In a Pilates reformer class, there are many positions of footwork. The most common foot positions to work in are: parallel, Pilates “V”, and wide. These can all be done on the heels with flexed feet, or on the ball of the foot with lifted heels. The placement of the feet matters because each foot position is meant to feel a little different and will pinpoint different muscles. There are many variations in the footwork, but they all work to strengthen and align the body. Our poor feet take a lot of mistreatment from the shoes we wear and our daily lives, so they are often a little neglected and are taken for granted! However, they deserve our full attention. The benefits of the Pilates footwork series will be felt throughout the whole body, and more specifically, throughout the lower limbs.
Pilates footwork is key to foot, ankle, and leg alignment, but there is so much more to it. While this exercise is typically one of the first few exercises in a Pilates class, it is so much more than just a warm up. Depending on the placement of the feet, the exercise itself will feel a bit different. All of the positions have similar benefits, but they feel slightly different and focus on slightly different muscles. During footwork, the following benefits apply to all of the positions: strength, flexibility, muscle growth, injury prevention, and improved alignment to the lower limbs. By practicing footwork in different positions you are targeting almost every muscle in the lower body, and therefore getting an all around workout!