You will absolutely love your first visit to a pilates studio!
At first sight, a pilates studio might seem an intimidating place to visit. The equipment will be unfamiliar and you may think that you lack the skills to use it without feeling awkward or looking foolish.
Nothing could be further from reality. Pilates studios are always friendly welcoming places where pilates instructors will work with you so that you get the very best out of every session. And those machines that look like they belong in torture chambers? You will count the days to your next session such are the benefits they will bring to your posture, core strength and well-being.
Welcome to the world of The Reformer, The Spine Corrector Barrel and The Cadillac. The Low Chair, The High Chair and The Pedipull!
The Reformer consists of a series of springs, straps and pulleys on a frame with a gliding platform, not unlike that of a rowing machine.
It is used to tone and strengthen core muscle groups and can be used to perform over 100 different pilates exercises.
The Cadillac (pictured above) or Trapeze Table was the first piece of pilates equipment developed by Joseph Pilates and was originally used with bed-ridden patients recovering from the 1918 flu pandemic.
Given the limited resources available to Joseph Pilates at the time, The Cadillac was developed using old hospital beds and to this day the frame resembles a four poster bed.
Various poles, bars, springs and straps hang from its frame, allowing around 80 different exercises to be performed.
It is particularly good at strengthening back and abdominal muscles and will improve your flexibility too.
And don't be put off by its nickname - The Rack!
The Spine Corrector Barrel
Imagine a wooden barrel cut in half and then covered with a padded material and you will have a good idea of what a spine corrector or arc barrel looks like.
It is used to support the back, shoulders, hips, thighs and neck while performing certain Pilates stretching exercises.
The Pedipull is a piece of pilates equipment not unlike a traditional wall mounted pulley machine with weights.
It features two parallel spring attachments with handles hanging from a T-shaped pole which is bolted to a wall.
As well as toning and strengthening the upper body, it is used for improving posture and spinal realignment.
The High Chair And The Low Chair
When Joseph Pilates first designed his pilates chair, he wanted to create a piece of exercise equipment that doubled as a piece of furniture. Hence the idea of a chair.
The low chair (often called the Wunda chair) is more akin to a stool while the high chair resembles a wooden chair complete with back.
Despite its name, it was not designed solely for sit down exercising and its versatility is one reason for its popularity in pilates studios.
Finding a Pilates Studio near you
Pilates studios equipped with specialist exercise equipment can be found all over the UK. Our Pilates Studio And Class Directory will point you in the right direction.