You’ve probably been familiar with Pilates. The most well-known, low-impact workout comprises core exercises designed to shape and flatten your midsection and stabilize and support your back and spine.

Pilates mat-based classes can be provided in a variety of gyms throughout America. However, a different type of Pilates Pilates exercises done on an apparatus called a reformer — is gaining popularity also. This type of workout is ideal for those recovering from injuries or focusing on specific fundamental movements and isolating more muscles than Pilates performed on mats. It’s also a great option for low-impact recovery and rehabilitation from injuries. 

Before you jump onto the reformer pilates near me, here’s all you should know about what you can expect from an exercise class. It also explains how to get popular exercises off the mat and onto the mat at home.

What exactly is a Pilates reformer?

The Reformer was created in the early days of Joseph Pilates and is a frame that looks like a bed with a flat surface that can move around on wheels. It is a device utilized as a part of a Pilates workout under the guidance of an instructor. It uses springs to assist and provide resistance, ensuring proper muscle length and strength. The Reformer helps the user in achieving the objectives of Pilates and includes the use of breathing techniques that are diaphragmatic to regulate the body’s posture and posture while placing the focus on control of posture.

The platform is referred to as the carriage. The carriage is connected to the other side of the Reformer using springs. The springs permit you to modify the resistance of the vehicle, and it will be pulled and pulled toward the frame using your power and weight. There are shoulder blocks on the carriage that help keep your body steady so that you aren’t slipping off the back of the Reformer.

There’s a football at the top of the Reformer. It is an adjustable bar that is used to hold the springs. Hands and feet can be put on the bar based on your exercise. It also has long straps with handles attached to which the hands and feet can be placed. They are situated on the top of the frame, opposite the football. The springs are adjustable to influence the football and the handles, allowing you to customize the workout to suit different body types. The Reformer is utilized not only by people who are looking to strengthen their core muscles but also by dancers to aid in training and rehabilitation after injuries.

The most common Pilates Reformer exercises and how to duplicate these exercises at home

Are you curious about the specific exercises you’ll perform on this machine? Here are some of the most common Pilates Reformer exercises, as well as ways to perform these exercises at home with the ease of your living space without needing a reformer machine.


The footwork is often the first workout done using the Reformer. It’s done sitting down, with both feet placed on the football. This program helps to maintain the ideal alignment of the pelvis, hips, knees, and ankles. Since our feet are subject to daily abuse, even walking around and running, this footwork can be beneficial as it builds the muscles in the feet and helps stabilize an ankle joint. It is a great way to relieve foot pain, including plantar fasciitis.

Workout on the mat

You could also do Pilates footwork in a mat-based class or your home living room. Just lie on your back and then bend your knees. Then, pull your navel toward your spine and bring your knees back to a tabletop position. From there, you can put your toes on the floor, press your feet at an angle ahead of you, and return them to their starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

This is a fundamental movement that is a staple of Pilates footwork. However, it is also possible to add additional features. Instead of moving with toes pointed, you can perform it using flexed feet. Also, you can open your knees as far as the hips and keep the heels together while keeping the feet flexible. Try each variation ten times at the start of your Pilates Mat routine.

Long stretch

A long stretch is the movement of a plank that is done by standing on the Reformer and holding the football while resting both your feet over the headrest. This exercise is a total body workout that recruits all muscle fibers, developing a stronger core. It aids in stability and balance in joints and also strengthens the abdominals, glutes, and hamstrings. They support the spine and extend the hip flexors, which improve flexibility and posture.

A long stretch on the mat

An alternative to the long stretch is the stretch of the spine forward onto the mat. To accomplish this, lie on your feet on your mat. Let your legs extend in the direction of your shoulders. Bring your navel towards the spine and extend your arms towards the front. Make sure you hold your shoulders back to keep a straight spine. Now, reach forward with no movement of your legs. Finally, it would help if you moved your spine by bringing your head in the same direction as your arms outstretched. Do this ten times. Breathe in when you get back to the center, and exhale as you move upwards into the stretch of your spine.

Chest expansion

This exercise targets the back of your body while opening shoulders and chest and improving posture. This exercise is ideal for people at their desks or who drive frequently. Sitting at the top of the slender box on the top of the Reformer, with your hands inside the loops, put your legs on top of the chair while keeping your knees bent and arms extended to the sides of your physique. Press with the palms of your hands to raise the arms and shoulders in front of the body. Reverse the arms, then repeat.

The chest expansion is visible on the mat.

To perform this exercise, you’ll require an arm and a couple of weights of 2 or 3 pounds. Place your mat and knees and open them as far as your hips. Place the weights by your sides and then turn your palms towards the back to the back of your room. Then, pull your navel toward your spine and move the arms and the weights toward the rear of the space. Ensure your chin doesn’t sag upwards and your shoulders don’t round upwards. Inhale as you push back, and exhale as you get back to the starting position. Repeat this ten times.


Side overs strengthen the muscles of the obliques, which are crucial for a well-rounded and strong core. It is also a challenge for the body’s frontal plane, which is rarely treated as frequently. For the first time, lie with your back to the box with the shorter length in front of the Reformer, with all the springs tacked onto the frame to keep it steady. The foot closest to the football will be in the strap, with a flexed ankle, a shortened knee, and the hip and leg raised in a parallel position to the ground while keeping tension in the strap all the duration. The opposing leg will be bent, resting upon the football. Hands are held behind the head, creating a long diagonal line running from head to foot. Then, laterally flex the spine, lowering the torso toward the floor, then return to the starting position along this diagonal.

Side-overs on the mat

To stimulate similar muscles, I suggest performing side crunches on your mat. This exercise will target the obliques and the upper and lower body. Sitting on your mat, with your knees bent and your feet the same width as your hips put your hands on your head. Turn your pelvis to the side and work your abs in a low position while you raise your right knee towards the table level. You can then move your neck and head upwards and press your right elbow against the right knee. Then, lower your head towards the ground as you raise your right leg while keeping your lower back against the ground. Repeat this ten times and then shift to the opposite side.

Leg circles

This workout targets the core and the hip joint as a whole. Lying with your back against the Reformer, with both feet on the straps, begin by extending your legs along the diagonal at a 45-degree angle, keeping the legs together and straight. Then raise the legs toward the ceiling so the legs can be straight while keeping the entire spine, from the head to the tailbone, in place in the Reformer. Then, you must separate the legs and complete the circle, ending where you started.” Repeat the process ten times before reversing the circles in the opposite direction.

Circles of the legs on the mat

As you lie on the floor, draw your naval into your spine. The right leg should be lifted towards the ceiling. Lower the leg until 45 degrees. Then, open the leg to the maximum width of your right shoulder. Draw circles and round them before returning to where you started. Repeat ten times, and then repeat the exercise. Next, perform the exercise on the left side. To make it more difficult, do both legs simultaneously. Begin with your feet on the ceiling. After that, extend the legs as far as your shoulders in an arc down to a 45-degree angle. Press the legs in a circle while you pull them back to the beginning position, pressing the legs joined. Then, reverse the circle.