People Are Trying ‘Skateboard Pilates’ Instead Of Reformer, But Is It Safe?

We investigate whether this new fitness trend could see you saving major dollars in Reformer fees.
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Reformer Pilates has quickly become the go-to workout for celebrities everywhere, with the likes of Kate Hudson, Lady Gaga, Margot Robbie and Adele all endorsing the machine-based workout.

There’s no denying that Reformer classes are expensive, and the cost of living is only getting higher—so nifty internet sleuths are trying to find alternative workout methods that offer the same result for less.

Enter, a workout called ‘skateboard Pilates’ which has been doing the rounds on TikTok.

It essentially involves people standing on the ground with one foot on a skateboard, and using it as the ‘movement machine’ to do the slow strength moves like lunges, that are so beloved on a Reformer machine.

The ‘skateboard Pilates’ technique went viral on TikTok, courtesy of @yaykatie (Credit: Image: TikTok)

Is Skateboard Pilates Good For You?

Before you get too excited, this can be an extremely dangerous workout.

Reformer machines have weighted springs that allow you to control the movement and ensure you don’t just slip out in ways that would be *extremely painful* for the body. A skateboard, however, is made to roll. There is nothing to ensure you won’t put too much pressure on the board and go flying.

Laura Bullock, founder of Mode Pilates, tells marie claire Australia, “It’s so great to see more and more people loving the amazing full-body workout that Reformer Pilates gives you, and kudos to whoever was the creative one to think of skateboard Pilates! However, due to the instability of the skateboard, there is definitely potential for injury.”

“Unlike when using a Reformer, where springs provide resistance to build strength, as well as provide stability, a skateboard can go shooting out at any time.”

The resistance springs on Reformer machines is key. (Credit: Image: Supplied, Mode Pilates)

That doesn’t necessarily mean that finding hundreds of dollars for weekly Reformer classes is the only other way to replicate the exercises. For Bullock, those looking to get the full-body burn of Reformer should consider using Pilates slides.

These are little lightweight discs with a smooth side and a padded side, designed to be placed under a non-weight-bearing foot and slid across the floor for resistance strength.

Pilates sliders can be a great alternative for at-home resistance Pilates. (Credit: Image: The Iconic)

MOVEACTIVE Core Sliders, $26, The Iconic

“[Use] Pilates sliders, for example for scooter lunges and mountain climbers, which also mimics the sliding of a Reformer and provides a safe amount of instability to challenge the core and build strength and support.”

While beginning, she says it’s always best to make sure you have something to hold onto should you lose your balance. Grippy socks can also be a great win for those worried about slipping!

Of course, for Bullock, the gold standard is still a classic Reformer Pilates machine.

“[It offers] resistance and strength, as well as instability to challenge and build the core, and has the option for cardio all in one,” she says.

Her recommendation is to shop around your local area for trial-week offers or even 6-week deals that are designed to make access to Reformer a little more affordable.

Her final note, “There’s nothing worse than an injury that puts you out of your exercise routine altogether!”

So be safe, and remember, health is wealth.

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