Ten Pilates: Reformer Pilates

My lovely friend Charlie recently arranged for myself and a group of blogger girls to try Reformer Pilates at Ten Pilates in Hatton Garden.

I had heard of ‘Pilates with machines’ before, but as a very novice regular pilates goer I wasn’t sure what to expect and was quite nervous. Of the seven girls, only two had done Reformer Pilates before so I wasn’t the only newbie.

It’s only over the last 6 months that I have discovered the benefits of Pilates to increase my core stability and flexibility.

I arrived at the class ten minutes early which gave me time to fill out my health form and get changed. The staff were very friendly, the receptionist even walked me round to the changing room so I didn’t get lost.

When you first walk into the room it’s quite intimidating as the beds look complicated and unfamiliar. At Ten Pilates there are only 10 beds which means that the class feels very intimate. More importantly it means that the instructor has time to spend with each individual to correct their technique and make sure they are using the machinery properly.

Matt, our brilliant instructor put us all at ease straight away. He asked us if there is any part of the body we wanted to focus on, for most of us, it was our first time so we decided that we wanted a taster of a full body workout.

What’s the difference between Pilates and Reformer Pilates?

The benefits are the same; core strength, flexibility and muscle toning, but one uses a mat and one uses a Reformer. Pilates requires resistance, the difference is, with a mat your body weight is the resistance, and on a Reformer the springs and pulleys act as the resistance. As you are able to increase the resistance on a Reformer the workout can be more challenging, and in turn you may see quicker results.

The Reformer
Weight springs

The Reformer (the bed) is made up of springs and pulleys for resistance. The carriage, which is the flat base that slides has a head rest attached at the top. Unattached, but part of the package are hand weights in a variety of sizes, a pilates ring and a foam head rest.

There was no messing around, we got straight to it. The first exercise we did involved using a pilates ring to work on our inner thighs. We had our knees through the ring and then had to push out as much as we can – Matt promised a free personal training session to anyone that could break it – I’d love to see someone be able to do that!

I felt like our instructor Matt came to ‘correct’ me more than anyone else, but hopefully this is me being paranoid! Matt was, however very clear with his instructions and made me feel completely at ease.

Matt talking us through our next exercise;

Stretching our glutes out:

We lay down on the reformer and used the pulleys to move our bodies. This worked our core and our arms. The resistance set on the springs makes this much harder than it looks. Matt tended to ask us to hook the red and yellow springs as this was a normal beginner resistance level.

Great hamstring stretch using the Pilates ring.

By the end of the hour session I really felt like I’d worked every muscle in my body, especially my muscles that have been prone to injury e.g. glutes! I felt like my muscles had to work much harder than in my usual mat pilates class, and that was definitely a good thing.
Ten Pilates offers classes for all levels including beginners like me! It is quite expensive though at £27 for a single  session, but they do offer courses which reduces the rate of each session. They do however offer a £12.50 introductory offer. More info on prices can be found here
Seven happy bloggers at the end of the session:

Beccy, Lissy, me, Charlie, Laura, Leah, Ashley
Thank you to Ten Pilates for the complimentary session and to Matt for making it both challenging and enjoyable. 
*Thanks to Charlie & Ashley for some of the photos.

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