Review: The Nautilus CoreBody Reformer

core-body-reformerNow this takes fusion workouts to the next level. Not just fusing two workout trends together, the Nautilus CoreBody Reformer blends three types of workouts—Pilates, yoga and dance—into a mishmash of fitness that promises the whole trifecta of fitness: flexibility, strength and cardio. Oh, and core, lots and lots of core. And if you listen to the success stories of those who have tried it, you will think it’s a holy, hot-body-saving piece of equipment. But is it really? We put it to the FBG test in this CoreBody Reformer review!

A mix between a simplified Pilates reformer, a cable-pulley machine and a round, soft balance beam, you can get a full-body workout on the CoreBody reformer. Almost 4 feet long and more awkward than heavy, it’s no small piece of equipment, but it’s also not impossible to move. It’s relatively easy to put together (although the first pilot version I got in the mail was defective—apparently due to improper shipping), and you can go from unpacking it to working out in 5 minutes. Which is pretty awesome for those of us who break out in a cold sweat just thinking about putting something from IKEA together.

The moves are effective, too. From cardio dance moves and kicks to arabesques to side squats and bicep curls, you can target every body part. For the moves you either stand or lie on the floor or on the padded cylinder (which is held in place with those little plastic brackets you see in the photo) and use the straps to pull and reach as resistance. I particularly liked the moves where you stood on the CoreBody reformer because it really made you focus and use your core to balance. I also really enjoyed the exercises that made the most of the two pulleys—either holding both in one hand (like with wood chops) or placing each in a hand (or a foot). Some of the more Pilates-inspired core moves where you had your feet in the straps felt a bit like working out during a pap smear (I’m talking about you, helicopter move), but darn it, they are effective.

There are three resistance levels for the pulleys—three, six and nine pounds—which gives you something to work up to. I wish the pulleys went just a touch heavier, but the three options makes this piece of equipment perfect for beginners and intermediate exercisers who get stronger (and they will) as they use the system. Really, I only have one negative thing to say about the Nautilus CoreBody Reformer. Basically, this is just like any other piece of fantastic equipment in that it’s not a magic bullet. Sure, the infomercials are convincing and you can get great results. But just like anything, you have to use it. The CoreBody Reformer is the tool, but you have to do the work. At $279, it’s a pretty penny, but it does come with a workout DVD, workout cards, a workout poster, carrying strap and a weight-loss plan. (Note: We did not review the DVD—just played on the machine using the workout cards and our own workout know-how.)

Overall though, this thing is pretty fun. If you’re a fan of Pilates, you’ll probably love it. If you like yoga or dance, it’s worth looking into. Would you spend almost $300 for something like this? Tell us! —Jenn


FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Tanya says:

    I have seen this product, and do believe that there is at least a couple of resistance levels on the pulleys. There is a button that can be clicked in to help increase the resistance, and that varies the workout to your fitness level.

  2. Alana says:

    I worked out on this thing a couple of weeks ago and let me just tell you, it is no joke. It works, and the $279 price tag is a bargain because you get a full body workout. Plus, with so many moves you never get bored. The best part? The last thing I want to do is go to the gym after work. Now, all I have to do is buy a CBR (hopefully for X-mas from my Boyfriend), come home, slide it out from under my bed, and get a 20 minute workout in, with time to spare for cooking dinner. Love it!!

  3. Anne says:

    One of my favorite things about the CoreBody Reformer is that I DON’T have to go to the gym, which means I don’t have to worry about what I look. As much as anybody wants to think that the gym is the gym and nobody has to worry what they look like.. trust me. I do.. and I’m NOT alone. I can wear pajamas for all I care and still get an amazing strength and body lengthening work out. So females: LISTEN UP! Exercise at home with the Corebody reformer = no need for that extra mascara for the “natural” look.

  4. ahannan says:

    I ordered and finally got it (took over a month to arrive). Have had company and haven’t used it much yet, but it is challenging for me. As the article states, there are different levels of resistance. I think it will be fun. I live in New York City in a small apartment and it’s not unreasonably large. Gym memberships are super expensive here so this will pay for itself within a couple of months. I am going to focus on my measurements and not so much the lbs. I get discouraged easily and I expect this to show results in tone faster than lbs.

