Ease Pilates Reformer Pilates Studio Cambridge
Discover Fitness got the opportunity to sit down and work out with the owner of Ease Pilates Studio, Jane Mansley. Ease Pilates is the latest and currently the only Group Reformer Pilates studio to open near Cambridge city centre.
When I first arrived at the studio, I was pleased to find the on-site parking behind the building.
Walking into the studio, I could tell Jane took a lot of pride in keeping the facilities clean, tidy and professional while having a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Jane was kind enough to give me a one to one session on the Reformer.
While I’ve been active all of my life, I’ve never used a Reformer before. Jane did a fantastic job of explaining how the spring tension of the Reformer worked and made me feel at ease.
Jane then took me through a series of lower body movements, then upper body movements. It was great to experience how Jane can control the spring tension on the Reformer to make the exercises challenging but still achievable.
What stood out for me is how helpful and accessible the Reformer would be for increasing Strength and flexibility for runners, rowers, cyclists, anyone in field sports and people as they get older.
Getting to use the Jump board was definitely a highlight for me. It was fun and unique to be explosive off the board. Throughout the whole session, I felt supported but challenged by the Reformer. I was definitely smiling a lot during our session.
Group classes at Ease Pilates last fifty minutes and are up to six people. The sessions consist of safety check a warm-up, which includes footwork sliding the carriage using your legs. Then work for your arms, legs, stretches, and strength work.”
Every class will move the spine in all directions, Bending forward, extending back, rotating and bending to each side. Currently, Ease Pilates is focusing on Beginner classes. Jane explained, “Because there aren’t many people in Cambridge that have used the Reformer before, I’m mainly running beginners courses. I’m dividing them into two courses for people who have done a lot of mat work pilates. So they will quickly adapt to the Reformer because they understand the principles behind it, the control, the breath etc. Absolute beginners, so these are people who have never done anything like Reformer Pilates before. And that is great if you’re a little bit uncertain. And then, after Easter, I’m bringing in more intermediate level classes.”
Private sessions are “much more dependent on the person’s goals. They might have a specific athletic goal or be recommended by a physio because they have a pain they want to move away from. Sometimes, they might want to go into a group class but need to gain confidence first.
Jane said that the benefits of Reformer Pilates include “Strength, core stability, flexibility, and more body control. The goal of Pilates ultimately is to have more control over your body.”
If you’ve done mat work Pilates before, Reformer pilates would be an excellent next step. “Most of the mat work exercises relate to the Reformer,” Jane said. “Even though the Reformer looks more intimidating, you can use the spring tension to help you, making a reformer more accessible. As mat work, you have to do a lot of unsupported exercises.
However, the Reformer can also be extremely useful for advanced participants, “the Reformer has incredible challenges beyond what you can do with bodyweight alone.”
Reformer Pilates is a great way to compliment your current exercise routine. “Anything moving your body, the Reformer will help, but if you’re doing Reformer pilates, you’ll also want to do some cardio. Because the one thing Reformer pilates isn’t is cardio, unless you’re using the jump board.”
Speaking to Members
I had the opportunity to talk to three of Ease Pilates members. Each member explained how they’d enjoyed the new reformer classes and felt stronger, with a significant increase in core strength.
One of the members explained that she is hypermobile but found Reformer Pilates to be a fantastic way to strengthen, stretch and train while reducing her risk of injury. It was amazing to hear how the Reformer sessions had made her feel more robust during the other exercises classes she takes part in.
The studio is on Histon Road, opposite the Iceland and Aldi supermarkets, above the Coffee Tree Cafe, in the same building as Colours of Dance. The building has bike racks and on-site parking around the back, in Rackham Close.
“We have a small community with a welcoming feel. My vision of the studio is that it becomes part of your social life, a small group, and you get to know people.
The studio mustn’t be intimidating because that can be a significant barrier to exercise. People often feel they won’t be good enough, so I set up the absolute beginners class. So many people think they need to be good to participate, but instead, you become good because you’ve taken part.”
When people first walk into the studio, “They are usually really excited because they haven’t seen anything like it before. If they’ve never seen the Reformer before, they think it is a torture device, but no, the Reformer is your friend. It’s here to help you.”
“I took up teaching aerobics as a hobby back in 2011, and I’ve been teaching ever since. Once I became qualified in Pilates, I gave up my day job in 2015 to focus on it full time. I taught Pilates mat work for most of that career, and then I moved into more Reformer.”
“When I did my mat work training course, my course tutor said, you really should at least have a go on the Reformer, so you understand the method because mat work should be your homework between your reformer sessions or your studio sessions. With the Reformer, you’re using the spring tension to give you a complete workout, and your mat work supports it, as it’s an easy thing to do at home. So the whole thing works together as a system to transform your body.”
“Reformer Pilates is accessible. It’s enjoyable. Other forms of exercise come and go, but once you get into Pilates, you stick with it, fall in love with it, and stick with it for the rest of your life, because when you do Pilates, you feel good. Come along to Pilates. You’ll feel good.”
Please see their Discover Fitness page to learn more about Ease Pilates Studio Cambridge.