What is a Reformer? A reformer is a Pilates apparatus that was designed by Joseph Pilates and is an amazingly elegant machine. The reformer allows one to work very precisely to develop good alignment, core strength, and flexibility. There are many different types of reformers. At Balance & Grace Pilates we use Balanced Body Reformers (along with Balanced Body Towers and Combo Chairs).
The Reformer uses spring tension along with arm straps, leg straps, and a foot bar to engage this relative spring resistance to challenge and support the body. Different than using barbells and hand weights the spring tension that your body encounters on the Reformer will constantly vary in response to your range of motion. This means the spring tension is constantly changing as you move and so the experience is constantly varying based on numerous factors such as range of motion, stability, strength, and flexibility.Its almost like the springs have a life of their own! You will never be bored because the experience is always alive and changing!The Chair and Tower also use spring resistance to tone, strengthen, and stretch the body. They have their own unique qualities that translate to a repertoire of exercises that are ever adaptable and evolving.
Ok, that sounds great but it still looks intimidating. How do I actually use the Reformer? The height of the foot-bar on the Reformer is adjustable as well as the distance to accommodate varying needs. There will be three notches on the side of the frame that will allow you to adjust the height of the foot-bar. Your instructor will help you figure out which placement is best for you. The springs provide resistance from the machine. The rest of the resistance is provided by your own body weight. The springs hook on the spring bar, and different springs can be unhooked to increase or decrease the resistance. The springs are color coded and on our machines, yellow is the lightest spring, then blue, then red, and finally green being the heaviest. Many levels of resistance are achieved through varying combinations of the springs.
The Reformer Carriage is the part you put your body on and it moves by pushing your arms or feet against the foot bar, and/or by pulling the straps or ropes at the other end of the Reformer. The carriage glides back and forth along the inside of the frame, responding to the effort you exert and the amount of resistance set up by the springs. Reformer exercises can be done lying down, sitting, kneeling or standing on/in/outside of the carriage. Your instructor will tell you exact set up instructions for each individual exercise and which springs to use.
Your instructor will also explain how to use the Chair and Tower, which also use spring resistance, and we will help you every step of the way in how to safely set up and execute your exercises. We never leave you on your own!
What is a Group Reformer class? At Balance & Grace Pilates we offer Group Reformer/Tower/Chair classes 6 days a week. We offer early morning, mid morning, late afternoon, evening, and night classes. Instead of giving our classes a level we provide a focus with each of our distinctive classes: Grow, Renew, Align, Core, and Empower. You can view our website page about each classes unique focus here.
With approximately 20+ classes offered per week we have created an environment and schedule that allows everyone access to the wonderful workout that is Pilates. We are able to accommodate 7 people per class and by maintaining a small class size we are still able to give lots of specialized attention to each client. Based on specific needs of the clients we may modify or advance certain exercises as needed. All classes start on the hour or the half hour and are 50 minutes long. We will be guiding you through your 50 minute workout explaining every exercise and how it needs to be executed. We will constantly remind you of your form and offer corrections when needed.
Because we have the distinction of being a fully equipped BASI Affiliate Pilates Studio we have the ability to vary our classes to incorporate different apparatus in order to add further challenge and accommodation. Some days we will use just one piece of equipment, and some days we will get a little crazy and use all three. We might even add in some prop work as icing on the cake too! :)
Do I have to have prior experience with Pilates to take a class? We highly recommend that all clients new to Pilates consider investing in a Introductory Private Pilates Session prior to scheduling a Group Reformer Class. This recommendation is based on our desire to see you truly understand the special nature of the Principles of Pilates as well as our interest in keeping you safe in the group class setting. While we are committed to keeping eyes on all of our group class participants at all times, we are not able to keep hands on each individual at all times. Therefore each participant needs to be able to physically and mentally be prepared for the rigors of the class environment. These challenges include being able to set up/change springs, modify exercise setups, while all the while maintaining a physical awareness of their own body throughout the class to prevent any excessive loading of the spine or joints in any way that may be injurious.
Our goal is to see every client thrive in the class environment so it is to every client's personal advantage to invest in one or more Private Training Sessions. Our Introductory Pilates Session can be purchased online here and then scheduled by calling the studio at (626) 650-9626. Pat will take a message and one of our instructors will call you back promptly to schedule the session with you.
Trust us, you will be very glad you took the time to invest in your own health and body awareness. Just as you probably wouldn't move to France or Spain without first learning a little bit of the language, by taking the time to invest in a Private Training Session you are preparing your body ,and more importantly your mind, for the wonderful challenges and experiences that await you within the world of Pilates! :)
What do I need to bring? Pilates socks are required for class. This is for your health, safety, and sanitation. Please bring a pair or we provide socks at the studio for purchase and your convenience. Be sure to also bring your water bottle. We offer complimentary towels for our clients and we also have a wide assortment of teas that we provide for your enjoyment if you would like to come early or stay a while after to unwind.
