In keeping with my New Year's Resolution to take better care of myself, I have stepped up my physical activity. I've been doing Pilates right in the comfort of my cozy little house with this Stamina Reformer. Pilates is good for increasing flexibility, makes you strong without bulking you out, increases core strength, offers relief from back pain, and reduces stress among other benefits.
A couple of years ago, I took Pilates classes at a wonderful Pilates studio. However, I could not sustain it due to child care and financial constraints. I wish I'd known about Stamina back then, I would have just got my own machine to use at home on my own time frame.
The reformer itself is very well made and sturdy--very much like the professional ones in the studio. The head rest cradles your head and neck and it feels very comfortable and stable. I love the low impact workout that doesn't hurt my knees and I love the way it gives my body a gentle and complete stretch. Make no mistake, it's still a great workout but it's vigorous, not violent if you know what I mean. It's something to look forward to as opposed to dread. The rebounder at the bottom is really fun and it works your abs and thighs. The whole machine is very quiet and smooth--there's no squeaking or other noises, it's completely solid.
The reformer comes with dvds that are simple to follow and great for both beginners and those who are more advanced. The tension is easy to adjust with the bungee cords at the bottom of the machine. Set up was easy and straightforward and I did it by myself, though I wish I'd had help because the machine is heavy. If you are going to move it after set up, you will need another person to help. It took less than 30 minutes for me to begin my first workout.
Once you factor in the cost of Pilates classes, gym membership, transportation, and childcare, I think this is a great value, paying for itself very quickly. You can find them new or refurbished (even better deal) on the Stamina Website.