How to Do Pilates Reformer Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 170,300
    Fitness Expert Tanya Merryman demonstrates how to do pilates reformer exercises.

    Tanya Merryman: Hi everyone! Welcome to my Pilates Studio. I'm Tanya Merryman, and today I'm going to be taking you through reformer exercises. This is the reformer, I'll be introducing it to you in just a moment. But we're going to be going through the entire body, working our lower body, some core exercises which means our abdominals, with our back, we'll be working the upper body.

    We'll be sitting down, standing up, laying down, there is actually over 400 exercises that you could do on the Pilates Reformer, but we won't get to all of those, but I'll definitely show you variations. This is for all levels, whether you are new to exercising or maybe you're somebody that has injuries, or that you're afraid to be out on the weight room floor with the masses, because we're usually in a private area, only work on the reformer.

    So, let me go ahead and introduce you to the reformer machine, it's been around for many, many years. I'm sitting on the carriage, which actually moves. So we'll be using that. Over here I have the foot platform. When I raise it, you see the resistant straps. There are thicker ones, and then there are smaller ones, and that creates the resistance, whether we want to be working advanced person on the machine or someone that is not so strong, and maybe a beginner. So it is hook on and off.

    Those are our resistance controls. This is our footbar, we use it to be placing our feet or heels on our toes. Sometimes we're standing on the platform. The carriage is the only part that actually moves. Then we have a headrest which can go up and down, depending on comfort level and depending on the exercises that we're working.

    These are the two shoulder pads to press against our shoulders to help stabilize our body. Then, these are the straps which also can be changed for length and make some of our exercises easier. There is a hand strap, which is the shoulder strap, which we hold on too. There are also longer straps, which we call these the foot straps, which we'll be using in our workout today.

    So that is a brief introduction of the Pilates Reformer Machine. I should mention that before you exercise on a reformer, you should always have a physician's advice to make sure that you are free to be working and moving in the entire body. It's not very much a cardiovascular workout, like running on a treadmill, but it does involve working in the core, working the musculature around your longer joints.

    So it's great for fighting osteoporosis, but then again, if you do have osteoporosis, you want to make sure you check in your doctor and make sure that you'd be doing these exercises. So I can't wait to show you guys our workout for the day, just a little bit of information about me.

    I'm Tanya Merryman. I've been a fitness professional for over 15 years. I am certified in Pilates with the PhysicalMind Institute. I have a ton of national recognized certifications as a Personal Trainer and as a Group Fitness instructor and a Director and, of course, I'm also a professional of Fitness and Figure Competitor. So you can catch me on stage, maybe in a city near you.

    So I can't wait to show you our exercises. So if you're ready, let's get started.