The apparatus created by Joseph Pilates often illicit surprise and skepticism.
The Cadillac (also known as the Trapeze Table), Reformer, Chair, Barrel, Spine corrector, Foot corrector, etc., are each an expression of the genius of Joseph Pilates. They are completely unique apparatus, meant only for practicing Pilates.
He created them to allow his students to gain core strength and better understand how to move on the mat, which is the ultimate expression of the method. They enable the practitioner to feel connections through the body and to understand the sense of grounding and balance in relationship to the body’s centre of gravity, all of which is difficult to integrate on the mat.
The simple mechanics of the apparatus allows for infinite variations of movements. First, they assist the movement and then provide resisitance in a relevant way. Clara Pilates was known to say, “You do not work on the apparatus, but with it.”
Each one works as a partner, allowing the body to organize itself and execute movement in a more efficient way. The apparatus are not weight machines — the goal is not to increase pushing force but to correctly place the body to do any given movement. Working with the apparatus also facilitates neuromuscular integration of balanced movement.
The complementary nature of the apparatus and the mat exercises makes the Pilates method a full-body movement system, which allows for postural transformation and radical change in the way one moves.
The springs are attached to the body (on the hands or feet), or to wooden bars (Roll-down bar, Push Through bar, Tower bar). Acrobatic movements can be practiced on the Cadillac.
This carriage on wheels is equipped with straps and handles and is anchored with springs (4 or 5, depending on the brand), the number of which varies depending on the exercise.
The posture of the body is guided during the exercises and stretches done on the barrel.
Originally made as pieces of home gym equipment, they can literally become chairs if turned on their side. When in working position, the chair can be used seated, standing, lying down, and is particularly effective to work on strengthening legs, with adjustable springs that connect the movable pedal to the chair’s structure.
A variation of the Cadillac.