Reformer is the iconic piece of Pilates apparatus. How can you not love it? It offers support, added resistance, movement guidance and so many exciting ways to get in touch with the body. I think Reformer choreography is the most exciting way to practice Pilates.
But you can’t pack the Reformer with you when you are going on a vacation and you can’t “unroll” it in your living room. Reformer workouts are great at the studio or if you have the money and the space for a personal gym. But why should we not take advantage of the Reformer Pilates choreography by taking it to the mat with us?
A balanced Pilates workout takes your body on a journey through the movements that build one on top of the other. You start lying down, then you take your alignment to a seated position, you flip it face-down, then sideways, add some resistance and finally bring everything back to standing. The apparatus provides a way to take movements to new planes of motion and brings an additional challenge and a new level of body control.
We can “deconstruct” many Reformer exercises (and a lot of times make them even harder) by taking them to the mat. When I was going through my teacher training course we had one Reformer for 2-3 people. Our instructor first taught most of the Reformer exercises on the mat to help us understand the choreography and fine tune the movements. Once we knew how the movement felt in our bodies we took it to the Reformer. I use this strategy a lot in my personal practice and when teaching clients. Taking exercises off the Reformer makes them less intimidating for many people and greatly increases the classical Pilates mat repertoire.
Join me for a short (just 15-minutes) Reformer on the Mat workout. I was asked to record this workout for the Pilates Body Challenge hosted by Robin Long over at the Balanced Life Online. Robin and I have been “web friends” for many years now since both of us share passion for Pilates and balanced living. She is an amazing inspiration as a teacher, mother and a business owner. This workout will challenge your core strength, no doubt about it.
Do you take your Reformer workout to the Mat? Share your thoughts in the comments below.