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With the Pilates REFORMER machine, exercises are challenging but manageable.
We asked a professional Pilates coach from the UAE for some advice and tips on using the Pilates Reformer.
Question:What exactly is a ‘Pilates Reformer Training Machine’?
The Pilates reformer machine is resistance exercise equipment designed by Joseph Pilates.
Slightly resembling a single bed frame it consists of a platform that moves back and forth along a carriage with adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance.
Resistance is also provided by the exerciser’s body weight working in combination with springs attached to the carriage.
Working against resistance is essential to Pilates exercises, which are designed to train the body’s core muscle— the abdomen, lower back, hips, and glutes.
Cables, bars, straps, and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing. Pilates reformer training is a safe and effective whole body work out for all ages and levels of fitness.
The source of all movement in Pilates flows from the center of the body creating strength and a sense of calm and well-being by using breath with the exercises.
It is important to seek the advice of a professional Pilates personal trainer in Abu Dhabi or Dubai before using a Pilates REFORMER – to ensure your technique is correct.
Question: Do I need some previous experience of Pilates training in Abu Dhabi to use a Pilates Reformer or can it also be used for a complete beginner.
Exercising with the reformer is possible for anyone, at any level of fitness. No previous experience is needed for the pilates reformer.
If you have previously done mat pilates it can be beneficial but I always start from the beginning for your own safety.
When I introduce the reformer to clients as part of their training their reaction is excitement to use the machine for the first time, they have seen it, heard about its benefits and can not wait to start.
The pilates reformer can sometimes look daunting. Many clients start with a few sessions of 30-minute private sessions a couple of times a week and gradually building up to one full hour 2-3 times a week.
The exercises are challenging but manageable. You need the challenge for your body to change but you can always adjust the difficulty.
It also means that you improve flexibility and stay fit without putting excess strain on the body.
Question:Can the Pilates Reformer be used for people as a method of rehabilitation after an injury? Also, does it help with bad posture which comes from working in an environment where a person is seated for most of the day (back and neck problems)?
The Pilates system was devised while working with injured servicemen during the First World War.
Using breath and stretching technique, the Reformer’s many attachments increase the range of modifications that can be made to the exercises, This capability, combined with the support given by the resistance the machine provides, allows people with limited range of movement or injuries to safely do modified exercises.
The reformer offers overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.
These things in turn lead to daily life improvements like better posture, graceful, efficient movement, and for many relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as back pain.
The Pilates equipment is great for those with osteoporosis because the springs provide the resistance needed for bone strengthening and offer limitless movement possibilities.
Question: It seems that Pilates Reformer and TRX both use resistance as a training/exercise method. As a personal trainer which of these do you think it best for a complete body workout or do they target different areas completely?
Both the TRX and Pilates reformer are fantastic methods for training, particularly full body workout as well as core strengthen.
With the reformer you can make the exercises harder by increasing the resistance with the pullies and adding more advanced exercise.
With the TRX you would advance the exercise by using more body weight and different techniques. The reformer is a great piece of equipment in which the exercises provide enough resistance and movement variety to help build strong bones and core strength.
And there is a special feature: eccentric muscle contractions. This is when a muscle lengthens as it resists a force. The reformer is a set-up for eccentric contraction. That is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
As a personal trainer I love to use both pieces of equipment and use both with most clients but it all depends on what I feel works best for clients need.
Question: Does Pilates Reformer also provide an element of Cardio fitness or is it entirely for toning, flexibility and correcting posture/muscular problems?
The pilates reformer can also provide a cardio fitness workout by using a jumpboard and the cardio-tramp rebounder to launch, push, press, balance and overall have fun.
When using the jumpboard or cardio-tramp the sessions will challenge and motivate you using combinations, mixed in with intervals of upper and lower body strength.
Not only does it work cardiovascular but also expect leg burn, tough abdominal challenges and jumping, by using cardio and strength intervals.
This is a great way to get your heart rate without an intense impact on joints and muscles. Other benefits of the jumpboard and cardio trap is that its also stimulates the lymphatic system and builds pelvic floor strength by engaging core whilst performing quick on your feet jumping motions.
Question: Elderly people often suffer from aches and pains due to becoming more sedentary, do you think the Pilates Trainer method could improve on these conditions for senior fitness personal training in the UAE or is Pilates Reformer Training too difficult/stressful on the body for the elderly?
Elderly people would benefit significantly from the Pilates reformer as it is a great method of exercise that can be used low-impact which helps with flexibility, muscular strength and endurance.
With an emphasis on proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance any age can benefit especially elderly.
As you get older, you start to look at injury prevention rather than injury recovery, the Pilates reformer offers this.
The reformer gives an all over body strength, the good thing about it is that it works muscle groups with no impact on joints making performing daily activities easier, and as well as toning your body along the way.
Pilates is a great for mobility, flexibility, posture correct and even cardio fitness. However, it is always better to learn Pilates and Pilates REFORMER by using the services of a professional Pilates coach in your local area of the UAE.