  5. nes says:

    Can someone tell me if anyone with MS (muscular sclerosis) has ever used this machine. I myself have MS and its hard to walk up and down the stairs so you can imagine working out is even harder. Its hard to keep the weight off with the limitations, if anyone with MS has used this machine I would appreciate your review. Thanks a bunch!

  6. Alison says:

    @ nes – I have had MS for almost 15 years and have been doing pilates for 12 or 13 years now. I haven’t tried the CBR yet, but I HIGHLY recommend pilates mat classes. I attribute my lack of disability to finding and sticking with pilates!

  7. Tracy says:

    Hi Alison, I saw the infomercial for this product while on vacation in Hawaii. I agree with your comment in regards to MS I was diagnosed in 2007. I feel better whenever I work out but I enjoy the balance and core work of pilates. Thanks for your comment I plan to place my order today.

  8. Faith says:

    Hey, I’m so glad there was this review of the core body reformer, there seems to be so little information out there about it at present (beyond their own infomercial and of course, they’re going to say it’s wonderful no matter what). So, I decided to go out on a limb and give it a try. I have a one bedroom apartment so not much space and so far, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s fairly lightweight (which is sometimes an issue when you’re doing some of the exercises on it. You need to remember to keep a foot on it and make sure your pulleys are balanced, but overall that’s not too bad, just takes a little practice.) I did the first full work out last night, which definitely gets you sweating, but then did the “express” work out this morning before work and it also seemed effective even for being only a 20 min workout. My one issue with the work out DVD, they take you through a series of exercises but they they just repeat that series 3 times..is that normal for work out DvDs? I figured they’d mix it up more, but there are other work outs and the workout cards do highlight a lot of good moves and of course if you’ve done any yoga or pilates before you can definitely get creative on your own. Hopefully this will turn out to be a good tool, but as said in the review, it’ll only work if you use it 😉

  9. veda says:

    First time seeing the ad this morning and told myself I had to get it. I just needed more info and reviews. Wow, thanks for the posts!

  10. Shannon says:

    Is it comfortable to lay on?

    1. Jenn says:

      Good question! It’s padded, so it’s soft yet firm. Not comfy like a big pillow, but it is comfortable. Does that help?

      –FBG Jenn

  11. belinda says:

    I’m an avid fan of pilates classes from years past and my only drawback in getting this is the price.I’m unemployed and have limited income to get such an expensive system.

  12. Lydia says:

    It looks interesting, but I would definitely not pay that much for the Core Reformer. I think it is just a little pricey. Adding diet plans and charts aren’t really worth the extra money in my opinion. Pare down the price to under $200 and then it becomes worth looking at.

  13. Lisa says:

    I agree with Lydia. I saw the infomercial and went to the website, ready to purchase until I read $279. I was thinking more like $199. I think I’ll wait and maybe the price will come down. I am a big Pilates fan and this looks like a winning combination.

  14. Missy says:

    I agree with the previous posters: if the price would come down under $200, I would definitely consider it. As it is, I do not believe it is worth the asking price.

  15. Rebekah says:

    corebodyreformer.com they offer the whole package for $249 and also there is a promo code can be typed that’s advertised in their website and that offers free shipping and the free workout dvd… I thought it was a pretty sweet deal, and also the $25 monthly payment with no interest if paid within 6 months (prior to credit approval)…so there are options out there..still, I do agree it’s a quite a big investment.

  16. Reva says:

    I agree with the posts on the price. I was very interested in this as an extra if I cant make it to the gym.
    Or maybe to bump up my workout by adding an extra couple workouts. As soon as I saw the $$$ I decided it’s not worth it. I’m not going to give up my gym membership and they offer all those classes free.

  17. Dan says:

    Anyone know of any males who have used this equipment? I sometimes get bored with the free weights, intense workout like P90X, etc. or just hitting the heavy bag. I thought my joints could use less strees.

