Pilates has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits. It can help to improve balance and body composition, to build flexibility, and to reduce joint pain. But one of the biggest benefits of Pilates lies in its ability to help people develop core strength. While Pilates can be performed with nothing but a mat, there is a wonderful device called the Pilates reformer which can help to make your workout even more versatile and even better at developing your core strength. Here are 10 reasons the Pilates reformer is so good at helping build a better core.
Some pieces of exercise equipment can be difficult for people of a certain size to perform, but one of the benefits of the Pilates reformer lies in its adjustability. Far from being a one size fits all piece of equipment, the reformer can be used by people of just about any weight or size.
2. Variable Difficulty
Some forms of exercise can be extremely beneficial, but their usability is hampered by a set difficulty level. For example, bodyweight exercises like pushups can be very effective at developing strength, but there are some people who simply aren’t strong enough to do this exercise. At the same time, there are other people who will feel that a pushup is not taxing enough.
In contrast, the Pilates reformer can be adjusted for people of all different skill and strength levels. It can be used by relative beginners, by people trying to build strength and recover after an injury, and by strong and seasoned athletes who are looking for a challenge.
Some types of equipment can only be used for one exercise or motion. Unlike those, the reformer is extremely versatile, allowing one to perform hundreds of different exercises while in a standing, sitting, and lying position. This allows it to work the core from a variety of different angles, which leads to greater strength and stability.
4. Full Range of Motion
The reformer is big enough to accommodate movements through your full range of motion, which means that you can build strength while also increasing flexibility. If you are working your core in order to help prevent or cure back pain, flexibility can be just as important as strength.
5. Correct Imbalances
If you’re just doing crunches, you’re only strengthening one part of your core while ignoring others. This can potentially lead to an imbalance of core strength. This can, in turn, cause diminished performance or pain. The reformer allows you to work all parts of your core equally, leading to a stronger, healthier you.
6. A Slim Core
One of the reasons why a lot of people want to work their core is to look slimmer and trimmer. Pilates has earned a reputation for developing long, lean muscles that don’t look bunchy or bulky. The reformer can help you to develop this sort of muscular, yet lean appearance.
7. Can be Used Alone or in a Group
Some people like to work out in a group, and others prefer to exercise alone. The Pilates reformer can be used both in group classes and on one’s own. While it is best to begin in a group in order to learn proper form, once you are confident you can buy a home reformer and train your core on your own.
8. Improves Posture
Not many people understand the true importance of good posture. Good posture helps us to be strong and healthy in our muscles and joints, and this definitely holds true for the core. Learning to have proper posture throughout your torso can help you to have a strong, healthy core and to reduce or eliminate pain. Pilates can be very helpful in developing improved posture, and the reformer may be especially helpful with this.
9. Good for All Ages and Sexes
Just as the reformer can be used by people of all sizes, it can also be used by people of both sexes and just about any age. Some people think that Pilates is primarily for women. However, the developer of Pilates was a man, and men can benefit from Pilates exercises just as much as women. Similarly, whether you’re young or old, you can build a strong core using a reformer.
10. Improves Core Stabilization
One of the important functions of the core is to help stabilize the body, but some forms of ab exercise don’t fully train this stabilization aspect. When you use a reformer, you are training in an unstable situation: a rolling carriage equipped with springs that are set at different resistances. Training like this requires your core to work to keep you steady, which improves its ability to stabilize you. It also helps you to improve your balance, which is another crucial part (and often ignored) part of fitness.