What is a Pilates Reformer?
The Pilates Reformer is a piece of equipment that helps you practice Pilates. It consists of a large, horizontal wooden frame with springs and pulleys attached to it (hence the name "reformer"). You can do many different exercises on the reformer. Some of these exercises are similar to those you would do on the floor or on an exercise ball, but others are unique to the reformer.
How does it work? The springs create resistance as you perform certain movements that would otherwise be impossible without them. For example: if your goal is to strengthen your abs, then doing crunches will not give them enough resistance unless you add something like resistance bands or weights between yourself and the floor/ball/etc., as well as using proper form so that this doesn't become ineffective (or worse). With a reformer though, because its springs provide resistance when moving against them (and also allow for movement in multiple directions), it provides more challenge than simply lying still with weights stacked over each other under your body weight!
What to Look for in a Pilates Reformer Machine
The first thing to look for in a Pilates Reformer machine is its frame. The best machines will have a sturdy, well-built frame that's constructed with quality wood and joints. The more sturdy the frame, the longer you can expect your reformer to last (and the less money you'll spend on repairs).
The pads are another important feature of any machine—they're what provide support and comfort during your workout, so it's important that they're soft enough not to cause any injury but also firm enough so as not to compress under pressure from your body weight during use.
Lastly, be sure that the spring system offers high resistance levels without being too harsh on your joints and muscles; this way, even if you're using higher resistance levels than recommended by most instructors or trainers (which is usually between 2-8), there won't be much risk of injury from overexertion or overuse of these muscles while working out on this device
Minimum Space Requirements for Your Pilates Reformer
You'll need a minimum of three feet of clearance on all sides of the machine, not including any headrests or arm rests. This gives you room to stretch out as you exercise and provides space for anyone else who might be sharing your Pilates studio with you.
In addition to the space required by the machine itself, there's also a ceiling height requirement: most models require at least 7 feet (2230 mm) of overhead clearance. This can make installation difficult in homes where ceilings are lower than this height or rooms with sloped roofs where rafters may interfere with some models' assemblies.
4 Common Types of Pilates Reformers You Need to Know About
- Full Size: these are the most common and most versatile reformers. They can be found at fitness studios and pilates studios, as well as from a variety of online retailers.
- Mini or Portable Reformers: These smaller versions of full-size reformers are great for travel and don't take up too much space in your home.
- Fitness Studio Quality Reformers: These have higher quality materials than their mini counterparts, so they're typically more expensive but will last longer and feel better on your body. If you're looking for top-of-the-line equipment that will last you several years, this is probably what you should buy!
- Mini Tower: A tower is similar to a full size reformer except it has fewer springs (or none at all) and doesn't fold up into itself like other models do; instead it sits upright on its own legs without any need for assembly or disassembly after each use."
Entry Level Pilates Reformers
If your budget is not an issue and you want to get the most out of your money, then consider getting a Pilates Reformer that is optimized for maximum convenience and comfort.
Some of these machines also come with custom support tables that can be used as an extension for your upper body during exercises. These tables are usually made from wood or laminate, but metal ones are also available as well.
This type of reformer will give you the freedom to do all kinds of workouts at home without having to worry about compromising on quality or stability while exercising.
Full-Size Wooden Reformers with the Classic Cadillac or Trapeze Table
- Full-Size Wooden Reformers with the Classic Cadillac or Trapeze Table
The most common type of pilates reformer is a full-size wooden model. These machines are made from sturdy wood, usually maple, and come in several different sizes. The Cadillac and trapeze table can be used for barre and yoga workouts, as well as for rehabilitation.
- Small Wooden Reformers
Smaller versions of the full-size reformers are also popular options for those who want to save space or avoid having to purchase a large piece of equipment that they might not use frequently enough. Small wooden models typically only have one carriage instead of two like larger units do, but they're still heavy duty enough to support up to 350 pounds (150 kg) if needed!
Professional Level Pilates Reformer Machines & Towers
- The Professional Level Pilates Reformer Machines are designed for studio-based use. They have a larger weight capacity and can typically accommodate users up to 300 pounds. They're usually made of metal, with several springs, accessories and other features that make them more sturdy and durable than consumer models.
- Some of these reformers feature a tower or push-through bar that allows you to perform different exercises on the floor instead of being limited to the machine itself. Some also come with wheels for easy transport between rooms in your home or studio.
Portable, Mini and Travel Reformers
There are three main types of reformers: portable, mini, and travel.
- Portable – Can be moved from room to room or from house to house. They're best for people who don't have much space to work with or want their equipment close at hand.
- Mini – Small in size, but still performs all the functions of a regular size reformer. This type is ideal for those who live in small apartments or want a quick workout that doesn't require any assembly time or extra storage space after use.
- Travel – Can be disassembled and carried in a bag (or suitcase). Great if you're on the go frequently!
Here are the things you need to consider when looking for a pilates reformer.
Before you begin your search, it's important to make sure that you're making an informed decision. The following are some things to keep in mind when choosing a pilates reformer:
- Budget - You can get a good quality machine for as low as several hundred dollars and up into the thousands or more. The lower end of this price range may not have all of the features that more expensive models offer, but if you aren't planning on doing any advanced exercises, it may be more than enough for your needs.
- Space - If you live in an apartment or other space-limited living situation, then there is no need to buy a huge machine that takes up most of your room! There are plenty of smaller options out there as well as ones with foldable legs so that they can easily be stored when not being used.
- Training level - If this is going to be your first experience with exercising on equipment like this, then I would recommend starting off small with something like an Ab Glider before moving onto something bigger like our top pick below: The Pilates Shop Timber Reformer (pictured above). This will help keep things affordable while giving beginners valuable practice time before graduating up into bigger machines later down their fitness journey towards achieving their goals by using one of these awesome pieces from Fitness Anywhere! It also has resistance bands built into its design which makes it easy for those who want just enough challenge without having too much difficulty getting started right away."