Dynamic vs reformer

The differences

Find out how they differ

“Comparing Dynamic Reformer Pilates to traditional Reformer Pilates is like comparing a run with a walk,” Sam James, founder of SoBa Pilates, said.


Below we explain what the differences are between the two and we shall refer to Dynamic Reformer Pilates as “Dynamic” and Traditional Reformer Pilates as “Pilates”.


Time Under Tension refers to the amount of time a muscle is placed under load during a set. For a bodybuilder, a set of 10 reps should take 15-25 seconds to complete. Dynamic, however, requires sets to be between 1-2 minutes. This longer time demands more from the muscles, creating superior and quicker results.


Dynamic requires that each rep take eight or more seconds. This ensures the risk of injury is minimised, and muscles do more metabolic work per unit of time than they would moving fast. In addition, members often see quicker improvements in strength due to the extended amount of time muscles are placed under tension.


Dynamic places an equal emphasis on balance as it does on strength and flexibility. Most injuries take place when unexpected forces are encountered. By incorporating balancing exercises into exercise routines, participants can both prevent and heal from injuries, chronic back pain, and other issues. 


Dynamic places great importance on isometric exercise, which means we recruit muscles and exert tension without actually lengthening or shortening the muscle. Results have proven this type of resistance tones and strengthen muscles without altering the length of muscle fibres.


Dynamic utilises supersets in each workout, which involves a succession of 2 or more sets of exercises that each target the same muscle group. This allows participants to save time, increase intensity, and take muscles to failure safely.


Dynamic places a large emphasis on circuit training, meaning participants move quickly from one exercise to the next for a prescribed number of sets or time limits. This allows participants to achieve cardiovascular and strength benefits due to a full-body workout.


Dynamic uses a method referred to as Antagonist Muscle Contraction. In order for antagonist muscle contraction to occur, a set of exercises must demand work from both the antagonist and agonist muscles, and when one muscle contracts, the opposite must relax. (Example: When the bicep contracts to lift the arm, the tricep relaxes.) This allows participants to strengthen joints in order to prevent injury and reduce osteoarthritic pain.


Dynamic places a large emphasis on specificity, which means ensuring each exercise is specific to the type of strength required for each class. While Dynamic acknowledges specificity is important, each class will include exercises of a general nature to create metabolic responses such as squats, lunges, and push-ups as they promote balanced muscular development and provide a foundation for more advanced exercises.


Dynamic ensures participants constantly improve their strength by promoting safe muscle overload. Participants must overload their muscles, as muscles will only strengthen when they are worked beyond the intensity they are used to. Increasing resistance, time spent, intensity, or the number of sets are ways of achieving this.


Dynamic creates more nerve endings by asking a member to be mentally present and focus on the control of each movement by focusing on the muscles working during each exercise. This connection ensures the creation of more neuromuscular pathways, which results in increased sensitivity and strength.

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