When people talk about a Pilates machine, they're usually referring to the reformer, the most well known Pilates machine.
However, there's actually quite a range of different pieces of equipment available. The full range would have to include all of the following:
- Trapeze tables
- Arcs and Barrels
- Wall Unit
- Fletcher Tower
Trapeze Tables, Cadillacs and Half Trapezes are all somewhat similar, they consist of various combinations of bars built over a table. These Pilates machines allow you to do everything from push ups to advanced acrobatic moves on the bars.
The Reformer, the most famous item used in the activity, is a moving carriage that allows you to perform low impact, resistance based exercises, in a variety of positions - sitting, kneeling, standing and lying down.
Developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, there are reckoned to be in excess of 500 different exercises that you can perform on the Reformer. Although it looks pretty complex, the core of the system is the gliding platform which allows you to move around and use the springs, straps and pulleys.
Reformers are found in all good studios, and increasingly in the home. Although they are both expensive and bulky, for the true aficionado who has the budget and the space, they make a fantastic addition to your home gym.