Anatomy Of The Reformer: Your Pilates Equipment Guide

Our studio is equipped with Balanced Body Studio Reformers. The Reformer is a resistance piece of exercise equipment. Your body weight and springs of the Reformer create the resistance as you press out and pull in the carriage. This versatile piece of equipment, originally invented by Joe Pilates himself, works your whole body. The Reformer can be used by anyone regardless of current skill or conditioning level.

Whole body as well as specific target muscle group exercises are performed on the Reformer in one session; improving flexibility and coordination, building lean muscle tone, and energizing mind and body.

Get familiar with anatomy of the Reformer to get more out of your work out.

Foot Bar

The foot bar can be used for both hands and feet and is adjustable depending on the exercise. During a given exercise transition, the instructor will always cue the foot bar position. You are effortlessly able to change the foot bar into a high, mid, or low position by moving it into one of the three notches inside the foot bar end of the Reformer frame.

Springs & Spring Bar

Resistance along with support is provided by 5 color-coded springs, each varying in strength. Your own body weight adds on resistance along with the springs. Our instructors will announce specific spring configuration for an exercise at hand.  We do not expect you to know any spring configurations nor do we advise for you to modify spring configuration. Fortunately, our instructors are specifically trained to adjust your resistance as needed.

All 5 springs are hooked on to a single adjustable spring bar. The spring bar can be modified to alter distance between end of carriage and spring bar. For example, during footwork it is sometimes advised to move the foot bar out to adjust for your height.

The Foot Strap & Standing Platform

The foot strap and standing platform are used for specific exercises. The foot strap holds your feet in place during abdominal work while you are seated on the Reformer. The standing platform immobilizes one foot as you press the carriage away with another in a standing position.

The Carriage

The carriage constitutes a substantial surface of the Reformer and is moved by the stabilized part of your body. During footwork, as you press out with your feet on foot bar, you are helping slide the carriage within the frame of the Reformer as you lay flat on your back.

pilates studio reformer anatomy


The headrest has three positions adjustable by a simple kickstand. Our instructors will cue the position of the headrest for each exercise and will modify accordingly if necessary to meet your individual alignment needs.   

Shoulder Rests

The headrest is positioned between shoulder rests/blocks. These blocks keep you stable as you press out and pull in. Your shoulders rest against the blocks when laying flat on the carriage; also used as props for hands, knees and feet in other body positions. For example, when performing lunges on the Reformer one foot is against a shoulder rest and the other is placed on the floor. During this exercise, you press the carriage away with the foot that is against the shoulder rest.  


The straps are used to pull the carriage in and out. During exercise transitions, our instructors will cue placement for the straps. Depending on muscle group, you can expect to hold the straps with your hands or place them on your feet for footwork. Our straps feature double loops to better accommodate for a variety of exercises.