In the early 1920’s, a star was born. Not an actress, singer or dancer just this amazing machine named the Reformer. The Reformer was created by the late and great Joseph Pilates. Mr. Pilates preferred the name “apparatus” to the machine. It’s the most popular apparatus today. It was originally called the Universal Reformer, “Universally Reforming the Body.”
His idea to design the Pilates Reformer was from a hospital bed. He got the chance to work as a nurse which gave him the opportunity to experiment. He put the bed on a roller and attached springs from the bottom, so that patients could start moving and stretching in their beds.
Today there are so many styles and manufacturers of the Reformer. Wood, metal, on the floor and off the floor. The classical Reformer have leather straps and no risers as the modern Reformers have ropes with risers. All have the following.
- The Carriage, also known as the bed. It’s the largest surface area on the Reformer. You can kneel, lie down, sit or stand.
- Foot bar, provides a home for your feet and hands.
- Shoulder Blocks, keep you stable and helps with alignment. Also used for many exercises that involve feet, knees and hands.
- Headrest, moves up or down depending on the exercise.
The Reformer is not only used for exercise, it’s also used for rehabilitation. It builds great core strength and is a wonderful compliment to sports, dance or all types of exercise. Using the Reformer can improve, coordination, flexibility and strong muscles.
Eventually Mr Pilates created 6 more apparatuses. The Cadillac, Wunda Chair, High “Electric” Chair, Spine Corrector, Ladder Barrel and Ped-A-Pull. All which are being used in Pilates studios all over the world. But the Reformer still remains the most popular, the favorite and the Star.
-Teri Seier Moore-