Your Guide to Our Reformers


Your Guide to Our Reformer Pilates Springs

If you’ve only tried reformer Pilates once or twice before trying a class with us at Return (or perhaps you’re just starting out with Pilates for beginners), you might be wondering what all the different spring options on the reformer machine actually mean.

Different machines and different studios can all have slightly different set ups, so it’s good to walk into our studio with an understanding of what you’ll be working with and how to get the most out of your class for the best Pilates workout.

Which machines do you use?

At Return Pilates, we use the Balanced Body Allegro 2 reformers. These were designed to take the feedback of real-life Pilates instructors and clients on board to create a machine that’s easy to use, easy to adapt for a variety of skill levels, and more comfortable for you as well.

What spring options do your reformers have?

In each reformer Pilates class, your instructor will guide you as to the colour and number of springs to set on your reformer. Your spring configuration will determine the amount of resistance on your reformer for your best Pilates workout.

There are a total of five springs on the Allegro 2 reformers we use:

Yellow spring: ​The yellow spring is the lightest spring option. It is equivalent to ¼ spring tension.
Blue spring: Your medium spring option, the blue spring is equal to ½ spring tension.
Red spring: The heaviest spring, there are three red springs on our machines and each of these is equivalent to one full spring of tension.

When you clip a spring or multiple springs onto the carriage of your reformer, it creates resistance as you work through the movements of your class.

For example, as you’re lying on the carriage and begin to push on the footbar to extend your legs, you’ll feel the springs’ resistance kicking in. Similarly, if you’re in a plank position on the footbar, the lighter the spring resistance you have attached, the less assistance there is on the carriage for your plank which makes the movement more challenging.

When should I adjust my springs?

You might find yourself during a class wondering what influences the number of springs your instructor will suggest and when, if ever, you should increase or decrease the level of resistance.

A lot of factors go into determining your ideal spring settings – such as the exercise, the muscle group it’s working, what its objective is along with your personal skills and Pilates experience.

A common misconception is that you need the heaviest springs for the best Pilates workout – and this is actually not the case at all!

Sometimes it can be more challenging to complete an exercise with lighter springs – so even if you’re in a Pilates for beginners class, you may find yourself using all three different springs in the one session!

The best spring option for you is one that allows you to perform each exercise with control, stability and confidence.

Do I need to remember all the springs?

Don’t worry, you don’t need to commit all the springs and their meanings to memory!

At Return, our instructors will always provide at least two different spring options (sometimes three) for each exercise to help you select an option that best suits you and allows you to move through your classes.

Level one is the beginner resistance level; level two is an intermediate option, and level three is the most advanced option and the most challenging resistance.

Whether you’re starting out with Pilates for beginners or you’re more experienced, reformer machines can be adapted to give you a challenging yet achievable workout.

With consistent reformer Pilates classes, you’ll come to learn which springs suit you best and even progress to more challenging options as you progress.

For more, watch Sam’s tour of our reformers.

Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect from our Pilates classes, why not book one in? Browse our timetable and find a class that suits you.

No imageYour Guide to Our Reformers

Get ready to unleash your creativity and discover new ways to get moving with Meg's classes! Prepare to feel empowered, mindful, and stronger with every session. 

Your Guide to Our Reformers