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At PBX Pilates Barre Extreme, you’ll often find the instructors calling out different spring colors during a class. If you’ve ever wondered what those springs really do and what each color means then keep reading. There are so many benefits to working out on the Pilates reformer.

Here at PBX we use five springs of varying resistance that are indicated by their colors. Green is heavy, red is regular, blue is light, and yellow is very light. With these five springs, you are guaranteed to get a head-to-toe workout on the reformer.

Unlike traditional weight training where the heavier the weight the more you are challenged, In Pilates the springs on the reformer provide the resistance as well as your own body weight. Unlike weight training the lighter the spring on the reformer can sometimes equal more of a challenge.

The spring(s) that you use on the reformer is what provides the tension and resistance to build strength.  The more tension from the springs the more control you have over the movement to both start the movement and return the carriage back to its starting position. Depending on your height the resistance will work differently for each person. The length and resistance variable of the springs is what enables each Pilates instructor to teach to everybody in a class on the same springs.

Springs are also easy on the joints. If you have an injury or haven’t worked out in a long period of time you may not be able to use heavier weight on your joints. You can easily adjust the Pilates springs to help with those issues.

Have you had the opportunity to take a PBX Endurance class? If you have then you may be familiar with using a light spring for some of the most challenging exercises. For example, “rock star abs” during this exercise we use the lightest spring, yellow. The less resistance there is in the spring against the carriage, the more difficult the exercise is to perform.

 

                   

Another benefit of using the Pilates reformer for strength training is that you can activate small muscles as well as the larger muscle group. For example, extension work on the box with straps. This movement not only works your back muscles but also strengthens the trapezius which is important for good posture.  Resisting the springs activates these smaller muscles that are hard to tone with regular weight machines. By using your upper body and lower body in these movements you target every muscle in various ways.  You are not only strengthening your muscles you are also lengthening them. You can build muscles and strength train on the Pilates reformer just like traditional weight training, but you will also be working on your alignment, core strength and flexibility at the same time.