Apparatus – Reformer & Cadillac Tower
PILATES ON THE REFORMER
The Pilates Reformer is a sophisticated piece of equipment that is hugely versatile. It provides all the benefits of mat pilates such as increased core stability, flexibility, strength and balance but also enables you to add resistance to your workout with its spring loaded system as well as cardiovascular work for an all over balanced workout.
WHAT IS THE REFORMER?
The carriage is attached to one end of the Reformer by a set of springs. The springs provide differing levels of resistance as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame.
At the spring end of the Reformer there is an adjustable bar called a footbar. The footbar can be used by the feet or hands as a practitioner moves the carriage. The Reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame. They can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well.
Body weight and the resistance of the springs are what make the carriage more or less difficult to move. Reformers are fully adjustable allowing for different body sizes and levels of skill.
HOW DO YOU USE A REFORMER?
One of the best things about the Reformer is it’s versatility. Exercises can be done lying down on your back, front or side, sitting, kneeling, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks and with additional equipment such as long or short box, jump board or roller. This versatility allows for many different and varied exercises that can be tailored to the client’s ability and needs.
The Reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment.
Exercises can be performed on the Reformer to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most Pilates Reformer exercises involve pushing or pulling the carriage, or holding the carriage still during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE REFORMER?
The Reformer offers all the same benefits as Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. These things in turn lead to daily life improvements like better posture, graceful, efficient movement, and for many, relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as back, hip, knee and shoulder pain.
The Reformer is large enough to accommodate full-range motion which is wonderful for increasing flexibility while building strength. It seems to encourage the length we want to create in the body and trains the body to sustain that length. Pushing and pulling with legs or arms against the resistance of the springs, carriage and body weight is generally strength building. The exercises provide sufficient resistance and movement variety to help build strong bones. The Reformer is a set-up to encourage eccentric contraction which is when a muscle lengthens as it resists a force, this is one of the keys to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.
The instability of a rolling carriage with the springs set at different levels of resistance provides all kinds of stability challenges that develop core strength and promote better balance. The stronger the core, the better the balance, posture, and overall well-being of the individual. The Reformer creates a unique and varied exercise environment.
PILATES ON A HALF CADILLAC TOWER
This highly versatile specialised piece of Pilates equipment was originally invented by Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate bedridden patients. It enables you to tone almost every muscle group in the body.
It has many additional features including a push through bar, trapeze roll down bar, leg springs and arms springs.
WHAT IS A HALF CADILLAC?
The Cadillac tower is a large metal frame that is permanently fixed at the top end of the reformer. On the tower frame at varying intervals are connections where springs can be attached to work the body with differing resistances.
Attached at the top of the frame by springs is the trapeze or roll down bar.
There is also a push through bar that can be positioned at various heights along the tower frame and springs can be attached at the top, bottom or middle.
HOW DO YOU USE A HALF CADILLAC
One of the best things about the Cadillac is it’s versatility, it can be used on its own or with the Reformer which hugely increases the repertoire of exercises to assist and develop length, strength, flexibility and balance.
Exercises can be done on the bed base lying down on your back, front or side, sitting, kneeling or standing on the base or at the other side of the tower using the push through bar, roll down bar, springs with hand and foot straps.
The Cadillac can be used in many ways: it’s excellent at developing understanding of spinal movement and body stability, by using the push through bar and trapeze roll down bar. When using the springs for the feet or hands it helps develop strength and stability in the shoulder griddle and pelvis. The different resistance of the springs can increase the challenge to allow continued progression.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING THE HALF CADILLAC TOWER?
The benefits are similar to those of the Reformer and often we use both machines in a session. If you regularly practice the Cadillac’s precise exercises you will achieve:
- Greater muscular strength and endurance
- A dramatic boost in your energy and metabolism
- Changes in your body composition
- Increased cardio-respiratory fitness
- Greatly improved balance and flexibility
- Increased core strength and improved postural alignment
With the Reformer and Half Cadillac you can work the whole body or isolate almost any muscle group in the body. It’s excellent for breaking down motion into small pieces to restore correct movement patterns.
These incredible machines offer something for people of all ages and abilities and the best thing? Its a great fun workout!
So why not give them a try?