Pilates Reformer

Joseph Pilates believed from a young age that exercise was key to developing and maintaining health. His goal “to develop the complete co-ordination of mind, body and spirit to promote flexibility, endurance, strength and posture” is as true today as it was 100 years ago.

Joseph Pilates was interned as a prisoner of war by the British on the Isle of Man during the First World War. Working as a hospital orderly, he taught other soldiers his “contrology” exercise approach (now known as the “Pilates” approach across the world). Joseph would attach springs and ropes to the hospital bed of bed-ridden patients, allowing them to practice effective strengthening and stretching exercises. After the war, Joseph moved into the dance world, and Reformer Pilates was used to teach students the correct movement techniques before progressing them onto mat-based Pilates where the body was required to support and stabilise itself.

In Physiotherapy, we have modified traditional mat-based Pilates to enable an effective form of rehabilitative exercise for people of all ages and all conditions; we also use the Reformer for teaching traditional Reformer Pilates, or as an addition to our rehabilitation for a number of different injuries and conditions, and everything in-between!

The Pilates Reformer consists of a bed-like frame, a moving carriage, springs, pulleys, boxes, boards and bars. It can assist with some exercises making them easier to perform, before progressing to exercises that challenge your strength and control. Most exercises performed on the reformer involve pushing or pulling with your legs or arms, or holding the carriage and your body still.

Jo completed the APPI Pilates reformer training in 2017. This consisted of over 96 different exercises on the reformer, with variations for each of them. She has used the reformer at Pilates Clinic Retford as an adjunct to treatment with a number of clients, including people with neurological conditions; and for Reformer Pilates sessions for clients with various joint and back complaints. It’s also lots of fun!

Pilates on the Reformer is only available for private 1:1 sessions at times when there are no classes running in the studio.