Anytime someone is considering purchasing a piece of home exercise equipment it makes sense to research different types of equipment as well as different brands– not all exercise equipment is created the same. If you want to enjoy pilates at home and are considering a Reformer, here are some things to think about before choosing a Pilates Reformer for the home.
Pilates is a series of movements and techniques that engage essentially all the muscles within your body. The principles of Pilates, which was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, are core balance, strength, breathing and stretching. There is also a lot of emphasis on breathing and a clear, peaceful mind. All of the principles will help you to get the most out of your Pilates workout; as will choosing the most appropriate machine.
One of the first things to consider when choosing a Pilates machine is your budget. Pilates Reformers range from costing a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. If you aren’t sure if you will remain committed to this exercise program, it may be best to choose on that is on the lower end of the price scale and then later upgrade.
For example a basic Pilates Reformer would be something like the Stamina Aero Reformer which costs around $400. Made of a steel frame, this is a great machine for those who want to also step up their workouts with some cardiovascular exercises and routines. The foot rest adjusts to three different levels and there are additional attachments for straps, ropes and handgrips. The Stamina AeroPilates Reformer also has a trampoline style attachment for the bottom so those who use it can bounce and jump to get their heart rates elevated and shed unwanted pounds.
For a step up into a mid-range reformer you can look at the more advanced Stamina AeroPilates Pro XP 557 which adds about a thousand dollars to their basic model. This model is more durable and more comfortable. It also is about 8 inches longer than standard reformers to accomodate taller people. Other benefits to this machine are that it is more adjustable which provides a wider range of motion and therefore many more exercises can be performed.
The King (or Queen) of Reformers
Studio Reformers are one of the most expensive of all the types but its reputation and durability speaks to why it is priced as such. These type of reformers have been around for a few decades and most people who own them have had the same one for 10 to 20 years; in some cases longer. Almost all of them are built of steel and solid oak wood and is quieter than other machines. Additionally they come with all the attachments you could ever need and in most cases the purchaser can actually custom build theirs for their height, body type and according to specifications that are individualized. For the serious Pilates enthusiast, this may be the best deal out there in the long run.
You will also want to consider the space you have in your home before choosing a Pilates Reformer machine. While many these days have the ability to fold up for easy storage, some of the more deluxe models once assembled need to remain that way until you no longer want to use it. Pilates reformers vary widely in size so that they can suit all different body sizes and heights, and this is a consideration worth mentioning. While some are sold at an economy size, others are much larger and the attachments can also take up additional space. It is a good idea to measure the room you intend to place the machine in to gauge how much space you will have, and how big of a machine it can comfortably hold.
Pilates Reformer machines also vary in the attachments that they either come with or that can be utilized with them separately. Such extras include pulleys, springs, headrests and grips. Eventually if you stick with Pilates it is likely that you will want to invest in some of these extras as they can increase your balance, flexibility and core strength. Tightening your triceps, abs, building muscle tone in your legs, back and thighs are some of the things that can be done with a Pilates machine. Most of these exercises require these additional attachments.
Pilates can sculpt one’s body like no other exercise regimen. That is the good news. The bad news is some of these attachments can cost hundreds of dollars. Many Reformer machines come with basic attachments, while others do not, so you should compare the price of a basic model and then do the math on how much the additional attachments will cost. In some cases it is better to buy an advanced model that already comes with the extras than a cheaper one that doesn’t.
Most Pilates Reformers will come with some type of guarantee, usually 30 days. Whichever one you purchase, you want to make sure that it has a warranty. You are dealing with a piece of equipment and equipment has been known to break. Since you are investing a couple hundred dollars at the minimum, having the security of a warranty should not be overlooked. Some manufacturers offer extended warranties and in cases where you may be buying a deluxe version to the tune of a few thousand dollars, it may be worthwhile to invest in the extended warranty. Weigh out the prices and length of warranty and decide which pilates machine for home use is most suitable for you.
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