Is Reformer Pilates a good exercise for beginners?

2.04.23 by Thomas Millar

Ruby Chalkley - Mermaid

The short answer to the question, ‘is Reformer Pilates a good exercise for beginners?’ is… yes! It’s a fantastic form of beginner Pilates, and you don’t even need to have had any previous experience of doing any kind of Pilates at all. 


Introducing the reformer bed

People often joke that the reformer bed looks a bit like an instrument of torture. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reformer bed provides a great deal of support for your body, which means there’s a much lower risk of straining your muscles as you work out. This makes it particularly suitable for a Pilates beginner. 

Reformer Pilates exercises allow you to progress at your own pace. At the beginning of every exercise, your instructor will explain which parts of the bed you will use and which springs to use depending on whether you want standard, easier or more advanced settings. That means you will be doing exactly the same exercises as everyone else in the studio, but entirely on your terms! 


60-second exercises 

Each Reformer Pilates exercise lasts for just one minute, which isn’t very long at all. The instructor will usually tell you when you’re halfway through, and when there’s 15 seconds to go. This is very helpful if you’re a beginner because you’ll know exactly how long you need to keep going… and when you can stop! As the minute progresses, the instructor will tell you ways in which you can increase the difficulty of the exercise, but there’s absolutely no pressure on you to do that. Again, this means that, as a beginner, you can exercise alongside the more experienced without any trouble at all and everyone will still be able to progress. 


Small groups and helpful instructors

One thing that makes Reformer Pilates an excellent exercise for beginners is the group size. The presence of the beds means the class sizes are limited to around 10 people. This is great for beginners because it means the instructors will be able to spend more time with you. You’ll get the opportunity to ask them questions as you go along, and they’ll be able to keep an eye on you as you exercise, correcting your posture if necessary to make sure you’re doing it correctly. In a large mat Pilates class, your instructor will have more people to look out for, meaning you get less attention from them.  


The best beginner Pilates for all ages 

Age is not a barrier. In fact, because the reformer bed is so supportive, Reformer Pilates is a fantastic exercise for people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond! If you’re unsure because you’re recovering from injury, a bit older or completely new to exercise, don’t worry, you can always join one of our Rehab & Fundamentals classes which take things a lot more slowly. 


The best beginner Pilates for injury rehabilitation 

If you’re looking for a good exercise to do to help you get your strength back after injury, Reformer Pilates couldn’t be better suited. When Joseph Pilates was devising his exercise technique during the First World War, he designed equipment that could be fitted to hospital beds to help hospital patients tone their muscles and regain their fitness after illness and injury. The support his reformer machine provided meant that people with injuries could build muscle strength around the injured site, which aided recovery. The reformer bed evolved from these beginnings, which is why Reformer Pilates is such a great rehabilitation exercise. Our experienced Pilates practitioners run Rehab & Fundamentals sessions, which are held at most of our studios

Reformer Pilates is an ideal exercise for beginners. If you want to try it out for yourself, try a class for just £10! If that isn’t incentive enough, you can also bring a friend for free. It’s a great way for you both to start – or continue – your fitness journeys. 

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