In the two years since COVID sent us all inside, our at-home gyms have grown ever more high tech. Whether it’s an indoor bike that tracks your progress, a mirror with streaming workouts, or a watch with more stats about your health than you know what to do with, much of our personal workout equipment gone digital.
Now, the Flexia Reformer is bringing that same high-tech experience to your Pilates workout. This is the first smart, AI-connected Pilates reformer that's also designed specifically for you to use on your own at home. And it's currently a whopping $500 off right now.
A machine that measures stability and control
As Flexia’s founder Kaleen Canevari points out, most workout equipment focuses largely on the weight you’re lifting and the amount of repetitions you complete. However, with an activity like Pilates, there’s more emphasis placed on things like stability and control, which might seem harder to measure.
“I designed this reformer myself and built the first four of them,” says Canevari, who has a background as both a Pilates instructor and a mechanical engineer. “The goal was to make a better reformer to make mindful movement a little more accessible, bring it into a space where it can be better studied and understood with data.”
Using sensors placed on the carriage of the reformer, the machine transmits data via WiFi during your workouts so you can see the consistency, control, and speed of your movements, as well as the amount of weight you are moving. All of this data is then displayed in real time on your computer, phone, or tablet through Flexia’s online studio. After class, you’re able to look back over your stats cumulatively to gauge your progress over time.
The information captured by Flexia is also used to create personalized fitness recommendations based on your goals. According to Canevari, Flexia can tell you everything from what classes might help you target a particular objective, when you’re ready for a heavier weight setting on your reformer’s springs, and when you might consider trying a longer or more challenging class. This is similar to smart-connected home gym options like lululemon’s Studio Mirror, but designed specifically for Pilates, with the technique’s focus on control.
The Flexia reformer comes with a sitting box, padded footstrap, removable standing platform, jumpboard, and adjustable headrest. At 90 inches long, 30 inches wide and 14 inches high, it can be stored upright when not in use, so long as your home has at least eight foot ceilings. The $2,995 price tag includes an option to pay in installments.
What is a Flexia workout like?
In order to access the full benefits of Flexia—including the AI integration, real-time feedback, and the majority of the personalized recommendations—users need to subscribe to the online studio, which is $39/month (with the first three months included with the cost of the reformer). This library of reformer and mat classes allows you to choose how long you want to go for—with options ranging from eight minutes to an hour—and how advanced you want to get.
When you’re working out with Flexia, don’t be surprised if you start to feel like you know your online instructor. Though the classes are professionally filmed and the instructors are knowledgeable and professional, the teachers aren’t too scripted, which makes the experience feel super accessible and friendly.
That accessibility is part of the Flexia brand, which is all about inviting everyone to Pilates. For instance, the machine is constructed with a wider carriage, making it fit a broader range of body types than your typical reformer. (Flexia’s made an effort to enlist plus-sized influencers, like Colleen Werner, who went viral for her advocacy surrounding body positivity in dance.)
And along this same vein of all-encompassing wellness, Flexia includes a focus on mindfulness and mental health. Before and after each class, the online studio asks users to rate their mood, in hopes of bringing awareness to the way exercise makes them feel, instead of chasing the way society says it should make them look.
“Why can’t we separate working out from the way we look? Why can’t you work out to feel a certain way?” Canevari asks. “Your summer body is the one you have. If you want to get a six pack, that’s great, everybody gets to choose for themselves, but fitness should be a place where you come to learn to love your body and not feel bad about it.”
Who is Flexia meant for?
With a substantial price tag, Flexia’s most likely to appeal to those who are already head-over-heels for Pilates. “I think that there’s a certain amount of basic skills and body awareness that you need before you just hop on a reformer and start doing videos,” says Flexia user Sharon Allen. But if you’re a Pilates devotee who prefers an at-home workout, Canevari points out that Flexia adds up to a similar price as regular attendance at some Pilates studios.
And overwhelmingly, users say that in addition to Flexia’s product, they love the culture that the company has created. Allen, in particular, says that Flexia has helped her to feel more capable in her body.
“I’m a fat person and we are often not super welcome or comfortable in traditional fitness spaces, or we don’t get the support that we need,” she says. “But feeling competent can help with all the body image and diet culture yuckiness that a lot of us carry around.”
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