Month: June 2022

Pilates 101 : What to expect from a Reformer class

What Is Reformer Pilates? 

Created by Joseph Pilates, and initially used with dancers, Pilates entered mainstream fitness with the help of the Madonnas, Gwenyths, and Giseles of the world. While Pilates can be done on a mat, the traditional method is performed on a piece of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates himself: the Reformer. “A reformer is an apparatus designed with a system of springs and pulleys that allows an exercise to become more or less challenging based on the setup of the Pilates exercise. The Pilates Reformer is an amazing piece of equipment, as it allows you to get an amazing workout in a supported environment,” explains Jen Metcalf, owner and founder of Higher Terrain studio. “Many of the exercises are performed lying down, decompressing the spine, and allowing students to work deep muscles with the support of the machine.”

In a traditional Pilates workout, there was an “order” to the reformer Pilates exercises. “Our Pilates Reformer classes are very contemporary. We honor Pilates principals, while offering new versions of older Pilates exercises, and variety to routines. I love to incorporate planks in my Pilates classes, and I rarely perform the hundred. I feel there are better ways to target core muscles,” explains Metcalf who is physical therapist, and also owns Flex Pilates, a private Pilates studio.

A Reformer class is a great way to get a full body workout, as well as improve flexibility. Each exercise is performed with full range of movement in mind, to create long muscles, improve posture, and body alignment, as well as muscle symmetry.

We hope to see you in a Reformer class!

Love, and Planks!

Higher Terrain studio

Anatomy of the Megaformer™

You’ll hear the terms carriage, front platform, back platform, as well as others as your Lagree instructor runs you through class, but with the focus on quick transitions in our Lagree classes it can get confusing on where you’re headed on the Megaformer. Follow these tips to be able to breeze through moving from one end of the Megaformer to the other like a pro!

  1. The FRONT platform is on the opposite side of the springs.
  2. The BACK platform faces the springs.
  3. There are 2 sets of cables, RED and BLACK.
  4. The CARRIAGE is the moving part of your Megaformer, and where you make changes to your springs. Tip: It is always easier to transition from the front to the back of your machine while staying on the carriage.
  5. There are 2 sets of RAILS, one on either side of the carriage, and one set on the back platform. Your rails allow you to create a stable grip with a neutral wrist position.
  6. There are 3 sets of GRENADE handles, one on the front, and 2 on the back platform. Your grenades again allow you to create a stable grip with minimal compression on your wrists.

We look forward to seeing you on the Megaformer!

Love, and Planks!

Higher Terrain studio

3 Ways To Perfect Your Planks

Whether on the Pilates Reformer, or Megaformer follow these tips to have the perfect plank!

1. Keep your shoulder stacked right behind your wrists, this will allow you take the weight off the wrist and bring it into your core.
2. Look slightly forward in order to maintain proper neck alignment. Students tend to drop the head, as they get tired. Think of focusing your eyes past your hands to keep the pressure out of the neck.
3. Keep your hips in alignment with your shoulders. Maintaining proper spine alignment is key to protecting your lower back. If you feel your hips are dropping in your plank, drop to your knees, and tuck your tailbone slightly to fire up those core muscles.

We look forward to seeing you in Pilates class!

Love, and Planks


601 E. Hyman Ave.
Aspen, CO 81611
Entrance on S. Hunter St.
Basement Level

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HIGHER TERRAIN

Aspen's only Lagree Method Megaformer studio.