There are two ways to exercise the Pilate’s way: using a mat and using equipment. The mat is great for learning the basic exercises and in combination with using equipment to elevate your exercise to the intermediate or advanced Pilates levels. It is good to use the mat exercises in combination with Pilate’s equipment to make the most of strengthening your body while becoming fit. This article will give you basic information about some of the equipment used in the Pilates method of exercising.
Pilates equipment includes the barrels, MVe chair, other chairs, combination systems, mats, Ped-o-Pul, reformer, and also sandbag sets. All of these pieces of equipment are designed to help with resistance.
While the mat is also a piece of equipment and it can give you an excellent workout the other pieces of equipment are designed to compliment the mat by allowing for strengthening of your limbs (arms and legs), creating long, lean muscles and to help you gain control over your movements.
The reformer is used to help you to develop good spine alignment, to gain core strength, and to become more flexible. Did you know that there are several types of reformers? There is the “classic reformer”. Most reformers are made from wood and some are made from metal. There are straps that are made of either leather or ropes. Sometimes the reformers have legs and some reformers do not have legs. Other parts of the reformer include the springs, footbar, and a gear system. The part where your body goes is called the “carriage”. You move the carriage by pushing against the foot bar, or by pulling on the straps (or ropes) at the other end. You do exercises on the reformer by lying down, sitting, kneeling or even standing.
Pilate’s equipment can help you when you are in need of rehabbing from an injury. An injury requires that you improve upon a weakened muscle, regain strength in that muscle and or destabilize the injured area. Pilate’s equipment is perfect for strength training especially the springs. Using Pilate’s equipment you can easily regain functional movement after an injury. When injured you may not be able to do things that are needed to function in everyday life such as bending over, lying down, sitting, twisting your waist in order to turn from side to side, and of course walking. The equipment used in Pilates can duplicate the movements used in these daily functions in a safe way to get your injured muscles strong and flexible again.
Your Pilate’s instructor can help show you how to use each piece of equipment safely and effectively. You will advance from using just the mat to using the other pieces of equipment as you advance through the Pilate levels.