What Springs Should I Use?

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When you're taking a Reformer pilates class, how do you know which springs to use for each exercise?

Reformer spring resistance varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer, so stating the exact spring tension can be a challenge. In Pilates Anytime classes, you may hear our teachers state a range of Reformer spring tension from light to medium to heavy.

The majority of the equipment we use at Pilates Anytime is manufactured by Balanced Body®. We also use Gratz® Reformers in the Studio.

Here is a helpful spring resistance reference guide for Balanced Body®, Gratz®, Peak Pilates®, Stott® Reformers, and AeroPilates® Reformers:

Balanced Body® Reformers

Five springs of varying resistance, indicated by color:

  • Green = Heavy
  • Red = Regular/Full
  • Blue = Light
  • Yellow = Very light
Get Balanced Body Reformer Workouts

Gratz® Reformers

Four springs of equal tension, not marked with color.

These Reformers are similar to the original equipment Joseph Pilates used.

Get Gratz Reformer Workouts

Peak Pilates® Reformers

Five springs of varying resistance, indicated by color:

  • Red = Heavy
  • Yellow = Regular/Full
  • Blue = Light
Get Peak Pilates Reformer Workouts

STOTT Pilates® Reformers

Four full-weight springs (100%) and one half -weight spring (50%).

Watch a Stott® Pilates Reformer Workout

AeroPilates® Reformer

Four or five black cords of equal tension. The number of cords depends on the model.

Each cord can be switched for Red "Power" Cord, which is double weight, or Yellow, which is the lightest weight cord.

Get AeroPilates® Reformer Workouts

Other Things to Note

Different Bodies Require Different Springs or Cords
Appropriate spring tensions may vary person to person depending on height, weight, body proportions, and skill level. A 150-pound experienced Pilates practitioner might require a much different spring resistance than a 110-pound beginner. (In most cases, the beginner will probably need more spring tension to be supported safely throughout an exercise.)

When to Adjust Your Tension
Your spring tension should allow you to perform each Pilates exercise with control, stability, and confidence. If you understand the main objective of an exercise and still don't feel you are accomplishing that objective, you may want to adjust your spring tension.

History of the Equipment
Watch our Reformer Springs Workshop to learn more about the history of the equipment and springs and the differences between Reformer brands.

If you have questions about the springs, leave us a comment below!

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