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Pilates Apparatus Fakeout: Pilates Reformer

  • May 4, 2016
  • By Brittany
Pilates Apparatus Fakeout: Pilates Reformer

This Pilates Reformer Workout doesn’t require an actual pilates reformer.  All you need are two paper plates and a resistance band.  Get ready to sweat!

Hello hello!  Happy Wednesday!  I’m extra excited this week because the Hubs was supposed to be traveling for work until tomorrow but his flight got cancelled and he is home this week.  Although they cancelled it at like 11pm (it was an overnight flight).  How annoying is that!?  Airlines loss is my gain.

Today’s post is a continuation of my Pilates Apparatus Fakeout Series.  You remember the Pilates Chair workout I featured recently?   Instead of using the pilates chair, which can be pricey, I created a workout mimicking the workout you would do on the Pilates Chair.  Well today, I’ve got a Pilates Reformer class for you.

Now, a pilates reformer machine is rather large and very cumbersome.  It is equivalent to having a treadmill in your house.  Not only that, it can be quite pricey.  So if the price and size are turning you off, no fear.  I created an at-home workout you can do mimicking the pilates reformer without the space or cash requirements.  All you need for this workout are two paper plates or two small hand towels (for wood floors only) and a resistance band.

Typically when you workout on the pilates reformer, you get a great “feel the burn” workout because the carriage (that big thing you can lay, kneel, sit or stand on) has different resistance springs that allow you to move while creating various levels of resistance.  Not only that, it has cables that you can pull with your arms to work your upper body and wrap around your feet and work your legs.

pilates 2

It all sounds a bit complicated and like the reformer is a super machine, doesn’t it?  Well, I’ve got simple exercises you can do with just minimal equipment.  So grab your plates and your bands and lets get going!

Pilates Apparatus Fakeout Workout--Pilates Reformer-This workout requires minimal equipment but you will get the same great workout you would get on the pilates reformer in the comfort of your own home

Releve Plie

Start with feet together and heels lifted.  Place your hands on your hips and bend your knees keeping the heels lifted off the floor and then straighten up keeping your abs pulled in.  Repeat 16x.

Straight Leg Lunge

Place one foot on a paper plate with the heel lifted off the floor.  Bend the front knee keeping the back leg straight and draw arms overhead as you lower down into a straight leg lunge.  Keeping the leg straight pull the back leg in.  Repeat 8x per side.

Running Lunge

Start in the same position as Straight Leg Lunge.  Lower down into the lunge but this time hold the straight leg lunge.  Bend your back knee drawing the leg in towards your front leg then extend the leg back out remaining in your lunge the entire time.  Repeat 8x per side.

Low Lunge

Keeping one foot on the plate with the heel lifted, lower both hands down onto the floor framing the front foot.  Keep the front foot bent as you extend the back leg straight and then bend the knee to draw the leg in.  Repeat 16x per side.


Come down onto the floor with both feet on a plate and heels lifted.  Place hands on floor underneath shoulders and lift up into a plank position.   Bend both knees drawing them in towards your chest then push the plates back as you extend your legs long.  Repeat 16x.

Pike Plank

Come into a plank position with both feet on one plate and the right foot crossed on top of the left.  Keep your legs straight as you draw the plate and your feet in while piking your hips up to the ceiling and tucking your head between your arms.  Straighten back out to a plank.  Repeat 8x then switch sides.

Side Plank

Place both feet on one plate and come into plank position.  Turn your hips to face side and stack your feet but keep your shoulders facing forward.  Bend your knees and draw them into towards your shoulder then straighten the legs back out.  Repeat 8x then switch sides.

Bicep Curl

Come to a seated position with knees bent and feet flexed, heels digging into the floor.  Place the band around your feet and hold the handle in each hand.  Lift your arms to shoulder height and lean back to engage your abdominals.  Palms face the ceiling, bend your arms in for a bicep curl then straighten them out.  Repeat 16x.


Lie on the floor with the band underneath your torso.  Place one handle over each foot.  Relax your head, neck and shoulders and bring your heels together toes apart with knees bent.  Straighten legs out on a 45 degree angle then bend knees back in.  Repeat 16x.

Leg Press

Come onto hands and knees.  Hold the band in your right hand and place the handle around your left foot.  Point the toe and draw the left knee in towards chest keeping the back flat and straight and neck long.  Then flex the foot and push back through the heel straightening the left leg.  Repeat 16x per side.

Side Leg Lift

Lie on the resistance band on your side with the handle around your left foot.  Flex the left foot and lift your leg up and down against the resistance.  Repeat 16x per side.

[bctt tweet=”Get a great #pilatesreformer workout at home without the bulky equipment! #pilates #fitfluential” username=”MyOwnBalance”]

To do the full, hour-long video, check out my online studio!

For the shorter, free version, visit my YouTube Channel!

Readers, have you ever used a reformer machine?  What is one piece of fitness equipment you wish you didn’t own?

By Brittany, May 4, 2016
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