Reformer Pilates at Bodytree Studio

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Boredom can be the biggest enemy when it comes to an exercise plan, to spice things up, I have recently embarked on a fitness journey of learning Reformer Pilates at Bodytree Studio. This will mix up my weekly physical activity programme which also includes strength training and high intensity interval training. Before taking the Reformer Pilates class it is recommended that you take the Pre-Reformer class which allows you to become familiar with the apparatus. This runs over 4 weeks, one class per week.

According to the World Health Organisation (2011) adults aged between 18-64 should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes and increasing to 300 minutes of physical activity per week or at least 75 minutes of intense exercise and increasing to 150 minutes. The WHO (2011) stipulates that muscle strengthening exercises should be implemented 2 or more days per week. These guidelines will benefit bone health, muscular fitness, cardiorespiratory, healthy body mass and composition and depression. So the key message is to get active and get moving.

Background Information about Pilates

Joseph Pilates founded Pilates in 1914 during World War I. It was originally known as “contrology”, meaning the science of control. Wells, Kolt & Bialocerkowski (2012) suggest that Pilates is an exercise that encompasses the mind and body with a focus on core stability, strength and flexibility. Throughout the movements there is particular attention to muscle control, posture and breathing. Exercises can be mat based or specialised equipment.

Anatomy of a Reformer

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As you can see from the image above the reformer is a bed like piece of equipment. Evans (2003) states that the reformer utilizes 200 exercises with various settings. Exercises can be performed in lying, standing, sitting and kneeling positions.

  • The carriage , bed like piece – glides back and forth throughout the exercises.
  • Foot bar or can be used for hands – allow you to glide in the carriage during the movements.
  • Springs –  these provide resistance during the movements, there is usually 5 springs which vary in resistance.
  • Ropes and Pulleys – slip hands into the loops (see image) to work shoulder muscles and is used an alternative to the footbar.
  • Headrest – used to rest head during movements.
  • Shoulder rest – when lying down the shoulder presses against foam pad.

If you are looking for a fun and challenging workout Reformer Pilates could be exactly what you are looking for. I really enjoyed the class and I am keen to pursue my interests further.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”, ( Joseph Addison).

Bibliography:

  • Evans, B. (2003) “Anatomy of a reformer: What to look for in this classic piece of Pilates”, IDEA Health & Fitness, 21 (10) : 28
  • Wells, C., Kolt, G.S. & Bialocerkowski, A. (2012) “Defining Pilates exercise: A systematic review”, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 20 : 253-262.
  • World Health Organisation (2011) “Global recommendations on physical activity for health”. Available at: http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf?ua=1 [accessed on 2nd March 2015].

The Healthy Knickerbocker Glory

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The healthy “Knickerbocker Glory”, can be rustled up in minutes. Personally, I gulped it down post workout as I added Nua Naturals Rice Protein to the mix. Instead of the original recipe using ice-cream, I used frozen banana which gives a thick, creamy consistency. I have a stash of banana’s in the freezer , they are very handy for sweet treats and a good source of vitamin C, B6, potassium and fibre (Grotto, 2011). The red syrup is a blend of frozen raspberries and strawberries.

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Recipe

250 ml Koko Coconut Milk/Nut Milk/Dairy Milk/Coconut Water

1/2 Frozen Banana

1 Tbsp. Nua Naturals Rice Protein

1 Tsp. Honey ( you can add 1 Tbsp. if you prefer it sweeter)

1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds or Flax Seed

50 grams Frozen Raspberries or Strawberries or both

Method

  • Defrost: raspberries and strawberries under the grill in a bowl , add 3-4 tbsp. water. Once defrosted , blitz with a hand blender to form a syrup like consistency.
  • Grab your tall glass: pour the raspberry and strawberry syrup into the bottom of your tall glass.
  • Blitz: coconut milk, frozen banana, nua naturals rice protein, honey and chia seeds – until smooth. Pour into tall glass with the raspberry and strawberry syrup.
  • Top with some granola and drink it or eat it with a long spoon.

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Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

References

  • Grotto. D, RD, LDN. (2001) 101 Foods that could save your life. Bantam Books. New York.