Pilates enthusiasts can use an adjustable Pilates reformer exercise machine to work out various muscle groups. Some reformer exercises require you to place your hands or feet through attachments at the ends of the machine's straps. For those activities, you may have to adjust the straps so that they're in the proper positions, and you may have to set the correct amount of resistance. You'll then either push yourself on the machine or pull against your own body weight or against the resistance created by the reformer's springs. Adjust the straps correctly to ensure that you're using the right form for each exercise.
Unhook the strap from the Pilates reformer.
Grasp the clip at the end of the reformer's side strap.
Hold the other end of the strap and set the strap to the correct length for the exercise you wish to perform. For example, to perform a down-and-up leg stretch, there should be no slack in the straps when you extend your legs straight up. To perform the hug-a-tree exercise -- roughly equivalent to a fly -- the straps should be straight when you extend your arms to your sides.
Thread the clip through the reformer's metal loops. If the strap remains slack after you pass it through the final loop, move the clip back toward the first loop to tighten the strap. When the strap is taut, fasten the clip on the outside of the nearest loop that it will reach.
- In general, the straps should be straight with no slack when you're in the starting position. You should then be able to complete the exercise using a full range of motion. Tighten the straps if they show any slack when you're in the starting position or loosen them a bit if you can't use the exercise's full range of motion. Consult a Pilates trainer if you're unsure about an exercise's full range of motion.