5 Reformer Exercises For Beginners

5 Reformer Exercises For Beginners

New to reformer pilates and not sure where to start? These 5 reformer exercises are here to help. Get ready to activate your core, strengthen your glutes and learn the basics to start your reformer journey.


Before we get into the workout make sure you familiarise yourself with all the parts of the reformer. Each reformer is fitted with various resistant springs allowing you to customise your workout and change the difficulty of each movement. We recommend easing into each exercise and adjusting the resistance depending on how you’re feeling.


Let the workout begin….


  1. The hundred  - Targets: abs 


Lie down on your back, holding the arm strap in both hands and bringing knees into your chest. Reach your arms up to the sky. Curl your head and shoulders up, while pressing both arms straight towards the carriage, and reaching both legs straight and together at a high diagonal. Pump the arms as you inhale for five pumps and exhale for five pumps. Repeat nine more times, then rest.


The Hundred Demo


  1. The Reformer Footwork - Targets: Adductors, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and abs


Lie down on the reformer and put your toes to the footbar. Lift your heels and open your knees slightly. Place your hands by your side, palms flat on the bed and make sure your shoulders are resting against the shoulder blocks. Press the platform and straighten your knees to push your body up. Hold this position for 1-3 seconds. Push your feet against the foot bar, bend your knees and slowly make your way back to the starting position. Do 15 reps of this exercise and have a break. Repeat 3 times.


Footwork Demo


  1. Pelvic lift - Targets: Legs and glutes


Lie on your back, with your head resting on the head rest and place the arches of both feet onto the outside edges of the footbar. Curl your pelvis off the carriage (about 5cm). Press the carriage out, keeping your pelvis lifted off the carriage in the same position as you started. To bring the carriage back, bend both knees and keep your pelvis curled under the lifted position. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Once you’ve finished, bring the carriage all the way in and lower your pelvis to the carriage.


Pelvic Lift Demo 


  1. Knee stretch - Targets: Abs


Facing the footbar, kneel on the carriage. Place both hands on the footbar (shoulder width apart) and place both feet against the shoulder rests with toes curled under. Hips will hover off of the calves as you find a round C-shaped spine from the top of the neck to the tailbone curling down. Press your hands down into the footbar to avoid a collapse in the shoulders and upper back. Make sure your core is activated. Without moving through the shoulder joint or the upper body, inhale as you press the carriage back (using the glutes and the abdominals) just as far as the knees are under the hips. The back will maintain the C-curve through this movement. Exhale to use the abdominals to return to the start position. Do 8 reps of this exercise and have a break. Repeat 3 times. 


Knee Stretch Demo 


  1. Frog - Targets: abs, inner thighs, and the backs of the legs


Lie on your back, holding the arm strap handles in both hands and placing both feet on the footbar. Press through the feet to extend the carriage. Place the right foot into the right arm strap. Then place the left foot into the left strap. Place both arms firming straight into the carriage and bring legs into frog position (thigh bones perpendicular to the body in a tabletop position, externally rotating the thigh bones and bringing the knees a little wider than hips distance apart, glueing the heels together with toes apart). 


Press both legs out to straight, keeping the heels glued together, with the thigh bones wrapping in external rotation, and the pelvis anchored into the carriage. Keeping the spine long and the pelvis stable, bend both knees with the heels together, returning to start position. Do 8 reps of this exercise and have a break. Repeat 3 times.


Frog Demo 


This blog should be considered as general advice only. For personalised exercise advice, please refer to a professional who understands your medical history and mobility capabilities.