The best Pilates reformers for perfect balance and chiselled abs

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The best Pilates reformers for perfect balance and chiselled abs


  • Dimensions: H34.3 x W28.4 x L100” (with half tower)
  • Material: Wooden frame with aluminium tracks

With its stylish, luxury finish and price tag to boot, the BASI Systems Reformer is a solid design that will help you achieve a range of exercises. It has a large carriage cushion and long track to help you achieve a wide range of motions, smoothly and comfortably. It features an innovative ‘EPS’ Enhanced Pulley System – that gives you fine-tuning control of the pully angle and an expanded gear system for precision in spring resistance settings. Maite loves the fact that this model is supportive and has an adjustable headrest, shoulder rests and foot-bar. “While you will need ample space to house a model like this, it’s made from quality materials and you can really feel this in your practice,” she says. “It comes with a springboard and box and a soft cushion on the carriage that are all useful features. A half tower, extension leg set and foot platform are also included.” £4,367. At gladform.com 

Align-Pilates F2 Folding Reformer 

  • Dimensions: H9 x W28 x L95”
  • Material:

The Align-Pilates F2 Folding Reformer can be easily moved around your home and stored if needed. Cynthia thinks it can be a good option if you’re limited on space, but as it’s low to the floor you will be limited on some exercises. You will need to buy a sitting box to add to the set, too. It is sold in the UK and you can book a time to try out the reformer at the Align Pilates showroom before you decide to buy it. Should you wish to spend a bit more you can choose the A8-Pro model that has standard legs so that it is raised from the ground to provide a base for a wider range of exercises. From £1,300. At mad-hq.com 

What exercises can I do on a Pilates reformer? 

The best Pilates reformers for 2022 provide the perfect tool for a full-body workout. Whether you’re new to Pilates or a seasoned pro, there’s a wide range of exercises you can do to challenge you in your workout. Take a tip from the Pilates experts on three of the best moves to try: 

Hip Flexor Stretch to undo all that sitting 

Anaya Grover suggests kneeling on the carriage facing the footbar. Place one medium spring on but adjust to your body weight if necessary, then place one foot on the foot bar and the other with toes tucked under on the shoulder rest. Hold on to the footbar with your hands whilst keeping an elongated and upright spine. Press the back foot back whilst tucking your pubic bone up to your head. Feel the stretch in your hip flexors and into the quadriceps and avoid extending your lumbar spine. Let the carriage return to the start position. It’s a small movement, but effective. Repeat three to five on each side.

Adductor Stretch to increase mobility in the hips

Anaya Grover also suggests lying on the carriage, head on headrest and feet in the foot straps, two medium springs on or more if required for your body weight. Spine elongated, core engaged, legs together and reaching away from you roughly 45 degrees off the floor, let the legs come towards you without losing your elongated spine and neutral pelvis. This gives you a hamstring stretch. Then take your legs out to the sides and try to keep a balanced pelvis like you have a full bowl of water resting on your abdomen and you don’t want to spill it. This will increase the stretch of your adductor muscles which include your hips flexors as well. Circle the legs together, then back to the start position, repeating five times before reversing the movement.

Short Box Mermaid With Rotation to strengthen abs, obliques and back muscles and improve spinal flexibility

Federica de Caro says to sit on the short box with your torso facing sideways. Bend the bottom knee so the leg is resting on the box, then straighten the top leg and hook the foot under the ankle strap. Open the arms out to the sides of the body and as you exhale, lean away from the ankle strap, laterally flexing the spine. Reach the arms overhead so the torso is in one long line. Then rotate the torso towards the well with the arms out to the sides. Lift the torso to the return with the arms overhead, and keep lifting the torso towards the footbar to stretch to the other side with the top arm reaching overhead and the bottom arm reaching forward. Repeat four to six times on each side.

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