If it feels like everyone is talking about Pilates these days, it’s probably because they are.
The low-impact exercise method has been around in the United States since German-born founder Joseph Pilates immigrated here in the 1920s, but interest in the practice has blown up recently.
That may be thanks, at least in part, to technology. In the past, Pilates classes were taught in a studio, primarily in major cities.
Now, many big at-home fitness apps list Pilates among their offerings. So you can take a Pilates class in your living room—or wherever you are.
All you need to get a great workout is a floor mat.
If you’ve been practicing mat-based Pilates at home or in a studio, you may be ready to graduate to exercising on a Pilates reformer, also known as a Pilates machine.
The big, looming apparatus is often what makes Pilates so intimidating. But the Pilates reformer is actually a really practical piece of equipment, and it’s easy to understand once you learn how to use it.
You'll need to take a class at a Pilates studio to learn how to use the reformer, but before you do that, it helps to have a general understanding of the device and how it works. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this useful workout tool.