Working out in a Pilates studio can differ from a mat class. In a studio, there is a whole range of Classical Pilates apparatus you can use to push your body further. Today, I’d like to introduce the tools you’ll find at VIPilates studio in Four Oaks and explain just how these wonderful apparatuses can deepen your practice.
A History of Classical Pilates Apparatus
Before we delve into each individual apparatus, let’s take a brief look at the history. The inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, preferred the term apparatus when referring to his inventions. You won’t hear us referring to them as equipment or machines because as Romana Kryzanowska, a protege of Joseph Pilates, said: A machine moves you. Pilates is the other way around. You and the apparatus work together.
The apparatuses in the studio have springs inside, which Joseph Pilates referred to as extra muscles. Working these extra muscles strengthens your body from the inside out and helps to correct imbalances he first observed in users during their mat work. In fact, the exercises you’ll perform on the Classical Pilates apparatus in the studio echo the mat work. This is why having a foundational understanding of the mat and the work we do in mat classes benefits your work on apparatus in the studio.
Classical Pilates Apparatus in the VIPilates studio
The VIPilates studio based in Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield is filled with state-of-the-art Gratz Pilates apparatus. Let’s look at some of the apparatus you’ll find in the studio when you attend a group apparatus mat class:
This is a raised benchlike system of springs and pulleys that provide support to the body and provide resistance. It aids in strengthing, stretching and teaching control whilst creating balance. The reformer is key to developing your Pilates skills and It might look a little intimidating, but it’s key to developing your Pilates skills. The Reformer also features shoulder blocks and a foot bar.
This large piece of apparatus is often called a Trapeze Table, a name given to it for its overhead bars, providing space to swing from. The Cadillac provides a wide repertoire of exercises and can double up as a mat. You’ll find thousands of videos of Pilates instructors making this apparatus their own and developing new exercises that push the body further.
Don’t get confused, we won’t be taking a break just yet! The chairs you’ll find in the studio, the Wunda, the High Chair and the Baby Chair are not for putting your feet up and lounging in front of the telly. Each chair affords itself to a different type of activity meant to push the body forward and your practice deeper. The chairs feature heavily in our Cadillac and Chairs Pilates package. You’ll use chairs for strengthening and balancing the hips, glutes and legs, for restoring proper balance and for addressing issues with upper body strength, too.
Also called the wall unit, the tower is half Cadillac and half High Mat. You can practice all the exercises from the Cadillac on the Tower, apart from those that require the overhead bars.
The High Mat
With handles and a foot strap, this mat is great for exercises that open the chest and shoulders. You’ll also find support on the High Mat when during roll up exercises and stability when performing leg circles.
The Magic Circle
This apparatus is used to strengthen the Powerhouse (your core), arms, legs and glutes. It creates more stability in the body by engaging your Powerhouse when it is hugged correctly.
Just like the chairs, you’ll find various barrels in the studio, each curved in a way that is meant to correct the imbalances that happen in the body due to gravity and bad habits. Your instructor will walk you through exercises on the barrels that are meant to strengthen and stretch your body.
The Toe Corrector
This petite apparatus restores the toes to working function and helps to strengthen your seat muscles. With loops over your big toes, you’ll stretch the springs taut, an auction that strengthens that supporting muscles in the entire foot.
When you’re ready to take your practice to the next level and are looking for classical Pilates classes in the West Midlands, come visit us at the VIPilates studio. You’ll find a tailored workout suited to your fitness level and one that addresses your individual needs.