  18. BobbiDoll says:

    I’m in agreement with the price. I, too, am unemployed and shelling out nearly $300 just isn’t feasible for me right now. Plus, it hardly looks like it’s worth that much. I’ll be keeping an eye out for a price decrease as well!

  19. pam says:

    how long did it take for the equipment to arrive?

  20. Liz says:

    I don’t usually review products, but I absolutely had to this time! I suddenly came to the realization that in 4 short months I will be a physician, and I just didn’t feel comfortable with recommending healthy lifestyles to my patients without doing so myself. 8 consecutive years of undergrad and medical school can really take a toll on your body. I noticed my energy slipping and the pounds piling on (not to mention the mental burden of being unfit/overweight while constantly hearing the dangers of obesity and the health conditions I was setting myself up for in the future). After several failed attempts at initiating a lifestyle regimen that would stick, I discovered the CoreBody Reformer. As a former dancer, I figured that something that could incorporate grace, pilates, aerobics, and resistance had to be effective…AND EFFECTIVE IT IS! I am 3 short weeks into my regimen and by incorporating motivation, a healthy calorie-conscious diet, and 5 workouts per week (4 CoreBody days, with one 50 minute treadmill power walk followed by upper/lower body C.B.R. work-outs), I have dropped 10 pounds (I’m already at my Week 5 Goal!) and 3 total inches. My resting heart rate is lower, as is my blood pressure. I have not gotten the least bit bored with the work-outs and I even look forward to my bit of exercise each day (a huge first for me!) My energy is soaring and I feel ready to face the endless hours of residency and am confident in counseling my patients on healthy living. I truly believe that this lifestyle will stick…I am enjoying it entirely too much and am ecstatic about my results (thanks C.B.R.!!!!)

    I have to say, you will get out of this work-out regimen what you put into it. Push yourself, stay motivated, and you will see results. And if you can’t find a full hour, the Express work-out is great as well (I think I was more beat after that work-out than the longer ones!). The coach is great…very human (she wobbles off of the C.B.R., too!), very motivating. I also like the fact that they show you how to do easier and harder versions of everything. These routines work out everything in your body, including all of those little trouble spots for ladies. My only complaints are that the fabric cover to the C.B.R. slips around a bit and it can get a little uncomfortable to sit on the tube for a while during some of the exercises (but its nothing that would deter me from doing the exercises/recommending the C.B.R).

    In short, you can do it and change yourself and your life for the better…and the CoreBody Reformer can help get you there.

  21. Liz says:

    Pam, to answer your question, mine arrived in about a week. The CoreBody Reformer arrived a few days after the extra DVD’s and accessories came.

  22. Kirstin says:

    My husband bought this for me for Christmas. I take private pilates classes and left the corebody reformer with her for a week so she could play around with it and show me more exercises than the brochure does. When I placed it on her carpeted floor, the top cover broke…along with the handle. The screws were so tiny we couldn’t even find them. The next week when i picked it up from my instructor, she told me that the left side arm pulley was almost twice the tension of the right, no matter how you played with the buttons. She informed me this could throw your body out of balance and to send it back. I have yet to do so…so busy at work, and since it’s past the 30 days of purchase, i’m sure it will involve more than I think. I will say, Corebody/Nautilus sent me an email asking for a review. I mentioned the above issues in my review and they have yet to print it on their site (filled it out over 3 weeks ago)…which seems really shady.

  23. Liz says:

    Just wanted to provide an update: I’ve just completed my 7th week with the CoreBody Reformer and have lost 18 pounds and 12.5 inches! It really does work, as long as you put in the effort.

  24. dawn says:

    can you lay down one the device and put your feet in straps to do leg exercises

  25. Former Marine says:

    Question: Is it designed for men to use as well, especially someone over 6’3″? Looks extremely interesting. I am sure my beautiful wife would like it, even if it will not work for me.

  26. judith says:

    I just saw the infomercial and decided to check it out. You know when they say try it as a trial for $X amount of dollars, when then you know that it is going to be overpriced. When I saw the $279 price tag, I like the others did not think that it was worth it. The price should be around $199 or $89 maybe ever lower. I don’t need the charts or the diet plan either. I think I’ll pass on this for now…or at least until they offer it on QVC for easy pay.

