Reformer Pilates is often considered more dynamic and intense than its matwork counterpart because most of the exercises are performed through greater ranges of motion and involve resistance that is applied from springs and bands.
The Reformer was initially created to complement the movements that Pilates originally called “Contrology exercises” and was designed to prepare Pilates students for the more advanced mat work exercises.
Nowadays, however, the Reformer is not only used to prime students for floor-based exercises, it is also used as a progression from these movements with more advanced participants. The Reformer serves the same purpose as many of the mat-based Pilates movements, to accelerate developments in flexibility, strength and body alignment.
Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics & boxing. Pilates immigrated to the US in the 1920’s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method, which he called “contrology” – for several decades.