You probably have heard of Pilates, and possibly tried it once, but did you know that reformer workouts hold an array of health benefits? Elle Clarke, Founder of 11 Pilates, a Dubai Marina-based studio shares 11 facts on why Pilates should be part of our lifestyle, and we’re convinced!

It is a full-body workout that strengthens and tones every muscle  

Every reformer class you try at 11 Pilates guarantees a full-body workout. You will feel the burn all over your body, from your abs to your arms, back, legs and glutes. Reformer machines and exercises are targeted at strengthening and challenging all muscle groups against the resistant springs which leads to a full body toning effect. There are several levels to the resistance springs which means different intensities during the workout. 

Low impact but high intensity 

Don’t expect any high impact moves like jumping, that cause strain on your joints. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not intense! Reformer Pilates is a super low-impact controlled workout, created for you to feel the intensity of every exercise. 

Improves your posture leading to back pain relief 

The great thing with reformer Pilates is that it improves posture and in turn relieves back pain. One of the main causes of most back pain is usually a weak core. Pilates strengthens your core and postural muscles which leads to improved posture. Good instructors ensure you perform all exercises in the correct form. The best part – is that in just a few classes you will notice you are sitting and walking a little taller.  

Expect to notice a huge improvement in your flexibility 

Stretching is a big part of a reformer workout. Even as we build strength during a class, the sessions also work on elongatingand lengthening your muscles at the same time. In addition, the intense stretching movements increase your flexibility in only a couple of workouts. 

Perfect for injury prevention and injury recovery 

As pilates focuses on every muscle in the body – including the smaller ones that are activated with the more intricate movements, this builds overall strength which helps prevent injuries.  With recovery from injuries – you would require private sessions where the trainer would focus on your individual needs, to improve any posture and alignment issues that may have caused the injury or help with specific needs like returning to exercise after an injury. 

Enhances your performance in other sports or training 

It’s no coincidence that high-level athletes love reformer pilates. The controlled movements from a Pilates session improve your core stability supporting the torso, hips and pelvis, while the incorporated full body workout improves your power, strength, flexibility and efficiency. This all affects your performance in the best way for other sports or training. 

Better balance and coordination 

Expect a lot of balancing during your reformer workout. Whether you are starting as a beginner balancing with one foot on the floor and the other on the sliding reformer carriage, or advanced level – there is a heavy focus on core strengthening and correct alignment, which helps improve balance on and off the reformer. Your coordination will also be put to the test! During your reformer workout,  one muscle group works against the resistance springs, but the exercise also incorporates props or movements with just your body weight to challenge another muscle group at the same time. This will not only get your full body working but also challenge your mind. 

Creates a mind-body connection 

Pilates promotes mindfulness. Every movement in pilates is connected to breathing. Focusing on your breath allows you to disconnect from your day.  If you spend the duration of your class with your mind focused solely on your breathing and the exercises you are doing – there is little time to think about anything else. This creates a deeper mind-body connection – allowing you to take the time to think about the body parts you are using, feeling the correct muscles getting activated, and making the most from your workout! 

Boosts your confidence and self-esteem  

There is no better confidence boost than mastering an exercise on the reformer that you once struggled with. As your strength and flexibility improve, you notice your improvement with certain exercises that may have felt so far out of reach at one stage. Whether it’s moving from beginner to intermediate classes or as simple as your leg no longer shakes whilst you are lunging, once you start noticing your progress you get a huge boost in self-esteem.  

Anybody can do Pilates 

Anybody can do pilates! Pilates is perfect for everyone from seasoned athletes wanting to enhance their performance to complete beginners who want to start a new hobby. No matter your gender, age, weight, height, or fitness ability – pilates is suitable for every body.  

Makes you feel amazing! 

11 Pilates guarantees that by the end of your class or private session you will feel unbelievable. Expect to leave the studio with a clear mind, a sense of achievement, and feeling like you have completed a super challenging workout. A reformer class in the morning will set you up for making healthier choices throughout your day and week. You won’t be left feeling exhausted instead you will feel energised and ready to book your next session

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