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The 7 benefits of Pilates reformer class

September 18th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

The Pilates reformer was invented over 100 years ago by Joseph Pilates. But it has only been in the last 30 years that reformer Pilates classes have become more widely known. 

Unfortunately, too many people still think that Pilates is just for dancers and yogis. But reformer Pilates class actually has benefits for all people  — no matter what your level of fitness is.

The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley that provides many types of training — group classes, small group programs, and one-on-one private training. We offer a wide range of classes to meet the needs of our members. 

In this article, you will learn what a Pilates reformer is, how it gets used, and its many benefits. Read on to learn more.

06b2cb22-2f0e-43b2-9112-29562798a481What is a Pilates reformer?

A Pilates reformer is a specialized piece of equipment that was originally built by the inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. 

It looks like a single bed with a frame. This is called the carriage and it slides back and forth. There are adjustable springs to create resistance and adjustable ropes with handles. There is a footbar that lowers and lifts depending on the exercise. 

Many Pilates instructors also use long boxes, jump boards, magic circles, bands, balls, gondola poles, and weights as tools in class.

How is working on a reformer different from mat Pilates? 

A reformer can either aid or challenge the user. 

Because the reformer springs adjust, they can add more assistance to the user or create more resistance, making movements more difficult. This feature allows the user to select the degree of complexity according to their abilities. 

Mat Pilates is limited to working on the floor on a yoga mat with your body weight as resistance. Mat Pilates is a great method for developing core strength and muscle control, but it isn’t as scalable as reformer Pilates. 

7 Benefits of Pilates reformer classes

a1935655-6215-47ea-b48f-26adf0f2bab21. Builds strength

Pilates starts with engaging the core, often referred to as the “powerhouse.” You then perform controlled movements using your breath. You build strength using spring loads, and in some cases, a lack of springs, to make the exercise more challenging.

2. Increases mobility

An integral part of doing Pilates is by performing stretching exercises on the reformer. 

The reformer’s sliding carriage and spring load can provide you with varying levels of assistance and resistance to help enhance a stretch, increasing your natural range of motion. 

Joint mobilization is a big draw for people as most reformer exercises target the hips, shoulders, and spine which is helpful for anyone feeling stiff. 

Reformers are wonderful for spine health. Many exercises on the machine support a range of movements that decompress the spine and promote spinal articulation. Posture is always emphasized during the exercises as well. 

3. Leaner, more defined physique

People who attend reformer Pilates classes consistently notice a leaner and stronger core area of their bodies, including flatter bellies and more toned thighs and arms. 

comp_image_50733825 (3)4. Less pain

Pilates classes focus on mobilizing, which releases tension and stuck patterns in the body. The National Institute of Health has found that neck, shoulder, and low back pain improve from doing Pilates.

5. Increases stability and balance

As we age, we are more prone to falls and broken bones. If you have osteoporosis, the risk of injury is even higher. Pilates movements focus on the core and making controlled movements. This practice helps to develop better coordination, agility, and balance, thus reducing the chance of falling.

6. Low impact

People who have joint injuries, chronic joint pain, or are in recovery, are relieved that they can get a great workout from reformer Pilates without aggravation. Pilates develops muscle strength which supports the ligaments and tendons around joints. Research shows that even people with osteoarthritis benefit from Pilates

7. Perfect for cross-training

Whether your primary physical activity is high-impact interval training, tennis, running, weight-lifting, or something else, Pilates is the perfect exercise to cross-train with. It increases mobility, provides exercises that work both sides of the body, and helps to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Practicing Pilates even helps to increase lung capacity which helps with cardio activities. 

comp20220907-PANA2003 (1) (1)Check out your first reformer Pilates class

Reformer Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise developed to strengthen and mobilize all parts of the body. It focuses on engaging the core, using the breath, and making symmetrical movements. 

Pilates reformer class can be done by people of all ages and abilities. The movements are adjustable to meet you where you are at. You can increase the level of complexity so you are always getting challenged.

Pilates reformer classes are part of the small group training program at the Paseo Club. There are never more than eight students, so you always have lots of personalized attention and safe instruction.

The Paseo Club instructors teach reformer Pilates classes daily. There are introductory, intermediate, and advanced classes. Every month there is also a specialty Pinot and Pilates class for those of you who want to combine Pilates with wine and a visit with fellow members. 

The Paseo Club offers over 60 fitness classes per week. If you are looking to spice up your Pilates workouts with something else, check out TRX, Blood Flow Restriction training, or cycle. We also have tennis and pickleball courts and a junior Olympic pool.

View Athletic Calendar

The Paseo Club is not just a place to work out. We have several social events happening each month. Take time to relax, make friends, and get involved in the Paseo way of life.

If you have not yet visited our eight-acre facility, now is the time to schedule a tour of the club. Check out the studios, gyms, courts, and pool. 

Schedule a Tour


Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!