Despite the somewhat medieval name, the Pilates reformer is actually an amazingly elegant machine. The reformer provides finely tuned exercise resistance that allows one to work very precisely to develop good alignment, core strength, and flexibility.
There are many styles of reformers. The reformer pictured here is a classic Pilates reformer made by Peak Pilates. Some reformers are wood and some are metal. There might be leather straps or ropes, and the reformer may be on legs or not. Nevertheless, the basic parts and their functions will be the same.
You will feel much more comfortable at your first reformer class if you take a moment to look over the reformer and get a sense how it works. These are the basic parts of a reformer: