What is Pilates?
"Pilates or Physical Mind method, is a series of non-impact exercises designed by Joseph Pilates to develop strength, flexibility, balance and inner awareness."
"Pilates is a system of physical conditioning involving low-impact exercises and stretches designed to strengthen muscles of the torso and often performed with specialized equipment."
The Six Pilates Principles
Control: All Pilates exercise are done with complete muscular control, the muscles working to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs - thereby controlling the movement of the body and the apparatus. Control, rather than intensity or repetition, is key to performing the exercises correctly.
Concentration: By focusing on your mind-body awareness, and bringing full attention to the exercise itself and doing it with commitment, maximum value will be achieved from each movement. It is better to do each Pilates exercise slowly and precisely, than with incorrect posture or form.
Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the centre of the body, the 'powerhouse' area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Pilates exercises are sourced from the centre, and this helps the muscles function and develop more efficiently.
Flow: Each Pilates motion should be smooth and graceful, creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina.
Precision: Precision is essential. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, with the aim of precision to eventually become second nature and carry over into everyday life.
Breathing: Pilates attempts to properly coordinate breathing with movement. Controlling the breath with deep exhalations as you perform each exercise helps activate muscles and keep you focused.
The Pilates Reformer
When you see a Pilates Reformer for the first time, you may ask yourself "What is a Pilates Reformer?" Pilates Reformers can be similar in concept but differ for purpose. These are sometimes referred to as a “Pilates Machine”, and are regarded as one of the most versatile pieces of Pilate’s equipment to promote health and wellbeing. These are specifically useful for those wanting to develop core body strength and achieve a lean body. In our reformer’s case, they provide a controlled style of exercise, which is highly beneficial to overcoming a physical weakness, or recovery from an accident that has caused some level of debilitation in movement.
In general, the Pilates Reformer is suitable for all ages, and all levels of fitness, and is extremely popular in group classes and Pilates studios for general fitness and wellbeing. The Pilates Reformer is also used by dancers to improve balance, flexibility, strength, control and breathing. It is especially useful for rehabilitation, and from the original intent of the equipment (invented and promoted by Joseph Pilates), qualified physiotherapists throughout the world provide controlled routines to their clients targeting the recovery of specific injuries. Many leading back specialists endorse the Pilates method as the therapy of choice to reduce or eliminate the need for surgery and/or to assist in rehabilitation post-surgery. Here our equipment will suit you best.
Our Pilates Reformers are designed for traditional Pilates and rehabilitation. These are not for the purpose of high spring resistance jump exercises, but for focused and controlled cardio sessions that develop core strength and individual control.
What is a Pilates Reformer?
Basically, a Pilates Reformer is a device where a sliding carriage is suspended on a smooth gliding track within a solid rectangular frame. The sliding carriage has a range of different strength springs beneath that are connected to one end of the rectangular frame, and these provide the resistance aspect of the exercise. Depending on your requirement, you can attach one to any number of the springs to achieve the targeted amount of resistance required. At the end where the springs are attached, we call this the foot-end of the reformer.
At the opposing end of the reformer, we call this the head-end of the unit. Affixed to the end are points where pulleys are positioned on what are known as the pulley risers. In our case, all our reformers come with removable pulley risers. Via these pulley points, you can feed exercise ropes from the carriage, through the pulleys, and back to the user [with handles to operate]. These handles are used by the user for either their hands or feet; depending on the exercise being undertaken.
What the Reformer does is to allow the body to exercise a full range of motion for arms and legs, while stabilizing the torso to allow idealized muscle isolation. This Pilates machine not only allows the user to tense and tone muscles, but also stretches the muscles to their full natural extent. This technique builds very toned, but extremely lean body sculpting. The Reformer makes for one of the best Pilates equipment selections.
There are many benefits to the Pilates Reformer in terms of the flexibility that it encourages. And because the Reformer allows the joints to use their full range of motion without stressing them unnaturally, it increases the blood flood to the joint issues and helps to increase the ability of the joint to flex over time. Also, using the Pilates Reformer movements, helps to relieve stored tension in the back, shoulders, hips and neck.
What Pilates Reformer options are available?
Pilates Health Equipment distributes a range of Pilates Reformer machines in either timber or aluminium. So whether you prefer the more classical look of our timber Pilates Reformer models, or our contemporary Aluminium Pilates Reformer models, all units are beautifully constructed; providing maximum durability and safety; offering a smooth and quiet carriage ride. With all our Reformer models, you will not hear any loud spring tensioning noises. Our units offers exceptional versatility to accommodate people of all different body shapes, heights and fitness abilities.
There are many different exercises that can be performed using the Pilates Reformer. If you are looking for exercises specifically targeted to the Reformer, Pilates Health Equipment are pleased to refer you to Pilates Anytime.
For the more advanced Pilates enthusiasts, the Pilates Reformer can also come as a Combination Unit; for example, as a timber model Pilates Reformer with Half Trapeze and Pilates Reformer with Full Trapeze. All these units provide the added benefit to the user of being able to perform both Reformer and Trapeze type exercises, and are perfect for any studio or individual wishing to save on space.
Most of the Reformer models supplied by Pilates Health Equipment come with long box, solid jump board, tiered springgear, multiple carriage stop positions, quick release footbar, removable shoulder rests, removable pulley risers, padded headrest providing three elevation positions [two above the carriage and one level with the carriage], and a built in standing platform with a non-slip surface for safety.
