The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Reformers for Pilates Beginners

Pilates is a low-impact exercise method that improves strength, flexibility, and balance. Pilates can be practiced on a mat or using specialized equipment, including reformer machines. They are versatile and can offer a more challenging workout than mat exercises, making them popular among Pilates enthusiasts. However, for beginners, choosing the right pilates reformer can take time and effort. This article will guide you on how to choose one for beginners.

Consider Your Pilates Goals

Before choosing a reformer machine, consider your Pilates goals. Do you want to improve your flexibility, balance, or overall strength? Are you looking to practice Pilates at home or in a studio? Answering these questions will help you choose a machine that aligns with your Pilates goals and lifestyle.

Starting with a basic machine with essential features such as adjustable straps, footbars, and springs is advisable for beginners. You can upgrade to machines that offer more advanced features as you advance.

Machine Size and Portability

Reformer machines come in different sizes and designs, making considering the available space in your home or studio crucial. Some machines are foldable, making them easy to store, while others are heavy and bulky, making them suitable for large studio spaces.

If you plan to practice Pilates at home, choose a compact, easy-to-use machine. However, if you have ample space, consider investing in a full-sized machine. For studio owners, consider investing in a high-quality machine that’s durable and easy to move around.

Resistance Type

Resistance is an essential aspect of Pilates, and reformer machines offer different types of resistance. The most common types of resistance include spring and cord resistance. Spring resistance offers a smoother and quieter workout, while cord resistance offers a more challenging one.

Spring resistance is ideal for beginners as it offers a gentler workout for strength and flexibility. However, cord resistance machines may be the best choice if you’re looking for a more intense workout.


These machines have different adjustable features, including footbars, straps, and springs. Adjustable features make it easier to modify exercises to suit different body types and levels of fitness. As a beginner, choosing a machine with adjustable features is essential to help you achieve your Pilates goals.

For example, adjustable footbars allow you to change the angle of your feet, making it easier to modify exercises for different levels of flexibility. Similarly, adjustable straps can be modified to accommodate different arm and leg lengths.

Accessories and Additional Features

These machines have different accessories and additional features that enhance your Pilates experience. Some machines come with accessories such as boxes, jump boards, and sitting boxes that offer versatility and more exercise options.

If you’re a beginner, choose a machine with essential accessories like straps, footbars, and springs. As you advance, consider upgrading to machines that offer additional features.

Final Thoughts

Pilates is an effective exercise method that offers numerous benefits for beginners. Reformers are excellent machines that offer versatility and challenge, making them popular among Pilates enthusiasts. Choosing the right machine can be overwhelming for a beginner, but you can make an informed decision with the correct information.

When choosing a pilates reformer, consider your Pilates goals, available space, resistance type, adjustability, brand reputation, accessories, and budget. Start with a basic machine and upgrade as you advance. Remember to invest in a quality machine with essential features and durability, even if it means stretching your budget a bit.

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