Reformer Pilates may be a low-impact exercise, but it is definitely a form of strength-training exercise. You may not be building up a huge sweat in the way you would with circuit training, but you will be building up your strength and gaining increased muscular endurance.
What it won’t do is grow muscle mass as dramatically as bodybuilding does. Having said that, even if you do want a body like Jason Momoa’s, Reformer Pilates can still be useful as an additional exercise as it will help you increase flexibility and resilience. Not only that, it will also build up strength in all your muscles, not just the ones you’re trying to bulk up.
The way you strengthen your muscles with Reformer Pilates is to use the resistance offered by the springs and to gradually increase that resistance as your muscle mass improves. By exercising using the reformer bed, you will also be working on your body’s flexibility and stamina, both of which will help improve your strength training and reduce the risk of injury.
Reformer Pilates concentrates on building up the strength in your core muscles, which are your abdominal, back and gluteal muscles. Your core muscles, or ‘power house’, are vital because they support your back, help you maintain good posture, and help you keep moving efficiently. Core stability is essential for safely building the strength of your other muscles. For example, many athletes now choose to do Reformer Pilates as a way of helping them keep their whole body working effectively. Regular participation in sports that rely on you using a dominant arm – for example, tennis, cricket or bowling – could result in an imbalance in your muscular structure. By working on all the muscles, Reformer Pilates helps to tone the muscles in that dominant arm at the same time as strengthening the muscles in the non-dominant arm, helping to prevent injuries that are caused by that lack of balance.
Resistance training is any form of exercise where you lift or pull against a weight resistance (some people use the term ‘weight training’, which means the same thing). Through the use of different combinations of springs on the reformer bed, you can create just the right amount of resistance for each exercise to be effective for you. As soon as you’re comfortable with that amount of resistance, you can change the spring combination, which will give you greater resistance and therefore further increase your muscle strength. This is the reason why our sessions work so well, even though there are people of all abilities in each group. You control your own progress, which means you take things at your own pace – not the pace of the rest of the group – so you’ll never feel you’re always catching up or, conversely, that you’re always waiting for the others to catch up with you.
We understand that you may be reluctant to commit to membership without experiencing Reformer Pilates first, which is why we encourage you to Try A Class for just £10… and you can also bring a friend for free!
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