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Next Generation of Pilates Reformers is, Of Course, ‘Smart’

It was inevitable that smart technology came for the Pilates reformer, invented a century ago and a key piece of equipment for a form of exercise once again gaining in popularity.

The result is a pricey, slick machine that can nearly recreate the experience of in-person instruction at home.

Several corporations have put their versions on the market, and they vary in price and features, but all are intended for use with video-based instruction that require a monthly fee.

Pilates is a fitness genre where proper form is especially important to activate your core during essential positions like neutral spine and tabletop legs, and many instructors recommend clients at least start out with an in-person class.

But depending on the instructor and the size of the class you might not get that much personal attention. The ability to pause and rewind the workout video so you can truly go at your own pace can compensate for the lack of a real-time teacher.

It’s essentially a matter of what you’re comfortable with and where you want to spend your money. Here’s a rundown of the features of some of the latest and greatest in “smart” reformers.

Reform RX

The RX Reformer is at the top of the pile in terms of price (just shy of $8,000) and functionality.

It comes with a detachable 21-inch touchscreen with access to unlimited and unique workouts (with subscription) and has “Smart Spine” technology that measures calorie burn, heart rate and power output, the last of which is an important measurement of the core strength Pilates is focused on.

Monthly subscriptions run $39.

Frame

This sleeker, lower-profile machine comes in coral or black tones that will look great in any home interior. It’s got a 24-inch screen and scads of content but doesn’t offer Reform RX’s biofeedback data.

It does have color-coded spring weights controlled by the push of a button to simplify resistance adjustment. It was designed by a renowned Pilates instructor and costs half as much as the RX Reformer, though that’s still $3,995.

Monthly subscriptions are $39.

Flexia

This device lacks a screen, which its makers reason could never be positioned so that anyone in any position would be able to watch it during use.

What it does have is a series of sensors measuring control, consistency and speed to provide you with a “movement quality score” after each workout (visible in the app on your phone or other devices). This one is sold for $2,995.

Monthly subscriptions are $39.

LIT Axis

If you don’t have the space, funding or level of commitment required to buy a smart reformer, check out this next-level resistance band set that can give you a Pilates-inspired session at a fraction of the cost ($159, with $10 monthly subscription).

It can be anchored nearly anywhere, and its sensors track reps, identify muscle imbalances and correct your form.

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