So, what can a Pilates Machine do for you?
— Improve and maintain posture
— Improve and maintain balance and coordination
— Improve and maintain flexibility of muscles and joints
— Improve and maintain pelvic floor control
— Strengthen core postural muscles, including the back, abdominals and buttocks, which is especially useful in the rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.
— Develop muscle tone and a balanced body without building muscle bulk.
— Assist in weight loss and cardiovascular conditioning
— Develop concentration, focus and body-mind connection
The Pilates Reformer is a true masterpiece of resistance exercise equipment.
Please go to our Online Store to see the extensive range of Reformers;
in Canadian Maple Timber and Aluminium.
Other Pilates Equipment Available by Pilates Health Equipment
Light spring resistance is also incorporated into many of the Pilates equipment designs offered by Pilates Health Equipment; for example, our Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table and Wall Unit. These work in the manner of concentric and eccentric muscle contraction, causing the muscles to shorten and then lengthen while they are being used. Other selections of Pilates Equipment provide support during exercise that allows the user a safe way to place the body into the correct positions while isolating certain muscle groups; for example, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector and ARC Barrels.
In Pilates, there is a wide variety of Pilates equipment pieces that can be used for general exercise, rehabilitatory use, through to advance acrobatics. Depending on your goals, and/or medical requirements, there are Pilates equipment solutions to meet your needs.
Our Pilates equipment range, available both online and instore, includes, but is not limited to, our Pilates Reformers, Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table, Wall Unit [both Pilates machine and wall bar type], Pilates Chairs [also referred to as Wunda chairs], Ladder Barrel, Spine Correctors, and various accessories; such as Pilates Long/Short Boxes, Magic Circles/Pilates Ring, Fitness Ball. Also available is a broad range of spare parts; including Pilates Reformer ropes, various looped handles [single and double loops], Pilates Reformer replacement springs [sold in sets], Trapeze spring sets [carefully matched pairs using highly accurate test/pairing equipment], sliding carriage replacement wheels and bearings, replacement head / shoulder rests, and much more.
The Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table
Another most comprehensive Pilates equipment piece is our Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table. The Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table can be used for rehabilitation purposes, general strengthening, and for advanced acrobatics. The Pilates Cadillac | Trapeze Table foundation is of a strong base table that supports an overhead trapeze mechanism that has a large variety of exercise options associated to it. For rehabilitation, the exercises performed on the Trapeze Table can incorporate light spring assisted movements to begin the recovery process. Varying spring strengths and lengths allow for a progression of advancement from beginner to advanced user. For overhead trapeze exercises, the overhead bars need to be of a heavier design than what is used for the uprights. All of Pilates Health Equipment's Trapeze Table models are made from the strongest stainless steel, beautifully polished, with a heavy wall thickness that minimises deflection under acrobatic use.
The timber work of our Pilates equipment has been beautifully crafted for maximum stability. The table frame is constructed of Canadian Maple; which is dense and solid, and highly resistant to impact. The overhead sliding horizontal crossbar has a protective rubber coating for safe grip. Its nylon bushes ensure a smooth movement from one position to the next. Spring lock knobs secure the vertical crossbar in position. Sliding to the next position results in a positive lock that is easily found. This cross bar is also rubber coated for safe contact. All poles and cross bars are made out of polished stainless steel, with securing bolts being also made of stainless steel. The push through bar is of aluminium with a durable synthetic leather cover. The push through bar is light and rigid. All springs are purpose-built for smooth and quiet operation, being supplied in a long and medium length, with medium and light spring resistance.
Our Pilates Chairs, known as our Combo Chair / Wunda chair, have two variants. The first version, our Combo Chair with Solid Base, is distinguished by the base of the frame being timber. The second version, our Combo Chair with Steel Frame, provides an alternate appearance with a beautifully fabricated steel base frame with rubber footing to provide flooring surface protection. Both of these Pilates chairs have a comprehensive spring connection capability, with a spring storage point to maintain unused springs on the pedal when not being used. Both are equally rigid in design, and both have wheels located at the back of the Pilates chair, to assist moving from one position to another.
Another piece of Pilates equipment piece is our Ladder Barrel. The Pilates Health Equipment have two different types of Ladder Barrels, which have been designed to provide easy mounting [via lower frame platforms], and offer durability for long period use, with nicely textured surfaces for encouraging safe grip, and comfortable surfaces for the longest exercise sessions. The distance between the ARC and the ladder can be adjusted to suit the individual's requirements. The Ladder Barrel is extremely stable, but can also be easily moved.
To support our range of Pilates Reformer machines and equipment, a full range of after-sales support solutions and spare parts are available. Depending on location, support services can be arranged to visit your studio to review and service your Pilates equipment. Our Australian warehouse holds a broad range of supporting parts, including, but not limited to:
— Reformer spring sets;
— Reformer wheel kits, replacement wheels, replacement wheel bearings;
— Reformer exercise ropes & pulleys;
— Hand loops [double/ single, comfy, padded], "D" Handles, all with "D" ring connector;
— Reformer replacement head and shoulder rests;
— Trapeze Springs matched pairs, in extra long, long, medium and short lengths. Including light, medium, and heavy spring options;
— Pilates chair replacement springs; and
— Many screw and bolts, various small fittings.
Please go to our Online Store to view our extensive range of Pilates Equipment.
We sincerely hope you enjoy visiting our site, and we thank you for your interest
in our Pilates Reformers and Pilates Equipment, and look forward to being of assistance to you.