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Has anyone ever taken a pilates class using equipment (reformer etc)? I've done the mat classes and really like them. There's a studio near me that actually offers reasonably priced classes using the equipment and I was thinking of trying it. I was just wondering if anyone had any comments, experiences, etc.

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Yes, skaballet, I have, and I loved it! I could not afford to continue, but I did take a series of one on one training. The Reformer is great, but I really loved the Cadillac! :grinning:

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Guest michal1979

Hi Skaballet,


Yes, I have tried pilates with the reformer, it was really great. After you take pilates mat for awhile, there is a limit of how much you can improve, especially in terms of flexibility. Using the reformer really increases your flexibility, etc. However, there is some potential of hurting yourself if you don't do the exercises correctly, so just make sure you have a good instructor! B)



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Guest abc4dance


The equipment is fabulous for dancers. While many of the exercises are carried from the mat to each piece of equipment, selecting the right piece of equipment can really customize the workout for you and make it more effective. I love the cadillac for dancers as the springs offer just enough resistance to slow movements down to address aligment issues. There is also a myriad of ways to set the body on the cadillace to work on "hard to reach" areas that will duplicate the stresses of ballet on the body. The reformer, especially if you have a jump board and rotational disc back board is great for building strength and stamina and addressing correct firing patterns of the movement. The chair - preferably split pedal will help identify and correct body strength differences, increase stability especially along the spinal column, work pelvic stability, etc. All of the barrels, but especially the arc barrel allow you a greater range of motion in all planes of movement than you can get on the floor.


Having a solid background in mat work is very important. Having an instructor with a good eye for alignment is crucial. Someone with a ballet background is great, but you need to make sure that they are working your non ballet muscles as fully also. Most ballet dancers (unless they have alignment or bio mechanical issues they are addressing) do not need to work laterally rotated. They need to be parallel and medially rotated to insure the joints of the lower body are adequately strengthened.

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Having a solid background in mat work is very important

Now, I am terribly confused. Because one of the Pilates studios over here offers a "basic package" which is the step after the 1h introduction. In this package you do three semi-private classes on reformers and 1 mat class. Also, in the introduction hour, the first 30 min are on mat and the following 30 min in reformer.

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Guest abc4dance

I will sometimes put a client on the reformer or another piece of equipment on the first day. However it is a one on one situation and I would have already gone through a postural analysis, gait analysis and verbal question and answer period with them. They would have also done about 1/2 hour of working the pilates principles and fundemental movements on the mat. When we go to the equipment it is either to help them through a movement that they cannot do on the mat for strength or alignment reasons or a very basic exercise such as the footwork on the reformer to allow them to feel the machine.


The exercises on all the equipment are based on the principles taught in the matwork. To have an effective reformer workout, it really helps to be able to utilize those principles on the mat since the mat isn't adding the difficulty of a moving platform or the tension of the springs to the exercise. It most definately can be done, but would be like teaching centre work without the person learning barre first.


On the other side of coin, Pilates is often taught as just another exercise program with the focus on giving a workout instead of focusing on balancing the body. This is becoming more popular. If you have a very good sense of body alignment this may be fine for you because you know the muscles that should be doing the movement and will engage them more automatically than a non dancer.

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Thanks for all your replys. I am definately going to try the equipment class.


Don't worry abc4dance once I start I will have taken mat classes once a week for one year so I do have mat experience. Its also not an individual class, but a group class that just gives you some experience on the equipment. I'd love to do an individual series, but its entirely too expensive so I'm opting for the group one. Again, thanks for all the input.

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I’ve done Pilates for quite some time and personally I prefer the equipment to the mat, but that’s purely personal preference. I essentially learned many of the exercises performed on the equipment, then made my own versions for home use. I can’t do everything I learned with my homemade stuff, but I can do a lot.


Personally, I find Pilates enjoyable, but am unconvinced that it helps my ballet at all. If I were making a choice between spending money on Pilates or spending the same money on additional ballet classes, I’d take the extra ballet classes in a nanosecond.

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