A common reason many start mat Pilates is to improve their core strength. Reformer Pilates takes this to the next level, through the use of the springs, straps and a moving carriage.
While there is no room for doubt in regards to whether reformer pilates can do wanders for core strength in this article I will cover how this is achieved.
Does Pilates build core?
Even if we were to narrow down core into abdominal only strength, Pilates builds core in 2 ways:
• the strengthening of the inner unit muscles and
• the outer unit ones.
Inner unit consists of the: diaphragm, rectus abdominis, multifidis and pelvic floor, while the outer unit are the muscles we see in the mirror.
Neutral spine exercises will target the inner part of the abdomen
while exercises performed in imprinted position, as well as those that involve spine articulation will recruit more the outer unit.
If you include in our definition of core, the back and glutes again Pilates offers numerous exercises, to access those muscles.
Can you get abs from Reformer Pilates?
Abs are made in the kitchen, but without training your abdominals, there are slim chances you will look toned.
How do you engage core in Reformer Pilates?
In Reformer Pilates we can engage the core through the breath or posture. Staccato breathing often suggested in the 100s and spine twists, will increase abdominal engagement. Bracing and the Abdominal Drawing-In Manoeuvre (ADIM) will also increase the recruitment of the rectus and transversus abdominis respectively.