Reformer Pilates – What To Expect

When you think of getting in shape, isn’t it sometimes over whelming how many fitness options there are available to us now? And really all you’re thinking is, ‘what exactly do I have to do and where is it going to tone?’. Which is why myself and Hayley from Platinum Pilates collaborated in this piece to show you the benefits and moves of level 1 and 2 Reformer Pilates.

1. Shoulder Bridge

This is an excellent exercise to build core strength, strengthen and lengthen the hamstrings and glutes as well as teaching your spine how to articulate.


2. The Hundred

One of the best Pilates exercises for warming up the abdominals not to mention keeping your belly firm and flat. The reformer offers your body stability and the resistance is an extra challenge.

The Hundred

3. Long Spine

This is such an amazing exercise to elongate and open up the spine through use of the deeper core muscles with added help from our hip extensors, glutes, and hamstrings (L2 class).


4. Standing Leg Slide with Spine Rotation

This exercise develops pelvic lumbar stabilization, stretches and strengthens the hip flexors, adductors and hamstring. The rotation improves your posture and mobilises the spine. Spinal rotation is an area most of us need to pay attention to.

Leg Slide with Spine Rotation

5. The Lunge

This is a great exercise to strengthen the leg muscles with a strong focus on the glutes. Drawing the carriage in and out enables you to feel supported whilst strengthening the muscles around the knee.

lunge to extension

6. Superman

A great exercise for challenging your balance, whilst strengthening your deep abdominal muscles. The glute is isolated when the foot is in the strap working against resistance, so get ready for that bum to burn!

Superman with resistance

7. C-Curve

This lovely abdominal exercise strengthens your deep abdominal muscles while stretching the muscles of the back. There are many variations to this exercise which are demonstrated in the classes.

C Curve

8. Side-lying Series

This exercise sequence strengthens and stretches the obliques (waist muscles). It is also a great hip opener as it elongates the hip flexor and all its connective tissues giving you a lovely side spine stretch too.

Side Lying Oblique strength to side lying Stretch

9. Kneeling Arm Series

A fantastic exercise for shoulder mobility and stabilization, whilst strengthening into your arms and abdominal muscles. This exercise also helps to open the chest muscles, whilst toning those arms!

Arm Series

10. Elephant Stretch

A gorgeous stretch for your whole body, especially the spine and hamstrings and shoulders. This will leave you feeling more flexible and fantastic at the end of a class.


Reformer Pilates is a great introduction to Pilates if you’ve never tried it, and as much as I love normal mat work, I always feel the machines help push my body to as far as it can go. I’ll definitely be continuing with the strengthening and stretching!

Louise x

For more information on Hayley’s work, check out her bio and Instagram, or find her at Wellfest on the 17th/18th September in Herbert Park and take part in her classes! 

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