The Pilates Reformer consists of a flatbed, called the “Carriage,” this lies on top of a wooden frame. Underneath the carriage lies a series of springs with varying degrees of tension that are connected to one side of the reformer. The springs provide both resistance and support for your exercises. The number and strength of springs vary from exercise to exercise.
The Reformer works the muscles in a balanced way, neither under nor over-training any of them.
Unlike the Mat, Reformer Pilates is done on an elevated surface. While the Reformer and Mat are separate you will find a lot of similarity in the exercises. On the Reformer, you begin with footwork, lying on the back, and progress to more complex movements involving spinal flexion and extension.
So which kind of Pilates client are you, Mat or Reformer? The good news for you is that you don’t have to choose. In fact, you’ll get even more out of your Reformer workouts if you combine them with Mat, and vice versa, as the great Joseph Pilates intended us to do.