What Even Is Reformer Pilates?

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From Miley Cyrus to Margot Robbie, reformer pilates has become a favourite form of exercise among celebs, but it’s not just for Hollywood’s elite. The exercise has become increasingly popular in Ireland in the last couple of months with many swearing by the practice.

Pilates as a whole is a mind and body exercise similar to yoga but a lot more of a workout. It is a series of repetitive exercises that strengthen your muscles. Even just a 10-minute pilates session will help improve your muscle strength. 

But what exactly is reformer pilates and how does it differ to mat pilates? Well, reformer pilates is designed to engage every muscle of your body using a balance of weight resistance springs, a moving carriage, and lots of other exercise equipment. 

Speaking to Harpers Bazaar, professional Pilates instructor, Hollie Grant explains: “The reformer machine was originally designed by Joseph Pilates using rudimentary materials such as bed springs to help add a level of resistance to exercises. 

“The reformer was also designed to support those who needed help during certain exercises,” she continues.

Due to the resistance that is added by the springs in reformer pilates, it is significantly more intense and dynamic than mat pilates which primarily relies on body weight resistance.

The latest exercise craze is said to help you recover from an injury, tone up and lose weight, improve your balance, and posture and even strengthen your pelvic floor. It can also reduce back pain. 


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Like any form of exercise or sport, pilates takes practice so don’t get too bogged down if you’re not a pro on your first try. If you are looking to start make sure it’s a beginner’s class and bring water and a towel!

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, long work days and prolonged periods of sitting at a desk, this form of physical and mental workout is a must to try.

The mindfulness elements of pilates help to reduce the stress of everyday life showing the importance of embracing activities like this, and proving that you don’t have to be the fastest and strongest to achieve a great workout.

Words by Abby Sammon