What Reformer springs do I use?

What spring color do I use?

What Reformer springs do I use?

Confused about what spring setting to use?

We can help!

If your Reformer has colors, the colors tell you which springs are heavy, medium or light. Pilatesology videos use classical Reformers which have 4 springs, all the same tension so there are no color indicators.

Download our free 👉Pilates Reformer Springs Guide👈.

It’s a cheat sheet that lists the options so you can easily choose the right springs for each exercise. Put it next to your Reformer while you’re getting familiar with classical exercises.

Keep in mind that heavier springs don’t necessarily equal a harder workout! The springs are an assist to help you and a lighter spring will require more strength and control.

Looking for a list of exercises and spring settings? Here’s the classical Basic , Intermediate and Advanced Reformer order.

Reformer springs all the same weight and color

Classical Reformer – 4 springs all the same.

What spring color do I use?

Contemporary Reformer – 5 springs with colors to indicate different tension.

 

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Alisa Wyatt

Alisa Wyatt

From the Community

  1. Alisa Wyatt

    Alisa Wyatt

    Member since 2011

    Hi!
    The foot strap on a Gratz does allow your foot to touch the frame of the Reformer but you’re actually not supposed to do that — the goal is to never have the strap loose and instead your legs are engaged and pulling the strap taught.

    To answer your thought about how the injured area gets strong again — In the classical system, the way you deal with injuries is to give a strong workout that avoids disturbing the injured area. So you modify or skip exercises that might bother an injured shoulder for example. After completing the main workout portion of the session, you then take the client to other apparatus in the studio to work on their individual needs. That would be the time to do exercises to help restore strength after an injury, for a shoulder injury the Arm Chair would be a great place to do the exercises you mentioned since the springs are very light and it was designed for this purpose.

    Here’s a few workouts that show the classical system in action. The one with Anthony Rabara teaching has a client whose shoulder bothers him at times so you can see how he modifies during the Reformer portion of the workout.
    https://pilatesology.com/classes/pilates-system-workout/
    https://pilatesology.com/classes/real-life-pilates-with-anthony/
    https://pilatesology.com/classes/teaching-real-life-beginners/
    https://pilatesology.com/classes/michael%e2%80%99s-first-lesson/

    Thanks for your engaging discussion Maigualida!
    https://pilatesology.com/classes/teaching-first-time-students-with-sonje/

  2. Maigualida

    Maigualida

    Member since 2018

    thanks this bb seen to be everywhere and the color of the spring drive me crazy

    • Alisa Wyatt

      Alisa Wyatt

      Member since 2011

      I agree! I once had a Reformer with colored springs and find it so much simpler to have them all the same color :).

    • Genevieve Malcolm

      Member since 2021

      I am contemporary Polestar trained and find absolutely no issues with spring translation. A medium spring on Gratz is a medium plus a light or a pre loaded medium on a BB. If you know the exercises, it’s a dawdle. What wd be interesting to compare is 1. Rehab type work with light springs, say, side seated arm pull on the TT…the Gratz springs are so much heavier, that I find it tough to envision how someone with an injury cd work with such heavy springs (but that’s my Polestar trained brain, always looking for a positive, pain-free movement experience for someone). Additionally, I wd love to be the body and film a series on how the proportions of the classical equipment differ from the contemporary equipment, and how those differences make things like transitions on the Reformer almost impossible to do well on the contemporary equipment! Also useful to feel the drag on the eccentric phase on the Gratz…I believe most of the work feels more effortful on the Gratz vs BB. Just my thoughts atm. X

      • Alisa Wyatt

        Alisa Wyatt

        Member since 2011

        Genevieve I love your thinking – comparing the dimensions of different equipment would be a fascinating exploration and I’ve wanted to make that happen for years. Maybe we’ll get to a studio soon that has some mixed brands of equipment and can make this happen–where do you live by the way ;)?
        I agree that the Gratz Reformer spring is definitely too heavy for any rehab work and in my opinion that’s because it wasn’t designed for rehab. What I learned to do in the classical system is to leave out any reformer exercises that would put the injured area at risk and take the student elsewhere in the studio after the reformer portion of the workout to address the injury. For example for an injured shoulder the student would do seated arm work on an Arm Chair which has the lightest spring in the system. That said, I also get how contemporary Reformers are useful in a rehab setting where a PT is using them and approaching the work from a different perspective.

        • Genevieve Malcolm

          Member since 2021

          Aha! So that’s the workaround…to move to a different area. How does the I hired area ever learn to move again?

          It was Sonjé Mayo whose classes I started doing live in March who told me that the proportions on my contemporary stuff are all wrong. There is no chance to say, teaser up, spin around 90deg and reach down to deal with springs on the long box that is part of BB reformers unless you have very gangly long arms. A relief to hear bc I have been saying to myself why the **** can’t I do this? Also swan on the long box as classically taught feels awkward on the contemporary equip…I am forever futzing trying to get comfy, as the box is higher and the edge on my model not as rounded. My other bug bear is that when I see how you can put yr feet in safety strap on the Gratz…it looks like yr feet have somewhere to go and can touch a surface on the bottom of the feet? On my BB Allegro, the safety strap setup means I cannot straighten my legs in short box unless I am happy to have my feet literally hanging in that strap with the bottoms touching…nothing. I am not sure about BASI or STOTT stuff. I live in the UK, halfway between London and Cambridge, btw. I think Alexandra Bohlinger is in London?

      • Maigualida

        Maigualida

        Member since 2018

        Excellent observation; BB reformesr or color springs ones do have their place in re-habilitacion and comtemporary Pilates, as well as, easy movement for franchises Pilates like for example Club Pilates,. but in my opinion a Gratz or even Balance Body contrology model are my prefer choice to own an to teach.
        I will love to see a class in Pilatesology in contemporary Pilates moves to cover more need gap in todays instan gratification fast peace wold thanks for your opinion.

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