What Springs Should I Use?

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. Watch our Reformer Springs Workshop to learn about the differences between Reformer brands.

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

Your Guide to Pilates Reformer Springs

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.

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

Does this answer your question?


2 people like this.
I’m a certified classical instructor . I recently purchased a Peak wood studio reformer , with 4 springs (yellow, yellow, blue, red) included . I was trained Gratz , and am curious if you know the difference between one yellow spring (which is “regular /full” for Peak) is similar or equivalent to one spring on a Gratz  Reformer . I also had a client recently ask the question, “How much weight is each spring exactly ?” I could only answer how they differ from one another ; I didn’t have an exact conversion to pounds which was the answer she was looking for . 
6 people like this.
I've looked at all the information I can find on the site regarding spring comparison between BB and Stott and in one post Kristi says the full weight springs on Stott are comparable to the red springs on BB, but Gia's post says green- can you clarify? Thanks for this information. I am new to reformer work and just purchased a Stott machine but would like to continue using Pilates Anytime.  While I understand the thought behind instructors describing how it should feel to the individual user instead of relying on the spring setup, I simply don't trust that I have enough experience to accurately associate the description given to what I'm feeling.  Not sure that makes sense in writing... :)
I have an aeropilates with 4 black cords. I recently bought 2 red cords and a yellow cord. I am thinking about arranging my cords so that I have one red, two black and one yellow. How would these cords correspond to the reformers
 you use on the videos? I’m often confused as to how many cords I should be using. Thank you.
2 people like this.
Hi Gina, I would recommend starting off with videos that use the AeroPilates Reformer as they explain a little bit more about the set up and how to use it in relation to the reformers used in other videos. You can find the videos here.
2 people like this.
I would appreciate spring information as well.  I use a BASI Systems reformer and Wunda Chair and would very much like to understand how the BASI springs can be adjusted to match the Gratz springs or, alternately, the Balanced Body springs.  Thank you very much for any information  you can provide.  
3 people like this.
Do you have any info on how the Aeropilates versions with springs (not chords) compare to other reformers? I have an Aeropilates PRO XP557 but have worked mostly on Balanced Body and Stott reformers and am trying to figure out how the springs compare. According to Stamina, the two blue springs have a resistance of 7-28 lbs, and the two yellow springs have a resistance of 9-39 lbs (measured by minimum resistance at 15" stretch and 30" for the maximum).
Hannah J do you know where to buy more springs for this machine? 
I am also looking for spring comparisons between the different brands of reformers used by instructors. In particular I have an Aaeropilates Reformer (w/5 black cords), and I find it difficult to figure out the configuration when the instructor is using a spring-type reformer (i.e. BB and Stott).
Please note that Peak now has a green spring that is considered extra light.  So comparable to Balanced Body’s yellow.

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