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Reformer Pilates: Before and After

Catherine Etty-Leal
Physiotherapist at Life Ready Physio + Pilates Camberwell.

Pilates is a form of exercise that stems from the man that created it: Joseph Pilates. Joseph created the reformer as he believed it could universally reform your body. It was the second piece of large equipment to be developed by Pilates and is the source of over 500 exercises – an incredibly versatile piece of equipment!

The reformer can be used to either assist or challenge movements based on the traditional matwork exercises, as well as other forms of functional exercise. It is a great way to commence rehabilitation, and the resistance from the various springs can be used to vary the degree of difficulty for the person.

The reformer consists of a bed-like frame with a sliding carriage resting on two tracts. The underside of the carriage has 4 to 5 springs of varying resistances, that attach the carriage to the frame and provide the resistance for the exercises. There is an adjustable footbar, and straps that can be used to load the arms or the legs with various exercises. Historically, these straps were made from leather, but nowadays they operate more like a rope and pulley system.

Using the reformer is a great way to introduce yourself to exercise. It is safe, yet challenging and incredibly versatile for any body, or functional ability. If you haven’t yet tried the reformer, pop into your local Life Ready clinic to give it a go!

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