You can do mat-based pilates with minimal equipment or use a reformer machine which adds resistance to exercises in the form of springs. Reformers can be found in most pilates studios as well as physiotherapy clinics. There are a variety of reformer exercises that improve posture as well as tone the arms, legs and core muscles.
Footwork involves placing the feet in different positions on the bar which trains different leg muscles as you push the carriage away. Do 15 repetitions of each exercise back to back before resting; repeat the circuit. Exercises include leg presses on the heels and balls of the feet, wide-legged squats and perching with legs and feet together.
Like a Frog
Frog strengthens the core and inner thigh muscles. Place each foot in an arm loop with knees tucked into the chest. Contract the abs as you extend the legs to 45 degrees or until your pelvis starts to rotate to form a V-shaped posture. Repeat 15 times or until you're fatigued.
Stretch the Knees Series
Kneel on the reformer's carriage with both hands on the bar. Your knees should be under the hips and the soles of your feet against the shoulder pads. Round your back, contract your abs and push your hips away from the bar. Repeat 10 times or until you're tired. Next, arch your back so your chest sticks out and shoulder blades retract until fatigued.
- Pilates-ology: Online Pilates Workouts: Reformer
- Ellie Herman's Pilates Reformer, Second Edition; Ellie Herman; 2007