The Trapeze Table, also known as the Pilates Cadillac was the FIRST apparatus that Joe Pilates invented. It is said to have gotten its start when Pilates attached bed springs to the headboard and footboards of beds to assist bedridden soldiers in their rehabilitation after WWII. The Cadillac, which is sometimes known as the Trapeze table, is a large apparatus with poles, springs, a push-thru bar and roll-down bar, trapeze bar (an homage to Pilates' circus past) and fuzzy hanging straps. All add to a persons exercise experience by creating resistance and movement functionality by enabling more spinal flexion, extension and control.
Almost every muscle group can be isolated, trained, and strengthened on this machine - it is an excellent tool for breaking down motion into small pieces to restore correct motion patterns. For example, using the leg springs is one of the best ways to get people to fully use their hamstrings, a muscle group that when properly conditioned can both improve walking and protect the knees from injury.
The Trapeze table became known as the Cadillac of Pilates apparatus as it had the most versatility both allowing for simple, basic exercises to the most difficult inversions and hanging work. This piece of equipment was created to address specific rehabilitative and alignment needs as well as enable deep stretching and symmetrical movement.
There is probably no piece of Pilates equipment more famous than the Pilates reformer. The Reformer evolved after the Cadillac, utilizing spring resistance like in the Cadillac, but also incorporating a moving base to increase the range and variety of exercises available.
Invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates, the reformer is a bed-like frame with a flat, padded platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs that provide resistance for exercises. The carriage is moved against the resistance of the springs either by pushing on a footbar at the end of the carriage, or pulling on straps emanating from the head of the reformer. Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations thereof. Reformers are large pieces of equipment; the reformers at Soma Movement Studio are about 8 feet long, two feet wide, and two feet tall.
WUNDA CHAIR/STABLITY CHAIR
The chair was originally designed as a compact home exercise machine for cramped New York City apartments. Early designs converted easily from a chair you could sit on to a wunda chair you could exercise with. The equipment was very simple, consisting of a seat, a pedal and springs that attached to the pedal to adjust the resistance. The chairs at Soma Movement studio are modern chairs and have handles that assist with balance and also allow for many exercises with upper body emphasis. They also have four springs to provide resistance/assistance and have a split pedal which allows for reciprocal action for the limbs, like in walking or climbing.
Like the name says, this piece of Pilates equipment consists of ladder-like rungs and a rounded barrel-like surface on which many stretching, strengthening and flexibility exercises can be performed. The barrel is separated from the ladder by a sliding base that can adjust to accommodate different torso sizes and leg lengths in a range of Pilates exercises. The ladder rungs - four to six in total - are also adjustable to facilitate varying levels of fitness.
The Pilates Ladder Barrel helps isolate deep postural muscles and challenges the body on all planes of movement. For example, one exercise has you sitting on the barrel facing the ladder with your feet secured in the rungs, then you arch back over the barrel with your vertebrae following its contour and activate the core abdominals to return to the starting position in a controlled manner. Other exercises have you facing the other way, with your belly on the barrel, giving you a supported spinal stretch that helps to release tension.
SPINE CORRECTOR AND ARC BARREL
The Spine Corrector, or Hump Barrel, is one of the smaller barrel apparatus, and is designed to do just what its name indicates - correct imbalances and weaknesses in the spine. Most exercises are performed by lying with your back arched over the barrel portion. The design includes a "V" shape where the barrel and seat connect, simulating the same shape in space as many Pilates exercises have you assume when you are on the mat. The arc barrel is smaller than the spine corrector and has a gentler curve.
GYROTONIC® PULLEY TOWER COMBINATION UNIT
The GYROTONIC® Pulley Tower Combination Unit is the result of over thirty years of research and development and was created by former dancer, Juliu Horvath. The Pulley Tower is the most widely used piece of equipment in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. methodology. The pulley tower provides smooth, even support and resistance via a unique, weighted pulley system. The adjustable bench and rotating handle unit can be customized to fit the individual proportions, and movement capacities of each user. The design of the equipment supports the full, and natural range of motion of the joints, allowing for three dimensional, functional movement, and eliminating the sharp starts and stops where most injury occurs.