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Reformer Pilates: The Workout That the UK Can't Get Enough Of!

Updated: Feb 27

In recent years, Reformer Pilates has boomed in the UK fitness scene, attracting enthusiasts eager to diversify their workout routines and reap the benefits of this dynamic (and challenging) exercise method.

Let's delve into what Reformer Pilates entails, its origins, and why it has become a top fitness trend globally.

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What is Reformer Pilates & Where Did It Come From?

Reformer Pilates is a contemporary iteration of the traditional Pilates method, incorporating specialised equipment known as the Reformer. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates originally focused on mat-based exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

The Reformer, with its sliding carriage, springs, and straps, was later introduced to enhance the practice by providing additional resistance and assistance, thereby intensifying the workout.

What Does the Typical Session Look Like?

A typical Reformer Pilates session involves a series of controlled, flowing movements performed on the Reformer machine under the guidance of a certified instructor. Participants engage their core muscles while utilising the springs and pulleys to perform various exercises targeting different muscle groups. Depending on the studio or the class style, sessions may incorporate props such as resistance bands, balls, and weights to add variety and challenge.

Why is it Popular?

Reformer Pilates has gained popularity for several reasons:

  • Full-Body Workout: It offers a comprehensive workout that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, resulting in improved strength, flexibility, and endurance.

  • Low-Impact: Unlike high-impact activities, Reformer Pilates is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for individuals of all fitness levels and ages.

  • Versatility: The Reformer machine allows for a wide range of exercises that can be modified to accommodate individual needs and goals, making it accessible to a diverse audience.

  • Mind-Body Connection: With its emphasis on proper alignment, breathing, and body awareness, Reformer Pilates promotes mindfulness and relaxation, reducing stress and tension.

Tips for Newbies:

For those new to Reformer Pilates, here are some tips to enhance your experience:

  • Start Slow: Begin with beginner-friendly classes to familiarise yourself with the equipment and basic movements before progressing to more advanced sessions.

  • Communicate with Your Instructor: Don't hesitate to communicate any concerns, injuries, or limitations to your instructor, who can provide modifications and guidance tailored to your needs.

  • Focus on Form: Pay attention to proper form and alignment during exercises to maximise effectiveness and prevent injury.

  • Stay Consistent: Like any form of exercise, consistency is key to seeing results. Aim for regular practice to experience the full benefits of Reformer Pilates.

  • Listen to Your Body: Honor your body's limits and avoid pushing yourself beyond what feels comfortable. Rest when needed and gradually increase intensity as you progress.

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Exploring Reformer Pilates Studios in London

London is home to numerous studios offering Reformer Pilates classes, each with its own unique atmosphere and approach. Some notable options include:

  1. Third Space Wimbledon & Mayfair: Third Space sets the fitness industry's standard for luxury and sophistication and has recently showcased their brand-new Reformer studios in Wimbledon and Mayfair, led by industry expert and Master trainer James Shaw, and the Third Space Reformer team.

  2. Frame: Frame offers a dynamic and energising Reformer Pilates experience in a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. With multiple locations across London, Frame caters to individuals of all fitness levels, providing expert guidance and personalised attention. Frame recommends that you take three of their beginner's classes before taking on regular sessions.

  3. FS8: Nestled in the heart of London, FS8 specialises in small-group Reformer Pilates sessions tailored to individual needs. With a focus on form and technique, FS8's expert instructors ensure each participant receives personalised attention and achieves maximum results. F45 is behind this brand-new Oxford Circus studio that opened in 2022. 

  4. 1Rebel: Known for its high-intensity workouts, vibey playlists, and cutting-edge facilities, 1Rebel offers a unique twist on Reformer Pilates. Their non-conventional signature Reformer classes blend strength training, cardio, and Pilates principles for a challenging and effective full-body workout across their London studios.

  5. Triyoga: Triyoga combines the ancient practice of yoga with modern fitness techniques, including Reformer Pilates. Their serene studios provide a peaceful sanctuary for practitioners to strengthen, stretch, and restore both body and mind. Head to Triyoga for a more traditional Reformer experience in a completely supportive environment.

Reformer Pilates isn't just a workout; it's a journey filled with surprises, challenges, and triumphs. Reformer Pilates offers a unique blend of history, innovation, and excitement, from its fascinating origins to its spring-loaded fun. So, whether you're bouncing on springs, sculpting your core, or finding your inner Zen, try a Reformer Pilates class and discover the joy of movement in a whole new way. 


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