Is The Pilates Reformer Bed For Me?

4.10.22 by Thomas Millar


There are many advantages of doing Reformer Pilates. It’s good for your posture and core strength, and it’s great for your balance and stability. It also improves your flexibility and helps prevent injury. If you’re wondering ‘is the Pilates reformer bed for me?’, this blog will help you make up your mind. Alternatively, you could try a Reformer Pilates session for yourself for just £10 (and bring a friend for free) at one of our Pilates studios. 

What are Pilates Reformer Beds?

The Pilates reformer bed is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment which looks like a bed with springs, a sliding carriage, ropes and pulleys. The origins of the Pilates reformer date back to the First World War when Joseph Pilates worked in hospitals developing physiotherapy for the injured. He worked out a method of attaching springs to hospital beds, which allowed patients to build strength, align the spine and improve their posture whilst still lying down. In the 1920s, he moved to America where he developed his system into the type of reformer beds that we use today.

A Pilates reformer bed is a phenomenal piece of equipment that allows you to experience Pilates workouts with a mindful movement method that gives you a full-body workout with emphasis on alignment, breath, core, co-ordination, stamina, relaxation, concentration and flowing movements.

However, these Pilates machines don’t come cheap. If you want to add a Pilates reformer bed to your at-home gym, you’re looking at a starting price of around £700 for a basic version. If you’d prefer to invest in one of the best Pilates reformers on the market, you’re looking at starting costs of around £3,500.

Should I Buy a Pilates Reformer Bed?

Given the expense of the Pilates reformer bed, it’s actually far more cost-effective to join studio sessions. This is where Chilli Pilates studios come into their own – not only are they far more affordable, but you will also train with experts in a fun vibrant environment, surrounded by fellow Reformer Pilates fans.

When you join our sessions, a fully qualified Pilates instructor will always be on hand in your Pilates studio, ensuring you use the right technique to get the most out of your Pilates reformer.

A Pilates studio gives you the opportunity to have space away from your home where you are the core focus. This environment gives you the best space to achieve a balanced body in your Pilates classes, led by your Pilates instructor. Our Pilates machines give you all the benefits of a full body workout.

How is Reformer Pilates Different from Mat Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is the same as mat-based Pilates in that it will help you improve your posture, strengthen your core and improve flexibility. But with mat Pilates, you are more restricted as to the exercises you can do, especially as a beginner.

Mat Pilates will mostly focus on the core muscles, whereas the reformer equipment gives you the opportunity to exercise all your muscle groups. This is because the Pilates reformer bed gives you all the support your body needs, so you can work on more muscles and benefit from a wider range of exercises. The Pilates machine allows you to have a balanced body workout, the best Pilates reformer will help strengthen your core muscles in a fun and different way.

Is Using a Pilates Reformer Machine Complicated? 

It may look complex and maybe even a bit scary, but it really isn’t. Everything about the reformer bed has been designed to support your entire body as you work on improving your strength, flexibility and posture.

The reformer bed’s adjustable springs make it easy to adapt for each exercise – your instructor will always tell you which spring or combination of springs you’ll need to use. When you sign up for your taster class, you’ll be emailed a short video in which we explain what the various parts of the bed are, as well as how to change the springs.

When you arrive for your taster session, tell your instructor you’re new to Reformer Pilates and they’ll be happy to demonstrate how to adapt the bed, and they’ll also keep a special eye out to make sure you’re doing well and give you any help you need. By the end of the session, we promise you won’t think it’s complicated or scary at all! 

Is Reformer Pilates for Me if I Have an Injury? 

Reformer Pilates was originally devised to help hospital patients recover their strength with low-impact resistance exercises, enabling them to build up their muscles again after an injury or after a long illness where they’d been confined to the bed.

The springs and ropes were attached to the metal bed frame, enabling patients to begin their recovery even before they could get out of bed. This equipment was developed into the reformer bed we use today.

The bed ensures you’re completely supported, reducing the strain on the body and protecting the injured area. This means that if you have had an injury, Reformer Pilates is the perfect exercise to help you rebuild the injured muscles safely. It also helps you to build up all the surrounding muscles, providing the injured muscles with extra protection. 

Can I Use Pilates Reformer Machines if I’m Not Fit? 

The Pilates reformer bed can be used by virtually anyone. We understand that some people will need to take things slowly because they’re in pain, have a chronic illness, or have only just begun their fitness journey.

If that’s you, look out for our Rehab & Fundamentals sessions – you’ll be exercising at a slower pace giving you the opportunity to adapt at a slower pace, but without missing out on all the excellent benefits that Reformer Pilates offers.

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