Pilates Reformer and Corealign
What is a Pilates reformer?
The reformer was invented and designed in the 1920’s by the Pilates founder Joseph Pilates. It has a bed like frame with a sliding carriage. The carriage is attached to one end of the frame by springs of varying levels of tension and these provide resistance to the carriage being moved along the frame.
At the spring end of the carriage is a footbar and at the opposite end are shoulder rests which stop you from sliding off the carriage. The reformer also has straps and handles enabling the carriage to be moved by the arms or legs. The reformer parts are adjustable and can accommodate differing body height or health conditions.
Using the reformer
Beginners will usually begin by lying on the carriage and moving it out by pressing the feet against the footbar to initiate resistance. As you become more used to the movements, the hands or feet can be placed in the straps while sitting or lying, or you can exercise while kneeling with either your hands or feet in the straps.
As you progress further, exercises can be performed side facing, kneeling, side lying, standing and in numerous other positions. The Pilates reformer is unique and extremely versatile and with several hundred possible exercises to choose from.
Benefits of the reformer.
The reformer offers all of the benefits of mat Pilates exercises plus much more. It is best known for its ability to improve core strength which is considered crucial for the reduction of back pain. However it can also target exercises that can improve your overall strength and flexibility, posture, balance or coordination. With the reformer you can stretch or strengthen, you can tone and you can increase your bone density.
What is the Corealign?
The Corealign is made up of two parts. There is a floor unit frame with two enclosed independantly moving carts and a ladder system which is positioned at one end of the frame. If you are new to the Corealign the carts are mainly positioned side by side with resistance tubes connecting each cart to one end of the frame.
Using the Corealign
For the easy to learn beginner exercises on the Corealign you will probably begin by standing with one foot on each cart positioned side by side. You will be holding a ladder rung for added stability. The carts are moved backwards either together or independently by foot or leg action. As you progress the exercises can be made more challenging with about 200 to choose from in total.
Benefits of the Corealign
The exercises focus on stimulating the core stability muscles which facilitates musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Any part of your body can be targeted for either deep controlled stretches or for long term muscle strengthening.