A Quick Guide To Pilates Equipment

For new Pilates students, Pilates equipment can look slightly scary…

As Pilates is a completely unique form of exercise it is unlikely that you will have encountered anything similar before you start.

So it’s understandable that you may be slightly nervous about starting Pilates…

One of the biggest reasons people avoid Pilates is simply because they don’t know what it’s all about and don’t understand how it could work for them.

If you’re a beginner Pilates student or you’re wondering how Pilates could help you we have lots of help and advice available at Yoga Harmony.

Here’s a quick guide to Pilates equipment that you will find in our studio:


yoga harmony pilates equipment reformerThe most commonly used piece of Pilates equipment that you’ll see in every studio and every bendy Pilates Instagram photo.

The Reformer was designed by Joseph Pilates to test the natural resistance of the body and strengthen muscles that are overworked or under used.

Your Pilates teacher will use this equipment to carefully assess and correct the imbalances in your body which affect your posture and your alignment.

As all the resistance is created by your own body weight and power there is very little risk of injury


yoga harmony pilates equipment cadillacUnlike the reformer which helps you to gain control of your whole body the Cadillac is focused on specific problem areas of your body.

Exercises that are directed on this piece of equipment will focus heavily on building strength in your limbs and engaging your core muscles.

The Cadillac is a key piece of equipment for toning muscles, stretching out your spine and strengthening your core.

Each handle, loop or bar is attached to the Cadillac by springs which test your resistance and build your strength.

Although it looks like an adult jungle gym, this is a serious piece of equipment that can really boost your flexibility and strength.

Wunda chair

One of the more advanced pieces of Pilates equipment is the Wunda Chair, which is used to help students learn how to control their own strength and correct imbalances in their bodies.

The exercise routines performed with this piece of equipment are similar to the ones performed with the assistance of the reformer.

The big difference though, is that the Wunda Chair has a much smaller surface area and there is a big change in resistance which pushes the student much further physically.

Spine Corrector

Pilates is a great way to deal with back pain, but it is not only our backs which get a work out in a Pilates class.

Pilates focusing on your whole body, meaning that although some apparatus may have specific names they still deliver an all over physical experience.

Not only does this piece of Pilates equipment strengthen tired and aching back muscles it also works on your torso and legs.

Ladder Barrel

yoga harmony pilates equipment ladder barrelThe best way to strengthen back muscles is through back extension exercises which release tensions in the back and prevent knots from forming in tired muscles.

The ladder barrel is probably the best piece of Pilates equipment to use if you want to work on your back and your flexibility.

No other piece of equipment offers such a full stretching experience for your back muscles.

Although as Pilates works with your own strength and resistance you do not have to be incredibly flexible to feel the benefits of work on a ladder barrel.

Pilates is about building strength through repetition and progression so all the equipment is designed to work with you as you grow and improve your fitness and flexibility.

Obviously everybody has a different body and you will not know how Pilates can work for you until you try a class.

If you are nervous about starting Pilates or you have injuries you think may prevent you from practising, contact your local Pilates studio for advice before trying any classes.

Unlike yoga it is not advisable to start Pilates without a qualified instructor supervising.

So make sure you are always in a safe and supported environment.

If you have any questions please leave them for us in the comments below…