Does the term “contrology” ring a bell to you? And what about “pilates”? In fact, both mean the same thing, “contrology” being what Joseph Pilates decided to call the physical fitness system he invented. People, however, started calling the practice pilates, after Pilates himself.
Whatever the preferred term, the exercise has had a widespread appeal. With so many many practitioners, pilates is no longer reserved for gyms or sports centres only but has found its way into people’s homes.
Acknowledging the high demand, gym equipment manufacturers have started producing pilates equipment pieces intended for home use. The pilates reformer machine is a prime example. You can purchase a pilates reformer and have it available at all times in the convenience of your home.
If you prefer reformer machine pilates over-exercising on the mat, you eventually reach the point where you’re considering buying a reformer machine of your own. Already there? By the end of this article, you will hopefully get a good feel of the main features to look for in a pilates reformer machine.
First, let’s take a look at our reviews of some of the best pilates equipment Australia residents can shop for.
The Top 7 Pilates Reformer Machines
1. AeroPilates Reformer Plus 379
This is a quality pilates machine meant both for home users, who are getting familiar with pilates, as well as the more advanced ones.
For the rookies, this pilates reformer machine comes with a set of workout DVDs and a Jumpstart program to help you ease into it. Meanwhile, those with experience can rest assured that it perfectly compares to a professional machine you would use in a studio. It comes with a wall chart and you are even given access to download a healthy eating plan guide.
The model features a stable, padded platform cushion. You can choose between 11 intensity options to meet your fitness goals thanks to the 4 cords of various resistance levels. While the yellow one gives you a lighter body workout focused on the arms and core, the higher-intensity red cord and two normal-intensity black cords help you focus your workout on lower body toning. The easily adjustable rope heights allow you to change the intensity of your workout.
2. AeroPilates Reformer 651
Another great choice of a home pilates machine to support you in getting fit and toned. It comes with 4 cords providing just the right amount of resistance for a normal-paced workout.
To raise your heart rate to the desired level, you can count on the cardio rebounder of this reformer.
One of the best features it offers is the wider padded cushion pad, providing you with support and comfort during your exercises.
This model comes close to what you would use in a professional pilates power gym but with a price tag adjusted for a household. Included in the set is a workout wall poster and videos of exercises that are easy to follow and perform.
3. Merrithew at Home SPX Reformer Bundle
If you’re looking for a professional quality pilates reformer, which will not only provide a great workout at home but also last you a long time and please the eye aesthetically, then you will find this machine matching many of your expectations.
Built with 4 full-tension and 1 half-tension spring, this heavy-duty machine enables you to adjust the resistance to your performance and body strength.
Extra thick foam cushioning, an adjustable 4 position foot bar and 3 headrest positions make it an attractive pilates machine for home. The wooden standing platform and shoulder rest it comes with provide support for different body weights.
Built from high-quality materials, it guarantees durability, while the smart design provides for a sleek look. When all of its training options are combined, hundreds of different workouts can be performed on this machine.
Bringing a lot of value to your home studio, this pilates reformer is fit both for home as well as professional use. Material-wise this reformer is a work of art. Crafted out of A-grade German Beech Wood, hand-stained and sanded, it even boasts a lifetime warranty.
The stainless steel metal parts come with a 3-year warranty in case of home use or 12 months for commercial use.
Created to provide a wide range of workout options, this machine has a quiet work mode granted by the steady and smooth one-piece rail structure, eliminating any bumps or bridging while sliding. A non-slip material covers the standing platform on the end, providing for a steadier workout.
The head rest is covered in EVA Foam and it adjusts into one of 2 positions. Regardless of your height and shape, you’re bound to experience comfort working out.
You can perform different pilates exercises by adjusting the foot bar into one of the 4 available positions. The carriage has stop adjustments at either end to provide a smoother, bump-free glide.
A sturdy, steady and reliable piece of equipment which certainly proves worth the investment in the long run.
Another top-notch piece among pilates machines with a clean appearance and long-lasting build.
A stainless steel tracking system nicely complements the lightweight steel body of the machine.
Focusing on providing comfort alongside a durable design, this is a durable product that well justifies its price.
This reformer elevates the pilates on reformers practice to a medicinal level by catering to the needs of people practicing clinical pilates – and not only.
A high quality model, designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. It has 5 springs, with the possibility of adding one more, either half or full.
If the previous models we looked at had foot bars adjustable in a number of positions for workout diversity, imagine what this reformer can achieve as it comes with an infinitely adjustable foot bar! It also features adjustable shoulder pads that move side to side or back and forward, allowing for versatility in the workout process.
This one is a great pick for jam-packed spaces! If your living space is tight, here’s the type to give you a fantastic body pilates workout but take up the whole room.
Built from durable Australian steel. A 5-year warranty testifies to the product’s excellence.
It lets you use only the reformer or switch to the trapeze mode by simply attaching the few trapeze elements to the main body. You can also choose between different resistance levels with the vast array of long and short springs it comes with.
Key Features of Pilates Reformer Machines
If the reformer you set your heart on features one, that means you can add a cardio element to your workout to help strengthen your core.
The workouts you get this way are comparable to exercising on a treadmill, only without the stress on your joints.
The more versatile intensity – the better! Having this feature would enable you to adjust the resistance level for your workout so that matches your strength.
Look for more than 3 cords or at least 4 and 5 springs and stable ropes for an optimal choice of workout intensity.
Comfort and stability
Exercising with the reformer includes supporting your body with your weight on the board, which is why padding and cushioning is important, especially when holding your body up by putting pressure on your knees.
Many models on the market come with thicker padding or padding made with specialized foams. Both signal a comfortable reformer.
Non-slip surfaces for the standing platform and a sturdier build of the machine itself all add up to a safer and more stable exercising experience.
Related post: The Best Cross Trainers to Buy in Australia
What to Look for in a Pilates Reformer
Depending on what led you to decide to buy a reformer, you would likely value different benefits when choosing your machine.
If you want to train at home on your own and you wish to start as soon as you assemble the machine, it’s good to focus on models that come with easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions.
Perhaps, though, you already know exactly what kind of workouts you expect to do with the product and don’t require flexibility. Then you might want to look into its intensity levels and make sure that it can meet your expectations.
Some models are larger, others come with a more compact frame and if you have limited space, you should make sure your chosen model will fit well in the designated area.
The best pilates reformer is the one that fits your needs. Remember that price and brand name aren’t always reliable indicators. A home gym pilates machine may cost the same as a professional studio reformer, but that won’t necessarily be the best pilates machine for you.
Is It Worth Buying a Pilates Reformer?
Some pilates reformers available on the market will cost you as much as 3-4 months worth of pilates classes, but will go on to serve you for much longer than that.
If you are committed to this form of exercise, investing in your own reformer machine could turn out to be a money saver in the long run.
The Bottom Line
If you are into pilates and want to bring it to your home and still feel you are getting the right amount of exercise as you would in a gym, a reformer is the option to consider.
Pilates with reformers is easy to do at home even as a beginner since most of the products come with simple to follow instructions.
Pilates reformers vary by intensity, sturdiness, scale and, of course, price range but the good news is that there are enough variations and options to choose from. As long as you make an informed decision on what kind of pilates machine to buy it is possible to end up happy with your new exciting piece of equipment.