Picture of Trapeze.

Reformer with tower

Picture of Reformer with tower.

It is often said that the pilates matwork is only half of the pilates methodology, the other half uses the large equipment, such as the reformer, cadillac, wunda chair and ladder barrel.

Teachers also often get asked which is best or what’s the difference between mat classes and the equipment? The answer is that they complement each other.

The reformer and cadillac (also known as the ‘trapeze’), use springs to provide variable resistance to your workout. This is different to gym equipment which uses a constant weight to move against. As the springs shorten and lengthen to give that varying resistance your body has to make small adjustments to respond, a bit like it does when you are moving in space against the natural forces of gravity in everyday life, except the springs provide a different force and direction of force to gravity.

Sometimes the springs can help you to achieve an exercise that you just can’t do (yet) on the mat. For other exercises, the feedback and resistance of the springs can make an exercise more challenging and you can get stronger. You can then take the feeling of the resistance on the equipment into your regular matwork.

Another benefit of using the equipment is that you have the framework of the equipment to help with the alignment of your whole body and for me to check your alignment against that framework.

In my home studio, I can offer 1:1’s and 2:1’s using the pilates reformer tower and reformer cadillac as shown above.