The Pilates Reformer is one of the most recognizable and popular pieces of equipment. It is also the most user-friendly apparatus and great for rehabilitation from injuries, as a lot of exercises can be performed in a non-weight-bearing position, facilitating stability and balanced muscle recruitment. Reformer's design helps your body to find length and space and build strength whilst working under spring tension. The reformer readily accommodates full ranges of motion, with a wide range of body positions and resistance options to provide a workout perfectly tailored to your needs.
Wunda Chair is another piece of equipment with adjustable spring resistance designed by Joseph Pilates. It is much more compact and therefore provides only a narrow base of support which increases the physical and technical challenge of exercises. The Chair challenges your stability, balance and control in many positions: standing, kneeling and lying, and requires considerable mind-body focus and concentration.
The Pilates Springboard is the simplest of Pilates apparatus, yet extremely versatile, as it brings the functionality and allows for modifications to exercises performed on other large equipment, like Reformer and Cadillac. It was not designed by Joseph Pilates himself, but by a contemporary teacher Ellie Hardman.
It is essentially a plywood board attached to the wall, with a vertical row of metal loops running down both sides. Attached to the loops are the springs, which can go up and down, depending on a person's dimensions and exercise focus. While the springs may appear similar to those on the Reformer, the workout is very different.
First, each limb works independently, carrying its own weight. Think about the difference between lifting a barbell vs. two dumbells. Most of us are stronger on one side so we feel that difference and any imbalances immediately. Second, the position of springs is completely different than in reformer, which affects the pull of the springs significantly. The combination of the added instability of working independently in each limb, and the stronger pull of the springs makes the springboard experience pretty special. You will have to work harder to stabilize, challenging the core, whilst strengthening the hip and shoulder girdle.
With today’s hectic lifestyle and often being seated for long periods of time, Pilates is a great option both in terms of your physical wellbeing and your mental health.
It really is the ultimate workout for your body and mind.