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A Quick Guide to Pilates Equipment

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Pilates is an exercise system that can involve a lot of equipment. Items both big and small can help you get the most out of your workout. If you’re a beginner, all the equipment can be a little confusing. Some of it looks almost frightening if you don’t know what it’s for! Getting a better understanding of Pilates equipment will help you to know what you’re likely to come across and how it can help you.

Reformer

When you start taking private or group Pilates lessons, you’re likely to begin on a Reformer. It might look a little intimidating, but it’s key to developing your Pilates skills. The Reformer is a raised surface and features shoulder blocks and a foot bar. These help with positioning yourself properly so you get the most benefit from Pilates. The Reformer has springs and straps on pulleys that provide resistance.

Mat

You might think of mats when you think about Pilates before you think of any other equipment. However, you could be confusing Pilates and yoga. While most people are more familiar with the Pilates mat, many people recommend it more for people who already have some experience, rather than for beginners. Mats are still essential pieces of Pilates equipment, though, and the easiest one to buy for your home.

Cadillac

Like the Reformer, the Cadillac is also a raised piece of equipment that you can lie on. It has arm and leg springs, as well as push-through and roll-back bars. These help you to do more targeted work on your arms and legs, and your spine. The Cadillac can also double up as a mat and somewhere to do pre-Pilates exercises.

Chairs

There is more than one type of chair that you might discover in Pilates. They include the Wunda Chair, High Chair and Baby Chair. Although they’re called chairs, you’re not meant to spend all your time sitting on them. There are lots of exercises you can do standing up, crouching or hovering with a Pilates chair. They require less space than a Reformer or Cadillac too, so it’s easier to find space to have one at home.

Pedi-pole

This piece of Pilates equipment has a pole with two heavy springs for resistance. It’s designed for increasing upper body strength and is meant to be used standing up. Exercises using this equipment can improve posture and alignment of the spine. It’s a good choice if you want to balance out your body, but you need to be pretty strong to be able to use it.

Barrels

Like the chairs, there are also several types of barrel. These are designed for spine extension exercises for intermediate Pilates practitioners. Barrels are also slightly smaller pieces of equipment that don’t need as much space as some other items. Many barrel exercises require a lot of strength in the powerhouse to get their full benefit.

There are also various small piece of equipment you might come across when practising Pilates. Different types of equipment offer you different benefits, which can help you both in classes and at home.

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