It's tough to find home exercise equipment that is compact, portable and can be used in a variety of ways. The CoreBody Reformer by Nautilus is one of those pieces of equipment. While it's described as "Yoga, Pilates & Dance in a Single Workout," it works just as well for the runner, cyclist or general fitness enthusiast who is looking to add some variety to her routine.
CoreBody Reformer: What it is
The CoreBody Reformer can be used as a foam roller, a balance tool and a resistance training machine. One of the best ways to understand what the CoreBody Reformer is, is to watch the YouTube Video I put together, which shows you how you can take apart the CBR and use it in a variety of ways in a matter of seconds:
My favorite parts
There are a lot of things to like about the CBR, but my favorites include:
- Its portability. When I first received the CoreBody Reformer and took it apart, I thought, "This is much heavier than I expected, there's no way it will be easy to tote around with me." But when I strapped it into it's straps and threw it over my shoulder, it really was easy to carry around. So, if you want to take it outside on your deck or take it with you to the gym, it won't be a problem at all.
- The roller video. I'll be honest - I have super tight muscles and don't do enough stretching or foam rolling. While I'm usually not the type to do exercise videos, I really enjoyed the roller video because it forced me to slow down and really target the knots in my muscles all over my body. I also learned a few new ways to use the roller, which was nice to discover.
- The balance. I know I said it in the video, but I like to fancy myself a balance training machine, and balancing on the CBR was much more difficult than I expected. The fact is, any time you're forced to work harder to maintain your balance, you're going to be engaging more muscles, which is never a bad thing.
- Its compact shape and size. I live in a small house with lots of furniture. We don't have much space for extra equipment, so we're pretty limited when it comes to the types of home fitness equipment we can buy. The CBR is so compact and so easy to store that I didn't even have to think twice about it.
- The workout flip cards. in addition to the exercise video, meal plan and food diary that come with the CBR, you also get a nice set of exercise cards that detail a number of leg, arm, core and stretching exercises. I'm the type who likes to build my own workouts rather than use a pre-determined workout video, so I found these to be a really nice tool. Plus, they're really easy to throw in your gym bag and take with you if you plan on using your CBR away from home.
- The washable covers. In addition to the blue cover that comes with the CBR, I also received a second "vanity" (my word, not theirs) cover in lime green. I'm a sucker for personalizing equipment with color, so I loved this feature. Plus, having two covers is nice because if one's in the washer, you have the second available to use on the CBR.
A couple things to consider before making a purchase:
- Will you use it? This isn't just about the CBR, this is about any type of home fitness equipment. Unless you're the type who enjoys popping in a video or knows how to motivate yourself to use equipment at home, it will probably end up sitting in a corner untouched. If you're going to invest money in any piece of home fitness equipment, make sure you're really able to commit to home workouts and stick with the program.
- How tall are you? Again, I mentioned this in the video. I'm 6'0", and I would say I was at the upper limit, height-wise, for some of the seated and lying exercises. I could still perform every exercise in the video, but if you're taller than me, you might feel constricted.
- Are you a serious strength trainer? The resistance on the cables is perfect for core work and Pilates or yoga-style exercises, but if you're looking to really strengthen your chest, back or legs, the three levels of resistance probably won't be enough without supplementing exercises with dumbbells or other strength training equipment.
- Where will you use it? This one is a minor issue, but if you plan on using the CBR on a floor that's not "sticky," like a smooth laminate wood, you may want to invest in a rubber pad to help keep it secure. I found when I used the CBR on our laminate floor at home, there were times when it would shift or slide during exercises that didn't require me to stand on the equipment. I did not run into this issue when I used the CBR on the finished wood floors at the gym. Just make sure wherever you use the CBR, it's going to stay put.
You can learn more about the CBR, make a purchase and search their additional tools by checking out the CoreBody Reformer website, Facebook or Twitter pages. You can also watch more videos by accessing the CBR YouTube Channel.