  27. Melissa says:

    i ordered it after Christmas and got it within a 5 days! I LOVE it… yes I might be only one day in but i think it is amazing. As a former dancer and a pilates lover this is exactly what I am looking for. I had a baby 6 months ago and this literally worked my entire body and I only did the express work out so far (following the 3 day schedule).
    I love it and would totally recommend it

  28. Kim says:

    I’m so glad I found this review!! Any infomercial I see at 5 am that still has me searching for info at 6:30am is scary! The reviews were soooo helpful!! And I guess it is an ex-dancer thing because I see several other ex-dancers like me who bought this or are looking into it!! I think I’m gonna go for it!! Exciting!!

  29. Nerissa says:

    I was thinking of using a personal trainer to help me to tighten my core.
    I have low back pain, and too much fat in the stomach. The phases he put me though did help. However, when he told me, I should come to him 3 times a week at $45 for 30 minutes for 40 to 60 weeks, + a $149 enrollment fee, I had a problem.
    I quickly added the amount of money I would have to spend for 40 weeks plus the enrollment fee and I have decided $5,549.00 is way to high just to lose 10 lbs.
    Why do personal trainers try to get you to pay such high fees? So, I decided to purchase the CoreBody Reformer. I am so glad that I read your reviews before I purchased this equipment. I guess I might have to rejoin Weightwatchers to help me lose 15 weight.

  30. raquel says:

    well ive had mine for 2 days and i cant get enough of it. I’m not active at all but i do enjoy stretching everyday, this machine will make every move a work out because you are balancing on the cylinder most of the time. The way you engage your core just to perform simple exercises makes the workout a workout, you will sweat and your heart rate will raise and it will make you feel like you have a better mood after you finished. I noticed that without it i usually stretch about 15 to 20 min in the mornings for the last 2 days i have been on the BCR 30 minutes at a time 2 times a day and i catch myself thinking about tomorrows workout.

    i highly recommend this product. it is so smart.
    but remember it is not magic we gotta use it to loose the lbs. It will not work if you just have it in the corner.

    🙂 hope my review helps out other future BCR owners to make the decision of changing their life for a better and healthier future.

  31. Brandy says:

    So, after contemplating for almost 2 YEARS as to whether or not I should purchase the CBR, I finally did it! After reading this review, watching YouTube videos, watching the infomercial like 12 times, reading other online reviews, I finally took the plunge and bought it. I also bought a few accessories, so I’m even more excited. I can’t wait to get my CBR! I wish I could pick it up right now, but this will give me time to set up my workout room.

    Thank you very much for this review. It is what pushed me over the edge to finally buy it. I’m so excited!!! Yay!!

  32. J J says:

    I replaced my P90x and TurboFire. I sold them on Ebay to help pay for my new CoreBody Reformer. I can recommend it without reservation. P90x was dangerous and injury prone. TurboFire was useless and the music was annoying. The CoreBody Reformer is exactly what you make of it. If you are younger, you get a complete workout that will challenge you. If you are older, you get a complete workout that will challenge you and not injure you.

    What I really like is it’s a complete workout. I get weight training, cardio and stretching all in one place at one time. I don’t feel like I am wasting my time. I also think this will continue to challenge me as time goes on. I have ordered the additional workout DVD’s. Mostly, to provide variety. The DVD that comes with the reformer is adequate, but I wanted more.

    If you live in a small apartment with some open floor space, this is the perfect device. There is no need to go to the gym or acquire any additional equipment. 25/45 minutes per session and you are done. The cardio will kick your butt. You will work up a sweat. The DVD will include interval training which the best way to fat burn and improve fitness. You will build muscle, which will burn fat all day.

    As you get better with the device, you can increase the difficulty. I had my 6’2″ husband try it out, he’s a fitness freak, he could do all of the exercises. Much taller than that, it might be a problem.

    This was worth every penny. But, you have to use it. If you do, you will be very happy with the results, both short term and long term.

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