Who can participate in Pilates? Pilates is appropriate for people of any age or fitness level. Pilates' unique approach to fitness allows every level, from a beginner to an athlete, to set goals and work on individual needs. We recommend first taking a few private sessions if you do not have any prior Pilates experience. It is to your benefit to invest in at least one private session prior to starting group classes in order to maximize the benefit of the class setting. And, for the safety and out of consideration for our clientele, we may ask a client to delay further group classes if we see that they have any specific contraindications that are preventing them from benefiting from the group class setting. We offer discounted privates for our newbies- $70 for a very first session and $225 for an Intro Package of 3 Private Sessions following that. Click the link to purchase an Introductory Private at Balance & Grace Pilates: Click the link to purchase your First Group Reformer Class at Balance & Grace Pilates.
*For our group reformer classes we ask that children be at least 16 years of age and anyone under the age of 18 will need their parent or guardian's consent. Pregnant clients are asked to call the studio at (626)650-9626 prior to enrolling in class. We all require a physician's release if you have any previous serious medical conditions.
Once you have an on-line profile you can purchase classes whether it be a single class or a class package. From there you can sign up, schedule classes, and you will be checked-in upon arrival at the studio. If you have purchased a promotion outside of our studio please follow the directions below.
1) From our website go to the Online Scheduler tab under Services or go to the link here to view/sign up for Classes: Balance & Grace Pilates Online Group Reformer/Tower/Chair Class Schedule 2) Register a profile if you are new to our site (or log in if you have already created a profile) 3) Enter your Credit Card payment details. It is standard for clients to keep a valid payment method on file and you are not being charged anything until you make your purchase. 4) Go to the on-line store tab at the top right of the screen. 5) Select a single class or a package of reformer classes or private training appointments to add that to your shopping basket. 6) Once the class package is in the basket, enter any additional promotional codes that you might have (that is all capital letters) into the promotions box (which will be on the left side of the screen) and click apply.
*If you need further assistance please don't hesitate to contact the studio and email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message with Pat at (626)650-9626 and we will return your call promptly.
Will I need to fill out paperwork for my first Pilates class? No. There is a liability waiver for you to fill out upon registering an account for your first Pilates class with our MindBody Scheduler. We want to know as much information as we can to make your Pilates experience personal and pin-pointed to your specific goals.
What should I wear and bring to class? Comfortable, form fitting exercise clothes are best. Over sized clothes make it difficult for us to observe your body during the workout. Dress comfortably so that your movement is free, but try to avoid clothing that is too loose fitting as you will be performing exercises that could cause a loose shirt to drift up the torso or loose shorts to fall open at the hip. Men - please be advised that you are lying down and shorts do ride up so please wear an under layer. It's best to wear pants that are not draping over your feet. *NOTE: We require socks (preferably with grip) for safety and hygienic purposes for ALL private sessions and group classes. If you do not have a pair of grip socks we offer them for sale at the studio for your convenience.
How often should I take class? With any form of exercise, consistency is key. In the beginning, your body is learning a lot of new information and your mind-body connection is being established. The optimal recommendation is 2-3 times per week, or every other day. Giving your body a day to rest and recover in between is a good idea. However, once you get the hang of it, you could do Pilates everyday as your choice of workout!
Will I be sore from class? That depends on your body awareness and fitness levels. A Pilates workout will target the slow twitch muscle fibers, which are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel (known as ATP) for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, there are many times you may not feel that sore! Pilates leaves you energized and while you may experience some soreness as your body experiences changes, you will not experience debilitating soreness. The more your awareness increases and you are able to engage yourself fully in each exercise, the more you will feel your body being challenged and exerting. As with most things in life, you will get out what you put in!
What is your late cancellation policy? Out of consideration for our clientele, and due to the intimate and specialized nature of the class format, we adhere strictly to a 24 hour cancellation policy. This includes all sudden emergencies, accidental oversleeping, traffic challenges, unexpected illness or childcare issues, or unforeseen schedule or weather conflicts.
What results can I expect from taking classes at Balance & Grace Pilates? Our classes are designed to help you connect to and shape your body through the Principles of Pilates in a supportive and non judgmental environment. Using spring resistance plus your own body weight, our classes will help to tone your muscles and elongate areas such as the waistline and upper thighs and arms. You will start to feel muscles working that you may not have experienced in a very long time (or not at all! :)) And you will be surrounded by cheerleaders (like me!). We are excited at the prospect of being able to help you achieve your goals, whether its getting ready for an upcoming event or helping overhaul your fitness regiment or starting exercise for the first time. We are ready when you are! And by adding Pilates to a healthy diet and regular cardiovascular exercise this work can and will dramatically change your overall appearance. You can expect an increase in flexibility, mobility, balance, improved posture and overall strength, as well as a decrease in back pain/other general body pains. With patience, practice, passion, and perservence you will stand better, sleep better, and live better! "In 10 sessions you will feel a difference, in 20 sessions you will see a difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body."- Joseph Pilates.