Pilates Reformer vs Pilates Tower

by Lesley Powell, Director of Movements Afoot

The beauty of all the Pilates equipment invites different physical experiences. Most of the exercises can be done on both pieces of equipment. The reformer with its moving bed can challenge balance, mobility and strength. The tower has many possiblilities of spring tensions. With the placement of the springs at many heights on the tower, can invite different fuller movements than the reformer.

Because the ropes are close to the rails, there are limitations of certain movements. My favorite exercise is side springs on the tower.
Tower side leg springs-adduction
Here you can work on your adductors, hamstrings, mobility and core strength. You can do side leg exercises on the reformer, but it is more complicated. One has to be in the right position so the ropes clear your body.

Tower - Full Bridge
Because the tower bar and springs are a higher height, there are wonderful full body exercises to be done.

The ropes on the reformer can offered more range of motion such as short spine. The springs on the tower have more resistance. The springs have the most resistance when moving legs away from your center. They lose resistance with the leg coming closer to you. Especially with clients with tight hamstrings, there is an advantage of the springs. Here you can work on strengthening and core support. When a client is too tight in the hamstrings, bringing their legs up beyond their capacity affects their core form.

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