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What Are the Benefits of Pilates Reformer Exercise?

author image Luann Voza
Luann Voza teaches both math and science in an elementary school setting and physical education in a college setting. A former fitness-club owner, Voza has taught group fitness classes in step, aerobics, yoga, Pilates and kickboxing. As a bodybuilder, she held the title of Ms. New Jersey Lightweight Division Winner. Voza has a master's degree in exercise physiology and a doctoral degree in education.
What Are the Benefits of Pilates Reformer Exercise?
Workouts using the Pilates Reformer target specific muscles. Photo Credit lovely girl exercising image by Paul Moore from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>


The Pilates Reformer is an exercise machine used to incorporate the Pilates exercise technique for a challenging and intense workout. Springs, leverage and body weight are used as resistance while performing movements targeting specific muscle groups. Workouts consist of controlled, flowing movements working your muscles through a full range of motion. The reformer adds increased resistance to the movement. By working to overcome this resistance, training results in increased fitness levels.

Increased Muscular Endurance

Muscles exert force to overcome resistance. Training results include increased muscle fiber endurance, size and strength along with increased connective tissue strength. With increased muscular endurance, your muscles are able to exert force for extended periods. Increased endurance enables you to perform everyday tasks without fatigue. Additional benefits include improved muscle tone as muscles are lengthened and strengthened without appearing bulky.

Increased Core Strength

Exercising on the Pilates Reformer requires proper form and technique. The focus of proper positioning is within the core, your abdomen and lower back muscles. By conditioning the core muscles, they will contract with all movements to stabilize and align your spine. A strong core will increase the effectiveness of all exercises due to your ability to maintain proper alignment. Core strength increases your ability to generate power to your muscles and decreases the risk of injury.

Improved Posture

Workouts on a Pilates Reformer will improve your spinal alignment. With improved alignment, your muscles will strengthen to improve spinal support and stability. Improved posture will lengthen your joints giving you a taller appearance. Muscular imbalances will be corrected decreasing the risk for injury, especially to the lower back. Awareness of proper posture during exercise will carry over to awareness of proper posture when performing everyday movements.

Increased Flexibility

Flexibility is the range of motion of your muscles and connective tissue. Workouts on a Pilates Reformer require your muscle groups to move through a full range of motion. Improved flexibility decreases strain and stress on your joints and muscles. Muscles contract with increased efficiency, and workouts are more effective. Improved flexibility reduces stiffness, soreness and the chance of injury. You can perform everyday movements with less strain and fatigue.

Improved Breathing

Pilates workouts emphasize proper breathing. Breathing becomes deeper and less frequent, resulting in improved relaxation. Benefits include increased lung capacity and breathing efficiency during workouts and at rest. Your lungs are better equipped to supply your body with increased oxygen during workouts. Energy levels increase during exercise and at rest.

Reduced Body Fat

Exercise increases your metabolism, your body's ability to burn calories. Increased muscle mass increases the number of calories burned. When the amount of calories burned is more than the amount of calories eaten, excess body fat is burned and used for energy to meet the increased demand.

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