We passionately believe that as a Pilates beginner, reformer classes can result in positive long term benefits to your health and quality of life (1) For Pilates beginners, reformer exercises can be an effective rehabilitation solution. Better core strength can reduce your back pain and joint strength and flexibility can be improved (2).
Try to join a small group session of about 5 members where the focus is on rehabilitation but the group members all have different health conditions. This way everyone will be working to a bespoke individual programme at their own pace and you will not have to worry about keeping up with others in the group.
Firstly you will need an initial consultation where individual problems are discussed and a specific programme is formulated for you. After your initial consultation you can then join your regular weekly group. A weekly session will usually be sufficient for you although if you have several health problems you may wish to attend more than once a week.
This is a fairly recent innovation which is very popular in the USA. It works well for anyone who is fit, but not if you have a health condition that affects your ability to exercise. This teaching style has more to do with income generation than rehabilitation. Commonly up to 8 reformers are placed in a line and an instructor works up and down the line cueing and making corrections. As in a mat class all of the group perform each exercise together. The group reformer class will have similar negative issues to the group mat classes.
(1) Pilates improves pain, function and quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain: Research article Jamil Natour/ Anamaria Jones. January 2015.
(2) The effectiveness of Pilates exercise in people with chronic low back pain. Griffith University. Queensland. Australia. July 1st 2014. (PLOS ONE).
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