7 Common Pilates Equipment and How They are Effective
Pilates is an exercise for the mind and body which evolved from the Principles developed by Joseph Pilates. It largely involves a lot of mat exercises, but apart from it there are also certain exercises which required certain equipment.
Joseph Pilates arrived at the conclusion that he needs the assistance of machines when he found that in order for patients to exercise more efficiently, he had to hold their body to help them perform it. He started to experiment with machines that could replace his body, which then led to the development of several Pilates equipment.
These tools aid in providing a more efficient exercise program that can dramatically transform the way you look and feel. To be able to appreciate the process, let’s look into the different Pilates equipment that you could encounter in the future.
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The Low (Wunda) Chair
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This small-sized apparatus may come with a funny name, but it offers big results. This small chair belies its ability to encourage strength and balance exercises, usually during beginner classes. It is designed by Joseph Pilates in such a way that it can be used in every home or hotel room in America.
It comes in several versions,but it primarily comes withe a seat, pedal and springs attached to the pedal that adjusts the resistance. Pilates used this to rehabilitate his clients suffering from a knee injury and to train advanced clients in performing full-bodied, acrobatic exercises. It is more agreeable for men to use as it puts emphasis on upper body strength, allowing more athletic challenges.
The wunda chair is very effective for creating sport-specific programs for basketball player, soccer player, runners, or bikers. It develops impressive leg power that is also integrated with proper biomechanics and core strength.
The Cadillac (Trapeze Table)
This equipment offers and extensive range with the necessary bells and whistles needed in applications for post-rehab clients and athletes. It comes with leg springs, arm springs, a push-through bar, loops and a trapeze bar. It may seem intimidating at first look, with some even saying that it looked like a medieval torture device.
However, the very first device designed by Joseph Pilates was simple as it involved a hospital bed with mattress sprigs that are attached to the wall. It has been said that this was originally designed to enable bedridden patients to exercise. However, the design has evolved over the years allowing users to isolate every muscle group and develop it while using this machine.
By breaking down motion into small pieces, the user restores correct motion patterns. The leg springs for instance can help runners to fully exert their hamstrings. It adds more than 200 exercises to your regimen while challenging the body into different planes of motion.
This equipment is so aptly named since it “universally reforms” the body. This was the considered the centerpiece of Joseph Pilates inventions and the very first equipment he developed. What makes this machine unique is that it provides proprioceptive feedback provided by the constant resistance created by the springs.
It comes with the springs, footbar and a gear system. The height of the footbar can be adjusted accordingly through the four notches inside the frame to allow optimum movement for every user.
With proper guidance the reformer develops core strength, good alignment and flexibility. It reforms the body by providing it with a clear trajectory on which to move it. These principles increased the efficiency of movements and closes the kinetic chain for better proprioceptive feedback. So in putting the body in a better position to move and then supporting and resisting it, the body is brought in a better form and condition.
Don’t let the name scare you, neither does its appearance. This equipment actually prepares a student for low chair exercises that are considered to be more complex in nature. The design is crafted to provide a therapeutic effect because it provides tactile feedback from the high back support.
What is unique to this equipment is that it has the heaviest springs to allow the client to immediately feel the work and load of the exercise. It also provides specific support for the exact alignment for the ligaments. It strengthens the legs, hips and the supporting muscles.
The Wall or Pole System
This is an adaptation of the trapeze table, but designed for small spaces, low ceilings or group classes. It can be used for most of the Trapeze Table exercises however it only has upper parallel bars or canopy frames.
This is just one of the barrel equipment that Joseph Pilates created. These are designed for the purpose of decompressing the spine, promote its flexibility and develop the muscles that surround it to be uniformly long, strong and stable.
It is a ladder with four horizontal rungs and a wooden brace for a bottom that attaches to one side of the barrel.The ladder rungs and brace provide hand and foot holds. This equipment offer challenging abdominal exercises and flexible movements that stretch and strengthen the whole body. The main exercises for this equipment include sit-ups, leg stretching and spinal extension.
The Hump Barrel
This is also known as the Spine Corrector because it corrects imbalances and weaknesses of the spine. The exercises developed for this equipment involves lying with your back arched over the barrel. It stretches the tight muscles of the chest, shoulders, the sides of the body, and the front of the hips.
With repeated use, it gradually develops a uniformly strong and supple spine by massaging, supporting, and challenging your spine as well as the powerhouse muscles.