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Pilates, is nothing without its equipment, from the simple mat to the complicated trapeze, Pilates Equipment is very integral to the program itself. Pilate equipment is what produces the resistance that your muscles overcome, and these resistances are what make your core strong. Here is an overview of the basic Pilates Equipment
The reformer is probably the most popular Pilates Equipment; it is used by a lot of Pilates practitioners, and can be seen on almost every Pilates Studio in the world. It is basically a sliding carriage that has foot bars, jump boards, leg and arm pulleys. These features allow the exerciser to work on different parts of the body with the same machine.
There are two types of reformers, spring reformers and gravity reformers. A spring Pilates equipment reformer, makes use of springs for resistance, it is usually used while lying on the back and pulling with your arms or pushing with your legs. The Gravity reformer has the same concept of push and pull, but instead of springs, it makes use of the person's own weight. The person is diagonal in position in order for the gravity to pull down on him/her, creating the resistance needed for the exercise.
The second type of Pilates equipment is the Cadillac or the trapeze table. This Pilates equipment looks like a cage, without the bars though, just the frames, and attached along the bars are springs, straps, and extra bars that are used for several types of exercises. For example, for the legs, you can lie down facing the opposite direction of the strap that you are going to use, and then putting the strap around your leg, you pull it down, and the resistance goes through your thighs and calves. Another way to use a Cadillac is to sit down, this time facing the strap that you are to use, and then holding the strap in your hands pull on it while simultaneously lying down, then sit back up again, this works on your abdomen.
One other Pilates equipment is the Wunda chair, which looks like a bench only slightly higher; it has two bars on each side with spring attached to it. One exercise that can be done is to push on the bars while standing or sitting on the bench, or standing or sitting on the floor.
Pilates has a series of mat exercises that improve certain parts of the body, therefore, the Pilates Mat, is definitely a must have Pilates equipment. Mat exercises are usually taught as to groups. These exercises focus mostly on the trunk and hip, to strengthen then, and on the spine and hips again for flexibility. The mat, is probably the least expensive of Pilates equipment, and it is also the most limited, the amt is basically for back protection and doesn't offer any form of resistance for the user, but still mat exercises are very good ones, especially for those on a budget.
These are only few of the most common exercise equipment that you may see in a Pilates studio, there are however, other equipment that you might be able to use at home, like barrels, Pilates balls, and Pilates rings, these are however, not part of the original Pilates equipment that Joseph Pilates designed initially, but rather a derivation and application of the different Pilates techniques from other types of exercises.