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  • Northern Star Y & P

Is It Time to Try Something New? How About the Pilates Reformer?




The reformer was invented by Pilates founder, Joseph Pilates. It is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide choices of differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The carriage has shoulder blocks on it that keep practitioners from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage.


At the spring end of the reformer, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage.


The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame. They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well. Body weight and resistance of the springs are what makes the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformer parts are adjustable for differing body sizes and different levels of skill.


How a Reformer is Used


A wide variety of exercises are done on the reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility and balance. Most Pilates reformer exercises have to do with pushing or pulling the carriage or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.


One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility. Exercises can be done laying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment…and all kinds of variations. There are many reformer exercises for beginners to advanced practitioners.


Benefits of the Reformer

  1. strength, flexibility, coordination, balance

  2. better posture, graceful movement and relief from muscle imbalances

  3. strengthens the powerhouse muscles and promotes flat abs, strong backs, toned buttocks, and firm thighs

Private lessons are now available on the Pilates Reformer at Northern Star Yoga & Pilates.


Contact Tricia at triciaslipacoff@hotmail.com to arrange your personal session and time.


A one-hour session is $45 for NSY&P members and $50 for non members. Is it time you tried something new? Even one session per week will enhance your Pilates/fitness experience!!


Written by Tricia Slipacoff, co-owner of Northern Star Yoga & Pilates located in Sarnia, ON, Canada. Tricia has been teaching Pilates for the past 12 years.



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