What are Pilates machines?
Pilates machines are pieces of exercise equipment designed by Joseph Pilates specifically to be used with the Pilates Method. Other types of equipment can also be used with pilates exercises, but only a piece of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates himself can be considered a true Pilates machine.
Most popular Pilates machines
Throughout this life, Joseph Pilates developed a wide range of different exercise machines. He also developed numerous variations of most equipment types, leading to an abundant proliferation of official Pilates machines to choose from.
1. Pilates Reformer
Reformer Pilates is one of the most popular types of Pilates exercise regimens. It involves an iconic piece of Pilates equipment called the Reformer, which uses a series of springs and pulleys to provide variable resistance in a number of different positions.
The Reformer remains the most popular piece of Pilates equipment. Arguably, it can perform most of the functions of other types of Pilates machines, making additional pieces of equipment potentially redundant.
The only issue with the Reformer is its size. Finding enough room for this bulky piece of Pilates equipment will be no easy task in most homes.
2. Pilates Cadillac Reformer
Also sometimes referred to as the Trapeze Table or just the Cadillac, the Pilates Cadillac Reformer places the body into a variety of suspended positions. Using a series of ropes and pulleys, you can lift your legs and arms into the air to suspend your body over a thin mat.
The primary difference between the conventional reformer and the Cadillac Reformer is the addition of horizontal and vertical bars above the table. These bars transform Pilates into a three-dimensional exercise routine you perform up in the air.
3. Pilates Chair
Joseph Pilates designed a few different types of Pilates chairs. The Wunda Chair is likely the most popular, but other Pilates chairs also remain in wide use.
Pilates Wunda Chair
Designed by Joseph Pilates specifically for the dancer Kathy Grant, the Wunda Chair features a raised seat with a spring-loaded platform below it and to the side. From a variety of different positions, you can push down on this platform while changing the resistance to suit your needs.
Pilates High Chair
Sometimes somewhat tastelessly referred to as the “Electric Chair,” the Pilates High Chair is designed to raise your body vertically in the air in a variety of positions.
Pilates Arm Chair
Not so commonly used these days, the Pilates Arm Chair, also referred to as the Baby Chair, features a backrest that moves back and forth with varying resistances.
4. Pilates Barrel
You can also lay over a barrel to boost your Pilates routine. Here’s how:
Pilates Ladder Barrel
With the Pilates Ladder Barrel, you can lower your body over a padded, semicircular hump and use a series of wooden slats held together vertically like a ladder to boost your resistance.
Pilates Arc Barrel
It’s like a Ladder Barrel but without the ladder. The Pilates Arc Barrel also features a wedge-shaped padded portion, making it simultaneously one of the smallest and most versatile types of Pilates equipment.
5. Small equipment pieces
Don’t have time for a Pilates class today? Pick up one of these pieces of smaller equipment to enhance your Pilates routine from home.
Mat Pilates involves the use of cushioned mats placed on the floor. Pilates mats are small and easy to roll up when you’re done.
Pilates Elastic Bands
These simple strips of rubber or latex add additional resistance to common Pilates exercises.
Rubber, cylindrical, and commonly studded with grooves, Pilates Rollers massage your muscles while also training your core and improving your balance.
Pilates can involve balls of practically any size. Larger, conventional exercise balls are the most common, but you can also improve your Pilates routine with smaller balls.
Devised by Joseph Pilates to improve core strength, these hoops are designed to be squeezed between your ankles while laying on your side.
What is the best Pilates machine for home use?
For home use, we recommend the Pilates Chair. Reasonably small and lightweight, there’s enough room for a Wunda Chair in most homes, and there are even smaller Pilates chairs available as well.
What is the best Pilates machine for studio use?
Larger pieces of equipment (apparatus), such as the Pilates Reformer, are best for use in a Pilates studio. The Reformer can essentially do it all, and Reformer Pilates is hailed worldwide as the hallmark method within this rigorous exercise discipline.