A Pilates reformer is an innovative piece of Pilates equipment that incorporates Pilates exercises + spring-loaded resistance – offering a dynamic and targeted full-body workout. A reformer is a great option for low-impact recovery and injury rehabilitation allowing precise core movements and isolating more muscles than possible when doing Pilates on a mat alone. 



What exactly is a Pilates Reformer?

Joseph Pilates created the reformer, a simple flat frame with a platform or carriage. The carriage glides back and forth the frame on runners, under different tension settings.

We use the Pilates Reformer for guided exercise sessions, under the direction of a Physio. With an emphasis on postural control, it is a safe, fun way to exercise through rehab to full function offering a low-impact workout that is kind and supportive on the joints whilst providing a challenging workout to support and strengthen the whole body.

The Carriage

The platform is called the carriage, and the carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs. The springs allow you to adjust the resistance to the carriage, which will be pushed and pulled along the frame by your own body weight and strength. There are also cushioned shoulder blocks on the carriage that keep you in a stable position and prevent you from sliding.

The  Spring System

hand adjusting reformer springs

Our reformers have a five-spring resistance system providing a variety of tension options to work with. During your session, your Physio will assist you to adjust your springs and resistance level for each exercise during your session. You may use just one spring or a combination of lighter and heavier springs together – the yellow/white spring is very light, blue is light, and the red springs provide medium resistance.

The Footbar

lady hands on footbar

There is a footbar at the end of the reformer — an adjustable bar that can be upright, angled or folded flat. Your feet or hands will be placed on this bar depending on the exercise.

The Straps

The reformer also has long straps with handle loops on them that your feet or hands can be placed into; these are at the top of the frame. The springs can be adjusted to affect both the footbar and the handles, to modify the workout for different skill levels and body types.


Who should use the Pilates Reformer?

There is a common misconception that Pilates is for women only, or that it is girly. There’s nothing girly about Pilates, in fact – EVERY. BODY. BENEFITS!

Pilates reformer can be a great workout for anyone – as both the equipment and the exercises can be adapted to all fitness levels; from teenagers to seniors and elite athletes to people with a more sedentary lifestyle. We have both male and female physiotherapists trained on the Pilates reformer who can lead you through your injury rehabilitation or guided-reformer fitness sessions for strength, conditioning, and general well being.

Pilates reformer workouts focus on core strength and proper muscle engagement which improves athletic performance, back pain, injury recovery, weight loss, balance, bone density, and posture to name a few. It is a movement system designed to better our everyday life and well being.


The advantage of Reformer Pilates is its ability to train the small AND big muscles of your body.

– The muscles that stabilise you and the ones that move you – all on a single piece of equipment. It is fantastic for increasing strength, tone, balance, flexibility, and mobility – leaving you with a body that feels connected and strong. The adjustable springs allow us to continually challenge you by increasing the load, using the springs and the weight of your own body to provide resistance, gradually progressing you to more advanced exercises.

Benefits of exercising using the Pilates reformer include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Balanced posture
  • Core strength and trunk control
  • Improved bone health
  • Targeted strengthening
  • Tendon loading
  • Improved coordination
  • Improved continence control⠀
  • Specific sports rehabilitation
  • Injury prevention

How to access our Pilates reformers:

We have Pilates Reformers in both our Yamba and Maclean clinics. Following an initial assessment at Fluid, reformer exercise can be accessed 3 ways:

  • 1:1 Private Physio-led Session
  • Group Rehabilitation Exercise Class (limited to 3 participants)
  • Independent Sessions (following a personalised program)

If you are interested in learning more about our Pilates Reformers, contact the clinic for an appointment with our team.  To Book online, simply click here. or call on 6646 3766, we are confident we can help you.

Alternatively, if you are injury-free and do not require a physio to lead you through your session, and/or are seeking to incorporate the reformer into your regular fitness routine, we can highly recommend Gemma from Connect Pilates.

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Written by: Alison Darbyshire – Senior Physiotherapist.