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Insights into Pilates Equipment

By Natalie Brown

For anyone with even a remote interest in Pilates, the equipment used for training is extremely interesting. With exciting names like the Reformer and the Cadillac, how could one not be interested? While there are literally dozens of individual pieces of equipment and props for use in Pilates training, we will be focusing on two of the more popular ones.

The idea for the Reformer was born when the founder of the Pilates system, Joseph Pilates, was interned in England during the First World War. He spent much of his internment training investigators from Scotland Yard in the Pilates method, and working to find ways to help rehabilitate bed-ridden patients suffering from the 1918 influenza epidemic. The first prototype was actually created using bits and pieces of old hospital beds.

The Reformer is comprised of a series of springs attached to a sliding platform supported by a frame. In some ways, it is very similar to rowing machine. The platform can be moved in two ways; by pulling on the pulleys, or by pushing off of the foot bar. It can be challenging for some people to get used to the sensation of moving the platform and maintaining balance at the same time. There are dozen of exercises that can be performed on this piece of equipment, but please consult a professional instructor before attempting these exercises on your own.

The Cadillac is another popular piece of Pilates training equipment. It has been said that the Cadillac resembles some form of medieval torture equipment, and has earned the nickname of "the rack". Be not afraid. The Cadillac is one of the most ingenious and effective types of fitness equipment ever designed. It has a platform and posts on each of the four corners. It is not unlike a bed, in some ways. The corner posts support various levers and pulleys, which provide resistance during your workout.

Joseph Pilates, and his legion of prot"g's, have designed well over 80 individual exercises that can be performed on the Cadillac. Each group of exercises is designed to focus on a specific group of muscles. Many of the exercises have a particular focus on developing core strength in the abdominal region. As with other types of exercise equipment, do not attempt to use the Cadillac without a proper demonstration from a certified professional.

About The Author

Natalie Brown is a certified Pilates instructor from Canada. When she is not consumed with her busy class schedule, she writes for - a site that offers information about pilates equipment( like the Reformer( and the Cadillac(


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