Apologies to Women's Health magazine but I stole their headline.
Have you noticed that fitness fads come and go? It seems that Pilates is having another resurgence especially reformer Pilates. When I trained to be a Pilates teacher over 12 years ago with Alan Herdman, the reformer and other studio equipment such as the trapeze table and combi chair were not widely known. On telling people I was trained in studio Pilates I had to explain what a reformer looked like, what is was, the benefits and why clients loved it.
Today, the reformer is well known. Who can forget Pippa Middleton's bum at the wedding of her sister, Catherine to the Prince William. Pippa credited Pilates and the reformer for getting in shape for that wedding. The list of the famous using the reformer is very long and there is no reason why the reformer cannot be used by anyone.
So what makes the reformer special?
There are over 80 exercises you can do on the reformer and they can be made easy or difficult depending on the client and the objectives they wish to achieve. The beauty of the reformer is you can exercise against the resistance of the springs so you get quicker results. In matwork the only resistance you have is gravity or body weight (unless you add props such as a theraband, ball or other small equipment).
Add in a trapeze table (the American's often call it a Cadillac as it has everything you wanted), a combi chair and a Pilates arc then you can have a whole body workout.
This month's Women's Health magazine devotes an article to the reformer. Do read it as it makes some great points. However, don't believe everything you read. Alan Herdman (who I trained with) did not learn from the great man himself, Joseph Pilates, who died in 1967. Alan went to New York to train in Joseph Pilates' studio in 1969 and was trained by two of Pilates assistances - Carola Trier and Bob Fitzgerald. Here's the link to the article in Women's Health Magazine:
If you are interested in learning about the 'grandfather' of UK Pilates, Alan Herdman, responsible for bringing Pilates to the UK in 1971 then please have a look at his website. He may be 'mature' but his enthusiasm for Pilates never diminishes and he loves to teach both here in his studio in London and internationally. A role model for us all!