Reformer Pilates is a popular way of strengthening abdominals, lower back, pelvic muscles and hips. Taking Pilates reformer classes also improves muscular endurance within the core while making muscles stronger. Yet, many people avoid taking Pilates classes because of a number of misconceptions and lose out on the chance to improve their fitness, strength, flexibility and overall wellbeing. Here are the most common reformer Pilates misconceptions.
(1) I can’t do reformer Pilates because I am not flexible enough
While flexibility is a core aspect of Reformer Pilates, no one is expected to have perfect flexibility during the first class. In fact, the exercises are usually designed for all fitness levels, allowing beginners to gain flexibility as they practice reformer Pilates. The exercises are well-balanced and will help you to improve your flexibility and achieve a more agile body with better ranges of motion. For individuals with overly flexible bodies, the core conditioning exercises will improve joint stability and mobility. Therefore, there is nothing to fear about reformer Pilates as the exercises will be adapted to your flexibility level.
(2) Reformer Pilates is all about stretching
No. The exercises offer more than just stretching. While there are remarkable stretches that are performed on the Reformer, the equipment is primarily used to improve overall muscle strength. Pilates Reformer has 5 springs which can be assembled in different combinations to offer the requisite resistance and challenge for improving muscle strength. Spring resistance allows reformer Pilates to cause eccentric muscle contraction (lengthening of muscles against the resistive force), which results in longer and stronger muscles. Besides, the Reformer is a wonderfully versatile piece of equipment that allows for hundreds of exercises performed in various positions: sitting, lying down, standing, pushing the footbar, pulling straps, sideways, upside down, and other variations.
(3) Reformer Pilates is too hard and too expensive
While Pilates Reformer can deliver a humbling experience even to a person who is in good shape, a good reformer Pilates class will include instructions for every fitness level and guidance on how to perform all the body movements conveniently and safely. Likewise, exercises with Pilates Reformer are low-impact and put greater emphasis on stability challenges, especially lumbo-pelvic stability, resulting in stronger core and back. Similarly, since the springs can be combined to deliver exercises that are appropriate for first-timers or veterans looking for greater challenges, the sessions are not too hard. Moreover, there are group reformer classes costing as little as $10-$20 and highly affordable private classes costing as low as $30-$50, if you do your homework properly. And remember, reformer Pilates is worth investing in because it almost acts as “daily rehabilitation” in the prevention of injuries and mobility issues.
(4) I do Yoga, so there is no reason to do reformer Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are two different practices which focus on different systems of the body. While reformer Pilates strengthens musculo-skeletal systems, Yoga strengthens ligaments and tendons. Besides, Pilates and Yoga approach movement differently, utilize different exercises and have different breathing styles (though there are some overlaps). And while Yoga is primarily mat-based, reformer Pilates works through effective equipment (Pilates Reformer) that can be used for different exercises by people of all fitness levels.
(5) Reformer Pilates is only for young and fit people
No. Pilates Reformer is a versatile machine that can be used for a broad range of applications. Many studios may choose to target children, seniors, moms-to-be or athletes while some may offer group and private classes for rehabilitation of back problems, knee injuries, hip problems and other conditions. Reformer Pilates programs may also address arthritis, scoliosis and osteoporosis while specialized Pilates programs for sports may target golfers, runners and equestrians. Therefore, there are modifications or styles that can be availed to people of all fitness levels and ages, almost all health issues and most injuries. Indeed, Reformer Pilates can be enjoyed by almost everyone.
(6) I can’t try reformer Pilates because my abs and back are weak
While some exercises concentrate on the large, outermost muscles of the back and abs, reformer Pilates can actually target the smaller, internal muscles, strengthening your abdominals and back and eliminating all sorts of muscle imbalances. If you have weak abs and back, reformer Pilates is a perfect workout for you.
(7) I need to regain my shape before I do reformer Pilates
When Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates, it was administered to ambulatory patients and those with physical limitations to improve their strength and mobility. In fact, Pilates offers a huge amount of strength to the powerhouse (core) and allows people who are out of shape to gain strength in their extremities and have better alignment and body awareness. Therefore, you need not worry about your shape before joining Pilates classes because the reformer provides assistance in engaging correct muscles while also giving feedback on whether exercises are being performed correctly.