ABOUT THE EQUIPMENT
Although a great deal of Pilates exercises can be done just using a floor mat, there are certain pieces of studio equipment which Melissa uses to develop and enhance the basic Pilates repertoire. Some of these were originally designed by Joseph Pilates, whilst others have been created more recently along with the development of Pilates. Some of the most popular pieces of equipment are described below.
The reformer is a classic piece of Pilates equipment designed by Joseph Pilates. It is a finely tuned exercise and resistance apparatus used to develop good alignment, core strength and flexibility. The resistance works by using the springs on the carriage combined with your own strength. You place your body on the ‘carriage’, which then moves either by pushing your feet against the foot bar, or by pulling the straps at the head end. The carriage will then move back and forth in response to your push or pull motions. The reformer can be used in a variety of positions including lying down, sitting, kneeling or standing on the carriage. It can also be adjusted according to your height and physical strength.
THE WUNDA CHAIR
The Wunda chair is another invaluable piece of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates. It is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways for differing purposes, in particular isometric exercises challenging the back and abdominal muscles. The Wunda Chair also uses springs for resistance. It is particularly helpful in improving stability, flexibility, and for muscle toning.