History of Pilates Equipment

October 7, 2009


There’s no doubt what Pilates can do for those who practice it. Certainly, Joseph Pilates’ exercise techniques have come a long way from World War I when he first applied them on injured soldiers in an internment camp. But aside from the regular Pilates yoga mats we use nowadays, do you know there is a variety of equipment out there we can explore? In fact, these machines are partially accountable for the exercise’ popularity because they play a major part in producing results. The very first model introduced was the Pilates Reformer which was patterned after the WWI soldiers’ hospital beds set up with rings by Mr. Pilates himself. He believed the resistance helped their bodies recover from physical shock. Because he found his invention very effective, he further developed it by creating more spring-based machines and incorporating bars and straps that allowed for more flexibility. In 1920, he arrived in New York and brought his moves to dancers whom he helped turn out to be more flexible and generally healthier to further master their bodies. That proved to be a good decision as far as spreading word about the exercise was concerned because now, even the dancers didn’t only practice it. They also turned out to be active in letting other people know about the benefits of the Pilates routine. After the Pilates Reformer, the Pilates Cadillac became the next in thing consisting of a padded platform with a frame on top of it. Mr. Pilates believed in the power of springs and this led him to develop the design with springs connecting bars or straps to the frame above the platform. Yet one more equipment developed was the Pilates Barrel which was made of a wood frame with cushioned foam designed first and foremost to improve bearing and flexibility. The majority of people confuse Pilates with yoga and truth is, the two are very closely related. The former, on the other hand, is more focused on physical wellness while yoga touches deeper down into the spiritual level. Most people would like to get the best of both by integrating one into the other. Of course, only professionals can do this and those who want to benefit from both will have to trust only a trained instructor. Today, when you talk of Pilates equipment, you usually think of Pilates and yoga mats which are, of course, more suited to contemporary lifestyle. A person’s success with this type of exercise routine is not completely dependent on the equipment used but whether it’s a barrel or an extra thick Pilates yoga mat, results will certainly be affected.

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