IMAGE VIA PEARL PILATES STUDIO
If your idea of a solid workout includes completely exhausting every muscle in your body, then boy do we have just the thing. Reformer Pilates takes your traditional mat class and throws in a torture device—ahem, a Reformer—for a sweat sesh that will leave your whole body shaking.
Luckily, Portland has no shortage of Reformer Pilates studios, each with their own unique spin on the class. Choose from high-intensity Lagree classes to traditional, moderately-paced sessions. So if you’re ready for a workout that will push you to your edge, grab your best grip socks and read on for the best Reformer (and Megaformer) classes in PDX.
The people behind Studio Blue fondly refer to their class selection as a “buffet of Pilates”. And given their options, we’d have to agree. That’s because Pilates faithfuls don’t exclusively flock to this Northwest studio to break a sweat (though they certainly can). Many go to rehab injuries or simply maintain limber joints. Choose among athletic, rehabilitative, or beginner Reformer Pilates classes, as well as private and small-group lessons. You’ll master that Reformer in no time.
This Northwest Portland studio is as chill as it gets. Think natural light pouring through big windows, relaxed tunes that get your mind right, and intimate classes maxed out at three people. In other words, this is the type of place where you can break a sweat and challenge your body all while remaining zen AF. That doesn’t mean their classes are easy, though. The instructors are a mix of traditionally trained Pilates teachers and former professional dancers, so expect to be in good hands.
If you’re not shaking, you’re not doing it right. That’s the philosophy of sorts for Firebrand Sports’ Lagree classes. These 45-minute sessions will turn your muscles to Jell-O through a series of slow, controlled movements on an unsteady Megaformer. Whether you’re doing spider kicks, elevator lunges, or a tailbone angel — expect a whole lot of muscle shake. And did we mention there’s no rest between exercises? Pencil in a workout at their Pearl District or Lake Oswego studios as the most intense 45 minutes of your day.
At Pearl Pilates in the Pearl District, expect intimate classes (no more than three people) with an emphasis on balancing your whole body. This simple studio features exposed concrete walls and wooden floors, making it an inviting space to relax, unwind, and practice your Reformer moves at your own pace.
Slow, steady movements are relaxing and all, but have you every tried jumpboard Pilates? This workout is exactly what it sounds like, incorporating jumping movements done on the Reformer into your Pilates class. Begin’s fast-paced sweat sesh will add a literal pep to your step with exercises that work your muscles and help you build up some extra endurance. The only caveat — this is not for beginners, meaning you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable with intermediate Reformer classes before trying this one. Luckily, this Alameda studio offers an all-levels option, too.
Owner Jodi Heintz's love for Pilates was born of her desire to continue moving even after years of running hurt her knees. Now, she shares her passion with people via Bloom Pilates in Northwest Portland. Like the other Reformer-based studios, this spot features intimate classes and relaxing music. Plus, it brands itself as a place for everyone. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, Pilates expert, or have never stepped foot inside a fitness studio, Bloom has a Reformer with your name on it.
If a traditional Reformer experience is what you’re after, look no further than Studio Reset. Classes at this Northwest spot utilize the original Pilates Reformer, which features a spring load many argue creates a tougher workout than some of the more modern machines. Classes here also feature the MELT method, a manual therapy technique that can help troubleshoot issues like stiffness and poor flexibility. Join Studio Reset for private or duet classes to upgrade your self-care game.
MegaBurn was voted "Best in Portland" in 2017, and for good reason. Don't be fooled by targeted classes labeled Abs + Arms, either — you can expect to work every muscle in your entire body during these 45-minute, high-intensity Lagree sessions. Seriously, we can’t think of a more fitting name for this industrial-chic Hillsboro studio. Luckily, you'll have top-notch instructors to ensure you make it through that core torching plank.
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