All About Pilates Reformer Classes


young fit people working out during a pilates reformer class

If you are new to Pilates, then welcome! We are so glad you are ready to join us. Pilates reformer classes are a great workout that will improve your body in many ways. However, going to a Pilates reformer class for the first time can be intimidating. You probably have many questions. What should I wear? What is that crazy machine for? Can I even do this workout? Read on to find out everything you need to know before your first class at Mindful Movement – a Pilates Studio (APS) in Dallas.

What is a Reformer Machine?

A Pilates reformer machine can look very intimidating. It resembles a bed but has springs, straps and a bar. The main platform on the machine is called the carriage. It moves back and forth on wheels. You will be sitting, kneeling and lying down on the carriage throughout your workout. There are springs on one side of the machine that can be adjusted to increase or decrease resistance. The foot bar helps you push and pull the carriage. There are also straps on the reformer that we will use to work both your legs and arms. The reformer machine also has shoulder blocks to keep you from sliding off the machine during practice!

Benefits of Pilates Reformer Classes

  • Strength, flexibility and stability. The Pilates reformer machine is designed to increase strength, flexibility and stability. You will be strengthening your core throughout class, while also working your chest, arms, glutes and legs. You will do a variety of exercises to challenge your body in new and interesting ways since the reformer allows you to work muscles that cannot be reached in a mat based practice.
  • Long, lean body. Reformer pilates will also give you a long, lean body. While you cannot actually lengthen your muscles, you can appear taller and slimmer by working your muscles through a full range of motion. You will find that you no longer crouch as much and can move your body more gracefully.
  • Body awareness. Pilates is also a great way to become more aware of your body both during and after class. It will help you improve your posture and engage your muscles properly during everyday activities. This often leads to relief from back pain and faster recovery from injuries.
  • Calm your nervous system. Reformer pilates is also very calming. You can expect to work hard in a supportive, low key environment. You will learn to focus on breathing and connecting with your body. You will leave feeling stronger and more balanced, which often significantly decreases anxiety and improves your mood.

Who should take a Pilates Reformer Class?

instructor cueing a client during a reformer pilates class in a boutique pilates studio in dallas

Pilates reformer classes are for anyone who wants a strong, toned body. All fitness levels are welcome! We want you to feel comfortable, whether you are a Pilates beginner or a seasoned athlete. You will use both your own bodyweight and resistance from the springs on the reformer to strengthen your body. The resistance can be adjusted, so you can make the workout as easy or as hard as you want it to be.

Reformer pilates is low impact, so it is perfect for anyone dealing with injuries or recovering from a surgery or illness. You will be able to balance both sides of your body and increase your flexibility and mobility. The instability of the carriage will also improve your stabilizing muscles, which help keep you injury free in the future.

Be sure to let your instructor know if you have any concerns or special needs. However, you should be able to safely do every move in class. After all, reformer pilates was originally used as a type of physical therapy!

What can I expect during a Pilates Reformer Class?

This is not a cardio class, so you will not be doing big movements that get your heart rate up (unless you are using a Jumpboard which is an amazing way to get your cardio in that is easy on the joints.) But be prepared! You may sweat anyway. The focus throughout the class will be on small movements that force your muscles to work in new ways.

Wear form fitting clothes that you are comfortable in. This will make it easier for you to work on the reformer and help your instructor check your form. Since our classes are so small, your instructor can give you the personal attention you need to get the most out of every class. Learn more about how to get through your first Pilates Reformer class like a pro.

How many students should be in a Reformer class?

You can find studios with 10, 12 and even 20 students in one Reformer class. However in a large group setting the instructor is not able to give each student the individualized attention that they need. Safety also becomes an issue because the instructor is not able to monitor each student’s correct spring settings and position. High-capacity Reformer classes limit the number of exercises that can be taught to keep everyone safe but it also means that you as a student miss out on many intermediate/advanced Pilates exercises that were created to help you improve your posture, flexibility and strength.

In order to fully reap all the benefits of Pilates training you should choose a class with low student/teacher ratio. In this scenario you get almost the same attention as you would during a private session and you can truly experience the Pilates method as it was intended to be. If you are looking for a place to try Pilates reformer classes in Dallas then check out our studio Mindful Movement – aPS.

3 young people standing in front of the reformers getting ready to start the class

Reformer classes at Mindful Movement APS in Dallas TX are small and deliver results. Smaller Pilates classes allow your Pilates instructor a deeper understanding of your strengths and limitations. As our student you will receive individualized attention that will bring you closer to your goals.

Our philosophy is hands-on and eyes on. Just doing Pilates isn’t enough, you need to be doing it correctly. We limit our group reformer equipment classes to 3 students. The small class sizes allow instructors to keep track of each individual student so that everyone is doing the exercises in ways that benefit them and their unique self.

Pilates reformer classes will change your life in an amazing way. We are so excited to see you in class soon! We love to help the people of Dallas find a greater connection to their body and become stronger and happier. Our uptown Pilates studio offers the best value on small group Pilates classes – take a look at our packages and new client specials. If you have any questions before your first class, contact us anytime. We will see you soon!

pilates teacher giving instrcuting on proper form during a group reformer class in dallas tx