My sports therapy partner and I have been doing a lot of networking with local, like-minded businesses. One of which is Core Concepts Physical Therapy and Pilates, in Westminster MD. As the owner, Andrea Eisgruber, gave us a facility tour, I noticed machines that looked slightly comparable to mid-evil torture devices. Naturally, I was intrigued and wanted to know more. They weren’t torture devices, they were Reformer machines. Andrea invited me to come try a Reformer Pilates class, promising that they only look scary. I have tried pilates on a mat before, but never with the assistance or resistance of a machine. So, I was definitely on board with trying this out. I signed up for the next available class that worked with my schedule.

When I arrived at my first ever reformer class, my body was very sore, tired and stiff from my “Mom to Supermom” challenge. I had just completed an hour training with my personal trainer. I was a little bit fearful that my body might give up on me and I would not be able to complete a class. However, I’m on this new mission of talking myself into positive situations, not out of them. I talked myself right into the starting position for warm-ups on the machine.

Starting position is on your back, feet on the bar (no shoes), with some mild flexion and extension of the joints. Inhaling with gravity. Exhaling against gravity. I felt surprisingly fluid with the machine, my movements and breathing. I started to notice the relaxing back ground music, the quiet of a small class (4 people max), and felt my body sink a little further into the machine. I thought, “This is the most relaxing workout I’ve ever had”.

That is until Andrea said, “Now we are going to put our feet into the handles above our head.” I literally laughed out loud thinking that was absolutely impossible, and hoping not to pass gas trying. I have hyper mobility in my joints. Flexibility usually isn’t a challenge for me. Andrea came over to my machine, adjusted my springs, told me how to get each foot in each strap without hurting myself, or anyone else. Haha. It was quick, simple, and painless. It sounded and looked torturous, but was simplified with minor instruction.

Not that there is anything “minor” or “simple” about Reformer Pilates. The resistance of springs and my body weight made me realize that we weren’t in “warm-up” mode anymore. We were getting into the meat of the workout. I started to notice weakness in my hips and core. Well, this is the workout for that!!! It’s an excellent way to improve core stability. After all, your core is your power house. Weakness within the core will cause possible over compensation in other areas of the body, resulting in injury. You will be strengthening, stabilizing and lengthening musculature. The proper breathing techniques encourages oxygenated blood to reach all of your bodies systems.

In conclusion, the machines look a little intimidating, but the class is amazing. So amazing in fact, that I took my mom with me to the next class. I knew she’d love it. She’s now a regular participant in Reformer Pilates class, with no former pilates experience. Want to join us for a class? You can book a Reformer Pilates class through the Mind Body App or through Core Concepts Physical Therapy and Pilates website. Andrea is also a doctor of physical therapy and has yoga teachers on staff as well. Do yourself a favor and book a class now.

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