You have probably heard of Pilates, but have you heard of Pilates Reformer? Traditional Pilates is a style of exercise that focuses on strengthening your core using mat stretches and exercises. Pilates Reformer takes traditional Pilates up a notch by using special equipment – a reformer. has a great description of what a reformer is:

The reformer is bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep a practitioner from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage.

At the spring end of the reformer, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame.

They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformers parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and different levels of skill.

Pilates Reformer classes tend to be smaller group classes or even one-on-one. Classes are guided by an experienced instructor who teaches you the basics of the reformer machine while also teaching you how to effectively balance strength building and flexibility exercises.

The video above highlights one of the many exercises you can do in a  Pilates Reformer class.

Locally, you can take a Pilates Reformer class at the Maryland Farms YMCA. All equipment for the class is provided for you. Come to class dressed comfortably and ready to move. Bring water to stay hydrated and expect to sweat. If you’ve never been to a class before, arrive a little early so that the instructor can provide you some basic tips to get you started.

Pilates provides many benefits including:

  • improved fitness level
  • improved flexibility
  • improved muscular strength and endurance
  • improved posture, balance, and alignment
  • improved breathing patterns
  • reduced stress levels
  • and higher calorie burn

Pilates Reformer Classes are available at the Maryland Farms YMCA location at the following times. Classes are an hour long.

  • Monday and Thursday: 8:45 am, 9:45 am, 5:45 pm, and 6:45 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:45 am and 5:45 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:45 am, 9:45 am, and 5:45 pm
  • Friday: 9:45 am
  • Saturday: 8:30 am, 9:30 am, and 10:30 am

For more information on the Pilates Reformer classes and other YMCA class offerings, visit your local YMCA or check out their website.

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