A Cadillac was in Joseph Pilates hay day a big convertible car with flashy fins, electric windows and fancy hub caps. It stood for the all-American dream such as freedom, comfort, innovation and luxury galore. That is why Pilates named this piece of equipment he invented the Cadillac and it is also referred to in the industry as the cadi. It is big and comfortable and has all the bells and whistles you could possibly wish for. There are so many elements to this piece of equipment such as leg springs, arm springs, fuzzy loops to hang from, a push-through bar to stretch you out, and even a trapeze to perform some circus tricks. You can isolate almost every muscle group on the machine. It is an excellent tool for breaking down motion into small sections to restore correct motion patterns in the body. Using the leg springs is one of the best ways to get runners to fully use their hamstrings. Because the Cadillac is such a large piece of equipment it is rarely used in group classes. So the best way to experience this machine is in private sessions. The Pilates Cadillac is an extremely virtuous piece of equipment and like all the other Pilates equipment can be used to progress or regress movement in order to address the functional needs of the advanced student as well as the enthusiastic beginner.
The Reformer equipment found in a Pilates studio defines itself – It reformers your body. Workouts consist of controlled flowing movements, working your muscles through a full range of motion with added resistance. This is achieved through the clever design of this piece of equipment. Springs, pulleys, leverage, angles, pace and your own body weight are used as a resistance mechanism while performing movements targeting specific muscle groups. By working to overcome this resistance, training results in increased fitness levels, muscular endurance and a beautiful toned body. Muscles have to exert force to overcome resistance. As a result increased muscle fibre accurse, endurance develops and connective tissue is strengthened. Muscle endurance enables you to perform everyday tasks effortless without quick fatigue setting in. Another benefit is improved lean muscle tone. Muscles are stretched and lengthened out rather than becoming heavy and bulky.
Pilate’s exercises are all about improving your core strength. Core muscles include all of the muscles of your mid-section including your abdominal muscles (front, side, and deep) low-mid back muscles and all of the hip muscles (glutes, hip flexors and pelvic floor muscles). Exercising on the Reformer requires proper body form and technique. The focus of proper positioning is within the core, abdomen and lower back muscles. By conditioning the core muscles, they will contract with all movements to stabilize and align your spine. A strong core (we also call it your powerhouse), will increase the effectiveness of all exercises due to your ability to maintain proper alignment. Core strength increases your ability to generate power to your muscles and decreases the risk of injury.
The Wunda Chair
It is not difficult to see why this classic piece of equipment is called the Wunda chair. It’s so named because it works wonders for your body. Being one of the traditional and “mysterious” pieces of Joseph Pilates it should be part of any well-equipped Pilates studio. Although it is evolving and changing shape lately due to it becoming very popular in mainstream fitness studios it still remains a mean piece of resistance equipment to train your core muscles for balance, stability, strength, coordination and flexibility. It’s designed to isolate and work on a certain muscle group at a time and to enhance the mind-body connection. It is imperative that whiles performing your exercise your mind is focused on your movements. A highlight of the Wunda Chair is that everybody can workout on this machine. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, pregnant or suffering from high blood pressure, osteoporosis or sinusitis. The exercises you can perform with the Wunda Chair can be modified according to your needs.
Other innovating pieces of equipment from Joseph Pilates are the various Barrels. They take on different names like, small barrel, baby barrel, arch barrel or the ladder barrel etc. However, whatever you decide to call them they remain Barrels full of fun. They were designed to develop and align the spine. Its function is to decompress the spine, promote flexibility between each vertebra and also to stabilize and strengthen the muscles supporting the spine. Each one of us has a healthy natural alignment in their spine but our daily tasks and work tends to destroy it. We sit incorrectly behind our desk on chairs and couches. We pick up heavy objects incorrectly and very quickly our natural alignment of the spine is disturbed. A healthy spine is central to a healthy mind soul and body. Speak to any person suffering from acute spinal pain on a daily basis and you will quickly understand the suffering and misery they have to deal with. Your healthy spine enables you to move and breathe easily and powerfully. It provides the central support for your body’s limbs and organs. The exercises on the Barrels are designed to correct poor posture, open and stretch the chest, lengthen and strengthen the hips and hip flexors. It massages the lower back, stretches and balances the legs. On top of that it develops strong abdominal muscles by requiring you to stabilize your powerhouse. It releases tight lower-back muscles. Since the spine is rounded forward, sideways, or backward over the curving surface of the Barrel during the exercises, Barrel work trains the abdominals in that unique Pilates way of developing length and strength simultaneously.
Is a Pilates trainer expensive?
Pilates instructors are highly trained professionals who have invested hundreds of hours studying and mastering this technique. They have learned more than 600 exercises for both the mat and Pilates equipment. The philosophy and theory behind each movement is important to understand therefore considerable time is spend observing and mastering proper form and sequences. Plus they have to apprentice to fine tune their teaching skills prior to taking a rigorous written and practical exam. Throw in with that an exam on sports scenes and a comprehensive course on nutrition. There is more to Pilates than just a series of moves to know, they have to learn how to assess their students’ posture, how to adapt exercises for various body conditions, and how to customize the optimum Pilates program for each individual to help them reach their fitness goals. This kind of specialized training, combined with the expenses of furnishing and maintaining a fully equipped studio, commands an appropriate fee.
Besides how do we calculate a price tag for the well-being of your body, soul and mind?