Ever wondered what all that fancy pilates equipment is and what it does? We break it down for you here piece by piece.
Joseph Pilates designed a series of controlled movements called “Controllogy” which were intended to strengthen the mind and body. To accompany this, he teamed up the movements with a variety of equipment designed to help accelerate the process of strengthening, stretching, improving body alignment and increasing core strength started with the mat work.
The most popular and well known piece of equipment is the reformer which got its name by “reforming the body”. Sounds pretty good to us! Joseph Pilates believed that beginning exercises horizontally helped to relieve stress on the body’s joints and helps align the body before adding extra gravitational forces while standing, sitting or kneeling. The reformer provides finely tuned exercise resistance as you can adjust the spring tension on the machine to provide extra challenge or support as needed.
The pilates Cadillac has the most bells and whistles of all the apparatus with fuzzy straps to hang from, leg springs, arm springs, a push through bar to stretch you out, and even a trapeze. It was originally designed by Joseph Pilates to enable bed ridden patients to exercise, as it is based on the design of a hospital bed with mattress springs attached to a wall. Don’t worry the design has definitely evolved since then! You can isolate almost every muscle group on the Cadillac and so it is an excellent tool for breaking down motion into small pieces to correct faulty movement patterns.
The pilates Chair, despite it’s name is definitely not relaxing… It was invented as a result of Joseph Pilates’ observation of Chinese acrobatic manoeuvres on a “box” – when turned over doubles as an actual chair. It consists of a box with an upholstered seat on top and a spring-controlled resistance pedal on the side. It is great for pregnant clients and to help with leg strengthening. Joseph Pilates often used the Chair to rehabilitate clients with knee injuries and to train more advanced clients in full bodied, acrobatic exercises.
Other equipment you may find is the ladder barrel, spine corrector and various arcs. Due to their curved shape, these are utilized for individual needs for stretching, strengthening and aligning the spine. They can isolate deep postural muscles and challenge the body on all planes of movement. Stiffness of the shoulders and hips can be relieved, as well as helping with common backaches.
There are hundreds if not thousands of exercises and modifications that can be performed on the full range of pilates equipment. If you are recovering from any injuries, are working with any special conditions or limitations within your body, or are pre or post-natal, a few sessions here can be invaluable before returning to general group classes. Pure Moves run semi-private sessions (max 5 clients) on studio equipment several times a week. Contact us for more information and to book.