To understand the equipment used in Pilates, I think it is also and equally important to grasp the basic understanding of what Pilates does. Pilates uses resistance and weight-bearing exercises and aims to create alignment, balance, and strength.
There are six principals in Pilates all aimed to help you reduce pain, increase range of motion as well as circulation, and flexibility. It focuses on core and abdominal strength that will inevitably help your posture.
Six Principals of Pilates
Different Types of Equipment
There are two different types of equipment that I will be discussing that are used in Pilates, the Reformer and the Trapeze Table (Cadillac.) These are the most popular types of equipment used in Pilates classes, but the equipment is not necessary for a class. There are Pilates classes that you can do from a mat.
The purpose of the Reformer, and Pilates in general, is to reteach the body how it is supposed to move. It uses resistance training to build strength and balance. Using your breath as a guide you will move through exercises on the machine. There is a foot bar at the end of the machine and straps or handles that will pull the moving platform along the track. The machine is fully adjustable so anyone is able to use it, no matter what size or strength level.
How to Use the Reformer
Most exercises done on the Reformer use the moving platform by pulling or pushing against resistance, or holding the platform in place. There are countless ways the Reformer can be used in the exercises. You don’t have to lay down, you can use it from virtually any variation of body pose or with other equipment.
Why the Reformer Works
The reformer allows for full range of motion, creating the length your body craves naturally. It allows for eccentric muscle contractions. As your muscles are going against the resistance, they are also lengthening.
The Cadillac (Trapeze Table)
The Trapeze Table allows for a variety of exercises at any skill level. You can do advanced acrobatics or simple movements on the Cadillac. It is used especially for rehabilitation and as a base for Pilates exercises. It further increases flexibility, strength, length, and range of motion.
How to Use The Cadillac
You can do most exercises that you do on a mat or the Reformer on the Cadillac. The Trapeze Table allows you to do more advanced poses while suspended but also gives those who have trouble getting up and down quickly options as well. It is normally used for one on one classes since the apparatus takes up a lot of space.
Why the Cadillac Works
The machine limits stress on your joints so you can advance your Pilates movements quickly. It will clarify some Pilates poses you may want broken down in-depth and also provides that advanced level that seasoned Pilates practitioners are looking for.
Pilates Exercise Equipment Helps Ease Pain
Pilates is excellent for rehabilitation after an injury and for those suffering from chronic pain. There are Pilates studios that specialize in treating injury rehabilitation. Find out what Pilates can do for your body by trying a class. Many studios offer a free class or week trial in case you are hesitant to commit to a monthly membership.