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PersonalHour Pilates Reformers Springs Guide

Springs introduce resistance to your Reformer, so attaching an additional spring amplifies the resistance, while removing one reduces it.

It's important to note that opting for heavier springs doesn't always translate to a more challenging workout. These springs serve to provide support, and in certain exercises, a lighter spring might demand greater strength and control from you.

PersonalHour Reformers Springs
Each color spring corresponds to a different level of resistance:

  • Yellow Spring: Very Light Resistance (15 lb)
  • Blue Spring: Light Resistance (25 lb)
  • Green Spring: Medium Resistance (35 lb)
  • Red Spring: Heavy Resistance (50 lb)

In Pilates exercises, the way we manipulate resistance is just as crucial as the amount of resistance itself. Typically, the level of resistance directly influences the challenge experienced by different body parts: more resistance intensifies the challenge for the extremities, while less resistance elevates the challenge for the powerhouse, the core muscles. Interestingly, there are instances where reducing the resistance in the springs, particularly in exercises like Long Stretch, actually increases the difficulty.

At PersonalHour, our recommendation for performing the Long Stretch exercise is to use two springs. When a 6'1" individual employs two green springs, they encounter approximately 88 pounds of resistance opposing the carriage's movement. This means that there's 88 pounds pulling the carriage in, essentially slowing down or stabilizing its movement away from the footbar. This resistance assists the exerciser in stabilizing their own body weight against the carriage's movement and aids in returning the carriage from the stretched position. If the same exerciser were to use two blue springs instead, they would only receive approximately 60 pounds of assistance for stabilization. This makes it more challenging to stabilize the Long Stretch in the extended position, and the exercise becomes even less stable as the resistance diminishes during the carriage's return.

A similar principle applies to the Short Spine Massage exercise. Higher spring tension offers more assistance in lifting the legs and pelvis up and over, enabling a deeper stretch, particularly beneficial for individuals with tight backs as their hips roll back down to the mat. To engage and challenge the powerhouse more intensely during this exercise, two blue springs can be used, providing less assistance during the "up and over" phase, requiring the exerciser to exert greater effort. When teaching the Short Spine Massage to a novice student, it may be advisable to use more spring resistance initially. However, for intermediate students seeking a greater challenge, using less spring resistance can be appropriate.

In summary, the relationship between spring resistance and exercise difficulty is not straightforward. More resistance often equates to more assistance and, paradoxically, a less challenging workout, while less resistance can make an exercise more demanding due to reduced assistance.

How to Maintain Your Springs
Maintaining the cleanliness of your Pilates equipment is essential. You can achieve this by using a soft cloth and water to wipe down the rails, frames, bars, wheels, and pedals. For the vinyl components, a small amount of dish soap mixed with water can be used for cleaning.

However, it's crucial to exercise caution when it comes to your springs. Avoid using chemicals or cleaning agents on them, as well as minimizing contact with oils from human skin, as these substances can have adverse effects on the metal. Keep your interaction with the springs to a minimum.

Additionally, when cleaning other parts of your equipment, be careful not to spill any liquids or cleaning agents on the springs, as this could potentially shorten their lifespan.

How frequently should I change my springs?
The ideal timing for replacing your Reformer's springs depends on usage. It is advisable to replace them at the first signs of wear. Indicators that it's time for a replacement include oxidation and the presence of kinks or gaps in the coil.

Failure to address worn springs can lead to breakage during use, potentially jeopardizing your safety or that of your clients. A general guideline is to renew your springs approximately every two years.

Spring Color 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


50 lb

75 lb

100 lb 


35 lb

52.5 lb

70 lb


25 lb 

27.5 lb

50 lb


15 lb

22.5 lb

30 lb