To be honest, although I practice Pilates on equipment for a while, I didn’t know much about each piece until my recent BASI course. Let’s see.
The Reformer is probably the most well known. If a studio wants to start from somewhere, most probably will start with one Reformer, as it is very versatile. The movements on the reformer range from fundamental to extremely advanced. They are performed in all kind of positions for all purposes.
Foot work on the reformer is placed in a very comfortable position, you lay supine on the carriage, head on head rest, shoulders onto shoulder rest. It is less demanding than on Cadillac or Wunda, but still not easy when correctly performed. These type of exercises may be derived by Joseph Pilates from the days when he was working in his studio with ballet dancers from New York City Ballet.
There is a large diversity of exercises for abdominal work, hip work, spinal articulation as well as for the upper body. The stretches performed on the reformer for the hip flexors, hamstrings are different than the ones on other Pilates machines.
Unique to the reformer, are also the jumping exercises. The jumpboard is a is an additional foot platform. It offers exercises for ballet dancers who can improve their jumping skills. If you are just a fitness enthusiast, it is fun for you too!