There are endless options for exercise videos and equipment that you can buy to use in your home, if you are trying to shed weight and shape up. However, care must be taken that you do not concentrate on just one part of your body.
The most popular of all equipment is the Pilates Reformer. It is a sophisticated system of springs, straps and pulleys. You can perform more than 100 exercises on this versatile piece of equipment.
There is a gliding platform on which one can sit, kneel, stand or lie on the front, back or side. There is a foot bar which is pushed and pulled by the user using the arms, legs, wrists and ankles to slide back and forth along the rails in a controlled manner.
The Pilates Reformer is recommended for establishing torso stability and postural alignment. The adjustable springs allow for progressive resistance, which helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles.
The Reformer is a fixture in Pilates studios and gyms as well as places like rehabilitation clinics. A more economical, compact, and portable model such as the Allegro is available to cater towards group classes.
Prices are in the $2000-$4000 range for various models of quality Reformers.
Another popular piece of equipment is the Pilates Cadillac, which is also known as ‘The Rack’ and ‘Trapeze Table.” It is one of the most effective and versatile pieces of exercise equipment, and is a bridge between exercise and physical therapy.
The Cadillac is a raised horizontal table-top surrounded by a four-poster frame on which various bars, straps, springs and levers are fixed. Standard models include a push-through bar (which can be sprung from above or below), a roll-down bar, a trapeze or cross bar, arm springs, leg springs, thigh and ankle cuffs and even fuzzy hanging loops.
Several manufacturers have combined the Reformer and Cadillac to make hybrid models.
There is also Pilates Chair, also known as the Wunda Chair, for carrying out more than 75 exercises involving push-up-like moves with the arms. The price of a basic Pilates Chair starts at around $700 but can be more than $1200.
Pilates Ladder Barrels, consisting of ladder-like rungs and a rounded barrel-like surface, enable a multitude of stretching, strengthening and flexibility exercises. Professional-quality ladder barrels come in the $900 to $1500 range.
For mat workouts, there are Pilates Arc Barrels, which are upholstered arches that help support the back and shoulders. They are great rehabilitative tools for those recovering from stress, tension or injury. They range in price from $130 to $230.
The Pilates Spine Corrector has a sort of a whistle shape, with a semi-circular arch plus an angled step or seat. The unit is effective for stretching the spine and shoulders in a way that is safe, stable, and supported. Pricing is in the $300 to $450 range.