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Reformer Pilates vs Studio Pilates – what’s the difference?

Reformer Pilates studios and Reformer only classes have popped up everywhere over the past few years. They offer Pilates classes on Reformers for any number of clients at the same time, depending on the size of the studio. In general, these classes are suitable for either experienced pilates practitioners or those who have a reasonable level of fitness. The Reformer is a fabulous piece of equipment, but it is not the “be-all and end-all’ of Pilates as it is marketed. It is difficult to supervise and individualise an exercise programme with up to 10 people on a moving, spring-loaded platform. Hence it is not recommended for those with any injuries, or underlying musculoskeletal issues. Studio Pilates classes have only 3 or 4 clients at a time, and each client will have their programme modified for their needs. You also make use of all the Pilates equipment (Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Wundachair) so you can exercise in a variety of ever-interesting ways. Each piece of equipment has different benefits and challenges. In a studio class, you may use all pieces of equipment in the same class, or just do a full workout on the Wundachair, for example. It will be guided by your instructor, your goals, and, sometimes, on how you feel on the day. Reformer classes are usually cheaper, because they have more people per class. They can become more like the old aerobics classes of the past. Studio Pilates will cost a little more, but your body will thank you for giving it that extra care. I love the Reformer, but I love the Cadillac and even the Wundachair as well. Joe Pilates invented them all for a reason – full-body strength, flexibility, and control.