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Pilates Reformer - Torture Or Therapy?

Apr 19, 2008
If you have ever watched any of the old horror movies, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Pilates Reformer fitness machine actually appeared in some of them. Far from being a bit part player in a horror movie, the Pilates Reformer is an star performer in many fitness gyms around the world.

So what does the Pilates Reformer do exactly? Perhaps the best thing to do is to explain some of the principals behind Pilates, so that you will better understand what the Reformer is trying to achieve.

The definition of Pilates is the balanced development of the deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back, which many fitness teachers might also refer to as core strength. core strength looks beyond the superficial, and sometimes cosmetic, outer appearance, and looks at the power of the internal muscles.

Pilates has developed some key principals around which the exercises have been developed. In order to understand Pilates, and thus the Pilates Reformer, you must understand these principles. So, it would make sense to discuss them first, namely centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.

When talking about centering, we are really talking about where the Pilates exercises are aimed, namely in the centre of the body, specifically in an area between the pubic bone and the lower ribs.

Concentration simply means bringing one's full attention to the exercise and doing it with full commitment. As with any exercise, giving it your full attention will yield maximum benefit.

Every Pilates exercise must be done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices. This really goes hand in hand with the previous principal.

In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body, and precision of movement is important.

Breath is referring to a coordinated breathing during the exercises.

When referring to flow, Pilates means that your actions should be smooth and even rather than jerky. Again, any deviation from this principal will impact on the benefit that you receive from doing the exercise.

You may well see that most of these principals are common sense. At least they certainly will be if you have ever been serious about your exercise. If you are new to exercising, and Pilates in particular, then please take the principals listed above as read and you will find that Pilates will be able to do a great deal for you.

Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one's flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite "machine-like" if one loses ones control and flow. The Reformer provides finely tuned exercise resistance that allows one to work very precisely with alignment, core strength, and all of the Pilates exercise principles.
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Discover how a Pilates Reformer exercise machine can radically improve your core strength and fitness, through a carefully designed and principled fitness program and fitness gym equipment.
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