The Arc Barrel with its gentle curve is ideal for positioning the body properly and is used for a wide variety of exercises. It is designed to lengthen, strengthen and improve posture while at the same time bring focus to the abdominals and deep stabilizing muscles.
Joseph called this large piece of Pilates equipment the Cadillac, because the word “Cadillac” conjures up imagines of swanky convertible cars with all the bells and whistles. It even has a trapeze. The Cadillac is also known as the Trapeze table (trap table). The Cadillac has evolved from Joseph’s earlier creation of what he called the Bednasium. He created this to help bed ridden patients exercise. His design was a hospital bed with it’s springs attached to a wall.
Other variations of the Cadillac are Vertical Frames and Towers.
The Cadillac is different to a Reformer in that is does not have a pulley system, and there is no carriage that moves back and forth. The Cadillac is stationery and has springs, which provide support, but also challenge.
The Cadillac really builds on strength and flexibility. It can assist in a sit-up position, but it can also challenge you in more acrobatic, gymnastic type exercises, by hanging upside down.
The STOTT Pilates Cadillac work, like the Matwork and Reformer, is a repertoire of exercises made up of the Essential, Intermediate and Advanced Cadillac.
The Essential Cadillac improves spinal articulation, deepens body awareness and efficiency, and supports and isolates movement. It helps you gain core stability, movement efficiency, and muscular balance, which are key elements of a fit and functional body.
Once you have mastered the Essential Cadillac, this program of movement patterns will encourage less reliance on the equipment for body support, and more confidence in pursuing greater strength and coordination. It challenges balance, deepens movement awareness and range, while continuing to improve spinal articulation, and torso strength.
The Advanced Cadillac is one of the most physically and mentally intense STOTT Pilates workouts yet. You will soar to new heights of core stability, movement efficiency and muscle balance, whilst always maintaining ultimate precision and form.
The Ladder Barrel is one of the simpler Pilates apparatus designs, but the exercises on it vary as much as any of the apparatus. The only resistance on the Ladder Barrel is that of gravity acting on the body. Posture is challenged as well as the many muscles that are engaged in activity.
The Ladder Barrel is a great way to challenge the body throughout all planes of movement. The exercises you learn can be incorporated into athletic performance enhancements or specialized rehabilitation programmes.
Many of the STOTT Pilates exercises learnt on the Mat or Reformer are similar or more challenging when performed on the Ladder Barrel, others prepare the body for the more challenging exercises on the Reformer.
A Reformer looks something like a bed. It has a carriage that moves, with ropes, straps, pulleys and springs that offer resistance.
Whilst Joseph Pilates was placed in forced internment in England at the outbreak of WW1, he began working with rehabilitating detainees who were suffering from diseases and injuries. The Reformer was invention born of necessity. Joseph was inspired to utilize items that were available to him, like bed springs and beer keg rings, to create resistance exercise equipment for his patients.
The STOTT Pilates Reformer work, like the Matwork is a repertoire of exercises made up of the Essential, Intermediate and Advanced Reformer work. The Five Basic Principles are applied to each and every exercise as in the Matwork.
The Reformer is more of an opportunity to do various movements through the arms and legs while stabilizing through the torso in either a lying, sitting, kneeling or standing position.
Modifications are included where necessary to accommodate certain weaknesses, address specific injuries and body types, as well as to make the exercises more challenging (often by decreasing the spring tension). Props and Accessory Boards are also added to Reformer workouts to completely change the workout and add in some fun and variety.
At Pilates with a View all the Reformers have vertical frames attached to them. This offers limitless exercise possibilities. This means that the Reformers are standard Reformers, a virtual Cadillac and a breakthrough multi-planar, biomechanics training tool.
The Reformer can be converted into a virtual Cadillac, by placing the mat converter on, creating a table/bed. The vertical frame has the anatomy of a Cadillac, that is, a roll-down bar, a push-thru bar, a safety chain, leg and arm springs. This means that most of the Cadillac exercises can be taught on the Reformer, except for those that require the horizontal bars (overhead bars).
The unit’s innovative vertical frame pulley system and exclusive retractable rope system replicates the free, multi-dimensional movements of daily life. Offering a wide range of exercise options to expand sport-specific programming with a full range of motion for overhead throws.
With an increased range of motion the Reformers with vertical frames become premier tools for Pilates based sport-specific, rehab and cross-training movement.
The Essential Reformer Repertoire is designed to establish a strong foundation on the Reformer. The focus is on torso stability but also on using spring resistance to help strengthen and tone the arms and legs The basic exercises are key to building strength and mobility while at the same time realigning and balancing the entire body. The Reformer helps us balance strength with flexibility, achieve agility, and increase stamina and coordination.
The Intermediate Reformer Repertoire is the next step once you have mastered the Essential Reformer programme. The complexity of Intermediate Reformer exercises can help you achieve a fit, strong and toned body. To get the most out of the Intermediate Reformer exercises, it is important you are able to perform the Essential Reformer exercises with confidence and control. In the Intermediate Reformer Repertoire the focus is now on maintaining balance and core stability, but with more complex exercises that challenge the neuromuscular system. A greater range of movement is explored, and increased performance is achieved with a great boost in stamina.
This Advanced Reformer programme is not for the faint hearted! It will help your body reach maximum potential, and will challenge even the most highly trained athlete. At this level we strengthen the entire body, increasing speed, intensity and maintaining fluidity without sacrificing form. Make sure you have mastered the majority of Intermediate level before starting this Advanced work, and gradually add the exercises building up to the more difficult ones
Reformer Accessory Boards/Props
As with the Matwork, the Reformer has various Accessory Boards/Props that can be added to completely change your workout, adding fun, variety and challenge.
