If there’s one thing we believe it’s that the Pilates reformer should be designed to fit you and not the other way around - including if you’re tall or larger bodied. Historically though, there hasn’t been a good Pilates for plus size reformer option.
This is why we designed our at-home reformer for maximal adjustability to fit smaller and larger bodies alike with the longest and widest carriage on the market. However, it’s one thing for us to *say* this. It’s another to hear this from an experienced Pilates enthusiast.
With that, we’re thrilled to share this review from one of our brand ambassadors Lindsey Strobel, fat-positive Pilates babe and student advocate based in the Twin Cities, MN.
In her review of how the Flexia Reformer fits plus size, tall, and larger bodies, Lindsey shares:
- What using our reformer is like as compared to other reformers she’s been on
- How the our reformer may be a Pilates for plus size at home workout.
- How the Flexia reformer helps her get more out of her Pilates practice.
She also demonstrates how to adjust the footbar, spring bar, and head rest, which are some of the most common questions we get about the reformer. Check out our at-home reformer buying guide to find the best reformer for you.
Video review of the Flexia reformer as a Pilates for Plus Size Workout Option
Transcript of Lindsey’s review of our at-home Pilates machine for larger bodied individuals
Well, it's been a couple of weeks now since this gorgeous specimen was delivered to my formal dining room. Of course we don't do any formal dining in here because I've converted it into my Pilates studio.
There were a lot of questions about my new Flexia Reformer, so I wanted to take you on just a quick tour of some of the features that make it the most customizable and therefore size inclusive reformer that I have ever had the pleasure to use.
How the Flexia reformer can be adjusted to fit plus size, larger bodied, or tall Pilates enthusiasts
The first thing I want to talk about is this standing platform. It is wide or deep, depending on which direction you're coming at it from. My fully spread hands fit easily providing a great foundation for planking. My size 10 feet fit with almost no overhang, which is great for bridging. You'll also be fully supported for any standing Side Splits work. It can be used at both the bottom and top of the reformer, which is great. Taking it off is easy and that's how you access the springs and the foot bar adjustments.
Adjusting the foot bar is simple. All you have to do is flip the levers in either corner of the reformer to unlock it and you are ready to adjust it to your preferred position.
Since the foot bar is unlocked, let me show you its four different positions. Right now it's facing out and in its lowest position to raise it just pull it up a few inches with the levers and watch my camera shake as it locks solidly into place. Unlock it again, pull it out and you can actually completely flip it around to reduce the distance to the foot bar by about six inches. The higher and lower positions are available when it's facing this direction as well. Just remember to lock it into place.
Replacing the foot bar with the jump board is equally as straightforward. Remove the unlocked foot bar, place the jump board all the way in, and make sure you lock it into place.
I definitely got more questions about the Flexia springs than anything else. The springs function the same way you would expect them to on any reformer. The colors might be slightly different, but that's about it. The super clever thing about the Flexia Reformer though, is its adjustable spring bar. It adjusts easily with just one hand! All you have to do is lift it, set it to the position that you want it in and then set it back down again.
Onto the shoulder rests. Yep, you guessed it another area where you can customize the Flexia to your body. There are low and high positions. Just put the square peg right in that square hole. If you actually look at the bottom of the shoulder rests, you'll see that those pegs are slightly off center, which means that if you reverse them, you'll be adjusting the distance that they sit apart from one another.
We also need to talk about the Flexia Reformer carriage for a minute or honestly let's talk about it forever. It is the widest and longest reformer carriage on the market, which makes it great for folks in larger or longer bodies - or if you're me both. I’m truly not exaggerating when I say that this carriage is a game changer for my Pilates practice.
I know this seems like such a silly thing, but watch me put my arms flat on the carriage and not have to wiggle my thumbs under my butt to keep them from slipping off the edge. Suddenly, bridges feel like a full body exercise again, because I can actually stabilize with my arms.
What it’s like to use the Flexia Reformer as a Pilates for plus size option
When I first got my Flexia reformer and started posting about it online, my DM’s blew up. I can't tell you how many messages I got from people wondering why on earth I would trade it out for the perfectly functioning reformer that I already had.
The reason is because my previous reformer, like most of the equipment on the market today, was not designed with larger bodies in mind. The Flexia is and I can tell.
“What I’ve actually started to realize over the past couple of weeks that I’ve had it is that I’ve built some adjustments into the way that I practice some exercises to accommodate equipment that was too small for me and as far as I’m concerned, that should not be the role of equipment in our practices.”
- Lindsey Strobel
I feel like the Flexia has given me a taste of what my Pilates practice was always meant to be. If I hadn't been been forced into a box by equipment that didn't understand my body.
The Flexia Reformer was obviously very thoughtfully designed. It accommodates and adjusts to my body in ways that other Pilates equipment never has, which has added a level of confidence to my practice that I've honestly never experienced before. Learn more about how to customize the fit of the Flexia Reformer.
I know you hear me say it all the time Pilates is for all bodies. The Flexia Reformer is the first time I've used a piece of equipment and actually felt that statement to be true.