If you spend all day sat at a desk then this is the exercise for you!

When I first walked into the Pilates studio I was slightly worried I’d stumbled across something from Christian Grey’s Red Room.  Apparently, this contraption was responsible for the lean limbs and abs of steel of the Victoria’s Secret models, so I was prepared to take the risk!

I’d tried regular Pilates on the mat, but I’d heard the reformer version was going to give me an all over workout for my muscles but best of all attack my core and let’s face it who wouldn’t love a six pack for summer.  My trainer, Ryan Taylor told me ‘Reformer Pilates is great for losing weight as it gives you a full range of fitness components, but is only effective when combined with a healthy eating plan and high consistency of reformer classes’.

I signed up for a six-week course with an open mind and a spring in my step.  I regularly get put through my paces by my personal trainer, get ‘outrunned’ by my fit young niece and whipped into shape at a weekly Les Mills Body Pump class so I was looking forward to something a little more relaxing every Saturday morning – an opportunity to switch off and if I’m honest not put too much effort in.   

What I quickly realised was this was not going to be the walk in the park I’d hoped for.  This is a strength based class and leaves you feeling like you’ve done a full-on work out, not in the same way a run does, but you feel burn.  It was intense and 10 minutes into the session my legs and core were engaged and on fire.  I had to stop a couple of times as I just couldn’t hold the exercise.  The constant resistance of the springs in the carriage means your muscles are always ‘switched on’ and there’s little time to rest. Taylor said I could expect to get improved strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, core strength and stability from the course.

Taylor says “Reformer Pilates is great to incorporate into your weekly exercise routine to improve stability and range of motion of your joints. Any body imbalances can be improved by regular Pilates routines and it also prevent imbalances”.

What I really enjoyed about the class is it’s good for your mind.  It requires you to focus on the movement and exercise so your mind doesn’t wander.  You just concentrate on the routine and nothing else.  It’s a great opportunity to spend one hour literally thinking of nothing.  Afterwards I definitely felt calm and relaxed.

Did I see any results you ask?  Well I haven’t got the washboard abs of a Victoria’s Secret model but my core is stronger and my posture has improved (I've started thinking more about how I sit at work).  I think if I was to combine this with a strict diet I probably would start to get leaner and ab definition.  I’d recommend it if you are looking for resistance training and want to give your core a wake up.

For more information on Reformer Pilates or training with Ryan visit www.taylorelitetraining.co.uk