The Jumpboard used with the Reformers spring resistance can offer you a total-body cardio and core programme. Boost your metabolism, increase strength and flexibility by adding heart-pumping moves that build strength and burn calories. This is a creative way to challenge and motivate yourself, by adding innovative and simple jumpboard combinations. Furthermore add variety and intensity by separating the Jumpboard moves, with intervals of upper and lower body strength and flexibility exercises. An excellent blend of Cardio and strength, this will challenge your core and total body strength as well as elevate your heart rate.
2. Cardio Tramp
The Cardio Tramp can be challenging and motivating. Used with the Reformers spring resistance it improves strength and stability. A combination of cardio interval segments and full-body conditioning will strengthen and tone muscles and improve everyday performance. Plyometric interval segments on the Cardio Tramp help to improve speed agility and power. The combinations of moves are interesting and engaging and provide exercisers of any level a host of physical benefits, including improved balance, coordination and body awareness
3. Rotational Disk board
The Rotational Disk boards can be used post rehabilitation to high-level athletes. It helps to access deep stabilizing muscles in the hips and shoulders, and challenges deep musculature with rotation. Added benefits are strengthening and stabilizing the back and abs, improving balance and coordination, and reducing the risk of sports injuries
4. Vinyasa Triangle
Yoga when combined with Pilates creates an innovative fusion workout that focuses on clarity of the mind, core stability, stamina and resilience. Help engage your muscles, heighten your body awareness and enhance the mind-body connection by performing exclusive ZENGA Flow movements on the Reformer.
By holding traditional Vinyasa Yoga postures against the spring-loaded resistance on the Reformer, you’re able to develope a high level of fitness through yoga movements.
The Spine Corrector is an essential Pilates tool that can be used to perform exercises lengthening and strengthening the torso, shoulders, back and legs, while correcting or restoring the spine’s natural curvature.
An ideal piece of equipment for aligning and mobilizing the spine, the Spine Corrector can also assist with improving posture, and can be used to prepare exercises for the larger pieces of equipment. It’s slanted platform with dense foam padding and smooth pale wooden handgrips provide comfort for clients while accommodating diverse exerciser needs.
The Pilates chair, or “Wunda Chair” as Joseph called it, is a powerful piece of Pilates exercise equipment. It’s small size belies it’s remarkable ability to build more stability, upper-body strength and lower-body power to improve performance in athletes, retrain the body after injury and increase overall physical condition.
The chair was originally designed as a home exercise machine for New York City apartments. Early designs converted easily from a chair you could sit on to a Wunda Chair you could exercise with. The equipment was very simple, consisting of a seat, pedal and springs that attached to the pedal to adjust the resistance.
Joseph incorporated the Pilates Chair into his Pilates system at his Eighth Avenue Studio in Manhattan, New York. He used the chair to rehabilitate clients with knee injuries and to train more advanced clients in full-bodied, acrobatic exercises.
Joe’s background in gymnastics was reflected most clearly in the chair exercises. Men often preferred this apparatus, because of it’s emphasis on upper-body strength.
Along with the Wunda Chair, Joe also designed a High Chair, which included pads to adjust the seat height, boards to align the legs when stepping up onto the seat, a back to keep the knees in line with the toes, and handles to assist a client in the more challenging exercises. Key elements of the High Chair, such as the handles, have made it into today’s chairs, while other elements are used less often.
After Joe’s death, the chair fell into disuse, as most of the Students who carried on his work focused on the Mat, the Reformer and the Cadillac.
As the popularity of Pilates has grown, interest in the chair has revived, and many innovation have been added to the simple machine that Joe built.
A split pedal allows for reciprocal (opposite) action of the limbs, as in walking and climbing.
The chairs height on some models matches that of the Cadillac enabling beginner or injured clients to use the table’s support for more challenging exercises.
The number of springs on some chairs has increased from two to four, offering a wider range of resistance options.
The Stability Chair is available to suite any need, from post rehabilitation to athletic conditioning to small-group training. Programming and exercise options have expanded turning the chair into a full-body conditioning machine.
Unlike moves on the Reformer or Mat, most Chair exercises are performed while standing or sitting, which provides an excellent environment for functional and athletic training for clients of any level of ability. This makes the chair a choice Pilates entry point for men and women used to “feeling the burn”, as well as for deconditioned clients needing to develop basic strength, coordination and balance.
The STOTT Pilates Stability Chair work, like the Matwork, Reformer, and Cadillac is a repertoire of exercises made up of the Essential, Intermediate and Advanced Stability Chair.
The Essential Stability Chair repertoire helps challenge and improve torso stability, and facilitate movements in many different positions. The Stability Chairs used at Pilates with a View have pedals that split to allow for reciprocal (opposite) movement. Split pedal exercises also allow you to work the arms and legs bilateral (together) and unilaterally (separately).
Intermediate Stability Chair
The Intermediate Stability Chair repertoire offers challenges in several ways. For some exercises the challenge comes from increasing the resistance, while others are more difficult when decreasing the resistance. Overall the aim is to challenge the strength and flexible of the whole body by making the movement sequences more complex and decreasing the base of support. Once the Essential exercises have been mastered and a good deal of body awareness, stability and strength has been gained, some of the intermediate exercises can be introduced.
Advanced Stability Chair
The Advanced Stability Chair exercises are designed to challenge the neuromuscular system in a variety of ways. This level builds on the Intermediate exercises with more complex and integrated movement sequences that test the body’s strength, stability and agility. The advanced exercises are done in relatively unsupported positions. The Advanced Stability Chair exercises should only be tried once you are able to perform the Intermediate exercises with confidence and control.