Intl. Master Pilates, Mind Body Educator & Author
OK, great question. Do you need equipment to do Pilates? Well, you don't. However, the equipment does get you stronger so much quicker. And it can actually make you stronger at the map-based work that you do. In fact, Joseph Pilates designed the equipment so that his dancers, his athletes could get stronger when they were doing their mat-based work or their functional work or their dance and their performance. So let me have Stephanie show you what the differences are. So I'll give me a couple of little demonstrations today. Stephanie is going to show you the roll-ups. So she's not using the equipment, although she is lying on the equipment. So she's going to articulate her spine and roll all the way up. So show the roll-up, Stephanie. So she's rolling through the spine, articulating the spine, coming all the way up and over. And then as she starts to go down, you'll see she's going to roll through her spine, articulating. Now, she's quite good at this. Maybe another person might have a little bit of a difficult time. And that's where the equipment comes in. So roll all the way up against, Stephanie. And then she's going to show you using what's called the trap table, the trapeze table, or the cadillac, how she can use the roll-down bar on the table to facilitate that articulation through the spine. So she'll inhale to prepare, press down slightly through the bar, and get that activation of the back of the body. And then she'll start to articulate and use the spring-loaded bar to help her control her rolling down. Now it's really wonderful. As she starts to come up, the spring tension is going to help her facilitate that articulation through the spine as she comes all the way up and over and then stacks her spine back up. Beautiful. Another piece of equipment is the stability chair. So she's sitting on the top of the chair. And she's going to press the pedal down, which is spring-loaded. And this is going to strengthen her, especially at the hip joints, the ankles, and the knees. And meanwhile, she's having to maintain really good upright posture while doing the exercise. So you can see she's doing a great job with that. But if she were new at this, it would be a real challenge for her to be able to maintain that core stability. So we utilize the breath for that. Beautifully done. This is the classic piece of equipment called the reformer. And now what Stephanie's doing is she's doing footwork, which is exactly what she was doing while she was on the chair, only now she's lying down. So you can see that could help somebody who perhaps didn't have the core strength to stay seated. And also her legs are able to now fully elongate.