The Reformer is a resistance training machine designed by Joseph Pilates and is the most commonly used Pilates machine. It consists of a platform that glides back and forth along a carriage using an 8-wheel suspension system to provide a smooth and quite ride. Resistance is added using a spring tension system that can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of exercises. The Reformer is great for closed chain exercises, such as a squat, lunge or push up, where your hands and feet are in a constant fixed position. Closed chain exercises improve functional fitness by imitating movements we do in our daily life. In addition to building functional support, closed chain exercises work many muscle groups at once and they are safer for your joints, especially your knees which can be stabilized on the Reformer while strengthening.
The Trapeze Table
Our Pilates studio has a Trapeze Table, also known as the Cadillac, which comes with all the bells & whistles you could want in one machine. It looks like a four-post bed with various moving parts (leg springs, arm springs, a push through bar to stretch you out and a hanging trapeze) to challenge or assist your movements. Joseph Pilates designed it during World War 1 to help rehabilitate bed-ridden soldiers. The Cadillac is an incredibly versatile machine that is suitable for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced Pilates student. It allows you to challenge yourself in a variety of different positions and offers a nearly infinite progression of exercises.
The Wunda Chair
Joseph Pilates designed the Wunda Chair for a friend who wanted a Reformer, but didn’t have enough space in his New York apartment. Many exercises using the chair are performed in a seated or standing position. The chair is a box with a pedal on one side that can be pressed down against the resistance of springs. Sometimes the pedal is divided into two parts that can be worked independently. At Ray Pilates, we use the split pedal chair to strengthen individual limbs and tackle asymmetries in the body. The split pedal chair also creates the opportunity for fluid rotations through the spine.
In addition to the Pilates equipment, our studio in Toronto also uses many small balance and resistance props including:
• Jumpbooards for the Reformer (great for adding a little cardio into your workout)
• Foam Rollers
• Orange Acupressure Ball
• Free weights
• Rotator Discs
• Sitfit Discs