stay with me here...you know those moments in your life, epiphanies?
Moments when you know you're right where you’re meant to be. Moments you know the universe is to answer for. Laying on my back, feet in the air, (again, stay with me!) I had one of those Oprah moments!
I had found a workout that; I could feel targeting all the right areas of my body (important disclosure; this body has carried three babies!), I could go to alone or with a pal (but importantly a pal is not necessary) and I could see myself committing to indefinitely.
The 40 minute workout itself is hard and the burn is real! The classes start with the abdominal series, working you hard for that flatten tummy. Then the classes alternate between legs, arms, back and butt series sometimes with eager focus on one or all areas. After a while, you live in anticipation of what the next class will deliver.
Now for the surprise wins! My posture is so much better which means I’m looking taller. My slack posture due to my keyboard warrior status. My body awareness is far more profound which I think is so important for all of us. To be able to feel and understand your body better and command a certain level of control over it.
The ultimate win has come from the new community I’ve created within the studio and the ease and confidence I have knowing that I have found my wheelhouse. I would recommend everyone to try Studio Pilates incase it’s their thing too!
What to expect from your first reformer pilates?
The "Orientation" class is non-negotiable first class where you are taught safety and the basics of reformer pilates and the machine itself. This session is one hour long and takes you through a series of exercises designed to give you a fairly good idea of what you are in for. I should point out at this stage that one of the hurdles you may need to figure out is getting used to the TV system. It does take a few sessions for some people to adjust to having essentially two trainers in the class. One on screen and one in person. This wasn't so much an issue for me as I have often have a number of people all trying to talk to me at the same time!
How often can you do it?
Like most exercise, the more you do it the more benefit you will receive. I like to commit to four times a week but some weeks this is out of the question. If practised with consistency, Pilates improves flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body.
How does it work?
Pilates is designed to strengthen and stabilise your core muscles, consisting of the abdomen, low back and hips. Touted as being an all over toning workout with a multitude of exercises being performed on the one machine.
Is it recommended for someone with back pain?
Anyone who is suffering with any body ailments is a great candidate for Reformer Pilates. There are adjustment exercises for almost all types of injuries that are designed to help strengthen that particular area without causing damage. The instructors are all trained to know how to deal with injury and assist with recovery.
Studio Pilates in Takapuna offers a pregnancy class every Tuesday.
Staying fit and strong during pregnancy is important. Pilates helps to stabilise the spine and keep the body in alignment which is easily tested during pregnancy.
Words | Kelly Taffard
Moodboard Images via Tumblr
This post was brought to you in collaboration with our friends at Studio Pilates Takapuna :-)