Hello, Wild Pretty Things!
I have taken Pilates mat classes in the past and it remains to be my favorite workout class of all time. I’ve never tried a reformer class, but have always wanted to. If you read along then you know that my year theme is “No Excuses”. (If not read more HERE) So I have decided to remove the excuses and FINALLY take my first Pilates reformer class. The largest difference between a Pilates Mat class & a Pilates reformer class is the use of a reformer. A reformer is a large apparatus that consists of a sliding carriage rigged with springs, bars and strap.
Pilates is a core based workout that will help improve your posture, sculpt your abs, and balance your muscle tone. But, is there any additional benefits to getting on a reformer? Well, according to Livestrong.com, “The reformer offers all of these Mat Pilates core-building benefits and more. The resistance of the pulley and spring system offers more resistance than what you get with just your body weight on a mat. You’ll achieve even better posture and coordination than you would with a Mat or classic fitness core routine”. I don’t know about you, but I am convinced to give it a try.
I visited Club Pilates in Granada Hills, CA. I have walked by this place countless times, peaking in trying to see if I could handle it. Not this time! I mean, I still was not sure if I could handle it, but I removed all of the reasons to try and I walking in beaming a ridiculous smile. I was greeted by two girls at the front reception area. They were both the sweetest girls and went over the basics of the class I would be taking and helped me pick out these special socks you need. When you take a Pilates class you have to get these special socks that have grips along the bottoms. This is to help you grip and support your body so that you can hold poses and maintain your balance. I bought the cutest lilac knee high socks and was totally ready for class.
The studio is super cute and welcoming. They have a reception area and a little boutique in the front where they sell t-shirts with cute Pilates slogans, workout pants, and other accessories for class. In the studio portion, there were two long rows of work stations with everything you need for class.
Before class started, we were all assigned our own stations and she told us a little about the machine & how you use it. The class started slowly as we got comfortable on the machine and warmed up our legs. Before we began the workout, the instructor had adjusted our resistance on the machine. We began by placing our legs on the foot bar and pushing out and then coming back into the start position. This was SUPER simple, but you really feel the stretch in your legs as they loosen up. We went from move to move and, TBH – I found the class to be way too easy. Since, this was an intro class that was to be expected. It actually made me really excited to think that I would be able to take some of the next level classes.
The thing that I really loved about the reformer class was the control you feel in making each move. In your first Pilates class it is SO easy to feel like you have no control over your limbs while you are doing some of the moves. There are lots of times where you have to remain balanced and move your arms or legs about. When you are doing the same moves on the reformer they are much more effortless and graceful. Having a more controlled Pilates workout will result in faster results & tighter abs.
When the class was over I wasn’t really tired at all, but I did feel like I got a good stretch. Usually when I have left Pilates classes I feel sore and am pretty exhausted. I am chopping my lack of exhaustion to the class being an introduction class. Overall, I loved the way it felt doing Pilates with the machine. I just wish that the class had been a little more challenging. It did make me feel good to know that I was able to handle the class and that it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be.
If you are thinking of trying a Pilates reformer class, I would definitely recommend that you take the plunge and give it a try. If you have never taken a Pilates Mat or reformer class then I would recommend the reformer class before you try a Mat class. Because you are only relying on your body when taking a Mat class, it can get REALLY hard. The way the machine assists you helps you have better form, which will lead to faster results.
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