The Best Pilates Equipment You've Never Tried

If you’ve been spending all your time in Reformer or Mat classes, you’ve been missing out on some of the best and most effective Pilates equipment available. With all the competition in this industry, coupled with the rise of big chain “boutique” fitness options, studios that offer a traditional approach to Pilates are finding themselves in a unique situation. Whereas once they were seen as “old fashioned”, things are coming full circle, and the very thing that made people move away from these studios in the first place is the reason they are now coming back in droves.

It’s clear that the essence of Pilates and its original purpose has been altered to fit into the high intensity workouts that have risen in popularity in the past decade. But perhaps more troubling is most of the original apparatus designed by Joseph Pilates has been pushed to the side, in favor of the versatile and sleekly designed Reformer. Combine the intensity of a cardio workout with the Reformer and you have the makings of a highly sought-after workout, touting itself as Pilates. Except…it’s not. Which is not to say there aren’t Pilates exercises incorporated into the workout, but the purpose, and the healing, are absent.

And what happens when a client who needs a healing approach ends up in one of these classes? We can tell you from experience; it’s often injury.

Ironically, Classical Pilates was originally developed for rehabilitation, and when delivered by skilled educators, can provide astonishing levels of support for chronic and acute pain, as well as injury or surgery recovery. And with an aging, fit-minded population growing by the day, we are seeing clients becoming more interested in flexible spines and mobile hips than bulging biceps and rounded glutes.

This is where the wide array of Pilates equipment enters the picture, which gives a classically-trained Pilates teacher a leg up when it comes to approaching a client who has unique physical needs or limitations. Using a combination of exercises on different apparatus, or simply choosing one to focus on, allows a student to connect to their bodies and movement in a variety of ways.

This month, we wanted to focus on the Low or Wunda Chair. Designed by Joseph Pilates himself, its original purpose was to provide at-home use of a piece of exercise equipment that would also function as seating in smaller spaces. Today, this apparatus is only found in Classical Pilates studios, and it’s a powerful tool in rehabilitation and regaining strength.

Check out our newest videos featuring the Low Chair and let us know if we can help you get back to the quality of life you deserve!

Jennifer Mapalad