If you've read my previous post and decided that you have the space and desire to add pilates equipment to your at-home gym, here are some suggestions of equipment to buy. This selection is based on what takes up the least amount of space, yet offers the most possible exercises.
If you want a reformer and really have the space for one, why not get a reformer/tower combination unit? They both take up the same amount of space (the heights are different obviously) and you can get a lot more use out of a combo unit than just one reformer or one tower.
A Reformer/Tower is the best, most versitile piece of equipment to get, and you should have no problem reselling it in the future if need be. If you have the money and the space, get one.
The best bet is to buy the brand you have the most practice with.
Don't be fooled into buying a reformer with a million footbar positions or a reformer that folds up and goes in the corner. Stick with the design most like Joe's original plans, and you'll be satisifed.
If you plan to order a metal Gratz unit, know that while it is a superior brand, they are extremely heavy and cannot be easily moved once in place.
Small Barrel or Spine Corrector
If you have limited space, a small barrel gives a lot of "bang for the buck".
You can do the Short Box Series, 2nd Long Box, leg work, arm work, mat work, and stretches on these harmless looking little guys.
Peak makes a cool Barrel called the Instep Barrel, which is a Spine Corrector with removable barrel. This piece would give you the most exercise possibilities. If you're trying to keep costs down, I suggest ordering a Small Barrel. Ask your instructor which barrel height is best for your body.
Different brands have different names for these barrels, so you'll have to search the sites for the right ones.
The Chair definitely high on the list for pieces of home-pilates equipment because that's why Joseph Pilates originally designed it. He created as a Reformer for a NYC apartment. The chair is widely considered to be one of the first pieces of home exercise equipment.
Since it is a reformer for the home, most reformer exercises can be done on the chair similar to the ways they are done on the reformer. There are also many moves unique to the chair.
You could buy a simple Wunda Chair, or for even more versitility, buy the Electric Chair. Peak makes a nice electric chair that has a back piece that can be removed while leaving the handles on, for even more possibilities.
While the physioball is not really pilates equipment, it is so useful and amazing on its own. So many reformer exercises can be adapted to the ball, its really cool. The ball rocks the abdominals and legs, and you can do great back extensions as well.
Balls can be ordered from many online sites, or bought at any sporting goods store. Ask your instructor which size ball is best for your body.