Considering a Group Pilates Class?

Learn more about Pilates reformer classes at Embody Pilates

By Carol Jacobs, DPT October 1, 2023

If you have never taken a group Pilates reformer class, it can be a little intimidating at first. For one thing, there’s this piece of equipment called the reformer, that has a lot of moving parts, and there is also a lot of new movement to learn. Here’s some helpful information before you come to your first class.

What is a Reformer?

The Reformer is probably the most recognizable piece of Pilates equipment. It is one of the many pieces of equipment that Joseph Pilates developed, and it is part of the overall Pilates Method. It consists of a moveable carriage, on a wooden or metal frame with adjustable springs and straps.  As a beginner, you will be introduced to the equipment and how to safely set up your exercises using these adjustable parts.  

Depending on the equipment set up, the Reformer makes Pilates exercises more accessible (read ‘easier’) or incredibly challenging! The Reformer’s design allows for a variety of movements and body positions, including lying down, sitting, standing, forward & backward bending, side bending, twisting, and more. It is a highly adaptable piece of equipment that uses body weight and spring tension to make the Pilates Method accessible for everyone!

Do I already have to know how to do Pilates exercises before I come to a group reformer class?

You can be an absolute beginner-no prior experience required! At Embody Pilates and Fitness, you will learn classic Pilates exercises such as the Hundred (a warm up & abdominal exercise at the same time!) as you learn to use the equipment in an ordered progression of exercises that builds on Pilates principles. Traditionally, Pilates reformer has been taught as a ‘routine’ of ordered exercises. The beauty of this is that once you are familiar with the routine, it allows you to focus on your body as you progress through beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Throughout the process, you develop strength, flexibility, improved posture, and mind-body awareness that enhances everything you do.  Carol offers a complimentary private session for you to get familiar with Pilates and the reformer. 

Embody Pilates Studio with Reformer

What do I wear?

Leggings or sweatpants with a t-shirt or tank top are all you need. Generally, wear something that is comfortable and easy to move in (stretchy pants-- yoga pants, leggings, sweat pants). Since many exercises are performed lying down with legs in the air, you will probably want to avoid loose shorts or pants that will fall down to the glutes. You do want to avoid anything that is too baggy, especially excessively baggy t-shirts or tops that could possibly get caught in the equipment as you are moving. Traditionally, exercises are performed without shoes, either barefoot or with socks—if you prefer socks, ‘grippy’ socks with rubberized treads are recommended.

How do I start? 

Group Reformer classes at Embody Pilates and Fitness are limited to no more than 4-5 people, which makes it an ideal and safe learning environment for beginners. If you have no experience with Pilates, the Beginning Reformer class is perfect for you, though if you are experiencing chronic pain or a chronic health condition, please call Carol Jacobs on (540) 595-9107 to discuss whether Pilates privates are a more appropriate way to begin. 

Embody Pilates and Fitness offers a trifecta of services to meet your fitness & training, recovery, and rehabilitative goals:

  • Pilates for total body conditioning,   rehabilitation,  athletic cross training
  • MELT Method for recovery, relief from pain, rehydration of connective tissue/fascia
  • Neubie for supercharged fitness training