Improve your Strength with Pilates Spring Resistance
Pilates with equipment can look intimidating at first, but did you know that they are designed to give you the most efficient and effective workout in a shorter amount of time? You may be wondering how the spring resistance works on a Pilates reformer and what each color coded spring in the studio means! We specifically use the Balanced Body Reformers in our office and will be using them for reference in this article, but different brands of Pilates equipment have their own spring strength conversion.
The purpose of the Pilates springs allows you to increase or decrease the resistance from light, medium and heavy according to the purpose of the exercise, your height, or level of experience. These springs can either be used as assistance or in a way that challenges the exercise. You can find these color coded springs under the carriage of Pilates reformers, on towers and chairs. Each spring is assigned a different resistance:
- Yellow: Lightest
- Blue: Light
- Red: Medium
- Green: Heavy
How does this differ from traditional weight training?
During the use of traditional weights ie. a leg press, the resistance remains constant throughout the movement. When you utilize Pilates springs, the level of resistance varies as you move through the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement you are performing. You will usually start at a lower level of resistance and gradually increase the closer you reach the end range of the movement. For some exercises such as Footwork, the more you stretch the springs, the more tension you will encounter. For exercises such as Long Stretch, using a lighter resistance will result in the exercise to be more challenging and demanding.
How to adapt the springs to get the most out of your workout
When you attend a Pilates class, your instructor will always instruct the color and number or springs you will use for each exercise. The instructor may also provide options to you that may allow the exercise to be harder or easier depending on your level of experience. Always speak to your Pilates instructor first as a safety precaution if you feel you need to modify your spring resistance!
Are you interested in attending a Pilates class at our studio? We offer Pilates class for all levels and specialties such as scoliosis, pre-/postnatal and EDS/hypermobility. Check our schedule here!