Reformer Pilates. Ask any celeb what their secret is and they’re pretty much bound to mention these two magic words. The exercises, which take place on a Reformer Pilates Machine, have serious benefits, and the results are clear to see on the likes of Kate Hudson, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel.
Yep, it’s time to hit pause on your planking and forget everything you thought you knew about Pilates. These 55-minute classes are hardcore and, it’s all thanks to 10 pieces of equipment, with weight, springs and pulleys, designed to stretch you (and your muscles) to the limit…
The Supermodel Favourite
“In LA and New York, Reformer Pilates studios are hugely popular, and you’ll find most models attend one-on-one classes to shape their figures,” explains Alison Goodman, whose north London-based studio, Pilates Nation, runs private sessions as well as classes for up to 10 people at a time. “The root of classical Pilates is resistance, which trains and tones your muscles. Sure, on a mat you can get this from your body strength but if you use a combination of specially weighted pieces of equipment, you’ll get a more challenging – and effective – workout.”
It’s from one piece of equipment that Reformer Pilates gets its name. Resembling a bed frame, the Reformer has a sliding carriage and adjustable springs, cables and pulleys that allow you to work out standing up or lying down. It’s not the only apparatus – there’s the Guillotine, the Cadillac and the Electric Chair, too. Sound terrifying? Don’t worry! “They do look a little scary,” says Alison. “Especially because – regardless of how fit you are – in your first session you’ll end up working muscles you haven’t exercised in years. But you’ll soon get used to the way they gently nudge your body, keeping it in the right position.”
What Happens In A Session?
Each session begins with some mat works before moving onto the apparatus, switching machines depending on what you’re doing that day. And if you’re worried about aching limbs fear not, “Pilates is designed to be a daily workout – by working out smaller muscle groups, it won’t leave you too sore and unable to move afterwords.’
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What Results Can I Expect?
‘The supermodels love Reformer Pilates because of the way it shapes the body,” says Alison. “Each move is specially designed to train a different msucle group – your abs, lower back, hips or buttocks, for example. Unlike other forms of exercise you won’t build defined, bulky muscles. Instead by extending your muscles to their longest length, your stretching them out for a streamlined, toned appearance.”
Get Kate Hudson’s Abs
One area Reformer Pilates is especially fantastic is for your abs and waist. “Most traditional stomach exercises focus on your six-pack,” says Alison. “Whereas Reformer Pilates works the deeper, smaller muscle groups at your core. This creates an inbuilt corset effect: shaping and scultping a waist where there may not have been one before.”
If a nipped in waist and model-length legs aren’t enough to get your rushing to the studio then the ballerina posture will. “Women are always reporting back how much taller they are walking, how they feel lighter on their feet and are suffering from fewer headaches and less backahce,” adds Alison. “Pilates trains your body to look after itself long after you’ve left the studio.”
Look, walk and stand tall like an angel? We’re sold!