How to Find the Best Reformer Pilates Classes

reformer pilates classes is a full-body exercise that works to strengthen major muscle groups. It also targets smaller stabilising muscles that are critical to creating long, lean and strong muscles without bulk. A series of exercises on the Pilates reformer are performed through a range of motion, with a focus on eccentric contraction (when the muscle lengthens) and concentric contraction (when the muscle shortens). It is because of this dynamic set-up that the reformer can be used to build strength, improve balance and flexibility, as well as tone and sculpt the entire body.

The movement on the reformer is low-impact, meaning that it’s a great form of exercise for those who are looking for a challenge without putting too much stress on the body. As a result, reformer pilates is a great workout for people who have back pain, joint issues or who are recovering from injury.

However, like any type of exercise it’s important to consult your healthcare professional if you have injuries or concerns. Melas says to find a studio with a knowledgeable teacher and take a beginner class before jumping into group reformer classes that can be fast-paced and even intimidating for newbies. She also recommends finding a studio with experienced instructors who have undergone at least 450 hours of mat and equipment training to ensure they’re well-versed in Pilates techniques.

Beginner reformer classes allow you to get a feel for the equipment at a slower pace and teach you the basic movements that are foundational to a safe and effective practice. As you become more proficient at these movements, it’s helpful to move to a higher-level beginner class to continue to challenge yourself and grow your practice.

As with any other type of fitness class, it’s a good idea to find a teacher that you connect with. Many studios have teachers with varying teaching styles, so it’s important to find a teacher that suits your learning style and helps you progress at a comfortable pace.

At Ten, they’ve honed their class offerings to include options for all levels of experience, from beginners-focussed sessions to those suitable for intermediate and advanced abilities. In addition to Reformer classes, they offer cardio and circuit versions of Pilates, as well as yoga and stretching sessions.

If you’re pre- or postnatal, Ten offers a series of reformer classes specifically designed for pregnant women called Frame MumHood. These classes provide a safe and supportive environment in which to learn the essential reformer exercises, with modifications for every stage of pregnancy. These modifications may help alleviate aches and pains by strengthening the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, and increase core stability to prevent urinary incontinence. In fact, research shows that exercising during pregnancy can lead to easier deliveries and a faster recovery after birth. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you’re pregnant.