Large Pilates Equipment in Pictures

These pictures of Pilates equipment will introduce you to the main Pilates machines, also known as apparatus. This is the equipment that you are likely to first meet at a Pilates studio. Some, like the Pilates reformer and the Pilates chair, are working their way into mainstream use. Others are a little more specialized.


The Pilates Ladder Barrel

Ladder barrel
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One of the best ways to strengthen the back muscles through back extension exercises, the ladder barrel has many uses.

More likely to be found in a studio than as part of mainstream fitness, the ladder barrel is a unique piece of equipment that allows for relatively safe experimentation with a range of flexion and extension exercises for the back. It is also a good overall strengthener.

It is used for beginner through advanced exercises.


The Pilates Chair

Pilates chair
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The Pilates Chair is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment that is gaining ground in mainstream fitness.

The more traditional Pilates chairs have been undergoing a metamorphosis lately as Pilates chairs become popular for home and gym use. Contemporary designs, like the MVe from Peak Pilates, are lighter and reflect innovations like stack-ability and easier spring changes.


The Pilates Reformer

Reformer on wooden floor
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The Pilates reformer is traditional Pilates equipment and a beloved standard in Pilates studios.

New, portable designs for the Pilates reformer are making them popular for home use.


The Pilates Tower

Pilates reformer woman tower exercise
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The Pilates tower apparatus is often attached to Pilates reformers in studios.

Towers can be made to attach to a wall. They are also commonly attached to Pilates reformers.

The tower has inspired some new designs for home use, many of which attach to a door. The Tower on the Go from Balanced Body and the Pilates Stick are examples.


The Pilates Cadillac or Trapeze Table

Pilates cadillac
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The cadillac is often the jaw dropper when someone new walks into a Pilates studio. It is the ultimate in adding a gravity challenge to your workout.

Some people have the cadillac, otherwise known as trap (trapeze) table, at home. But because it requires a lot of client-specific instruction, the cadillac is most commonly used in private sessions in Pilates studios. Sometimes the cadillac is part of a reformer that converts to a mat.

By Marguerite Ogle MS, RYT
Marguerite Ogle is a freelance writer and experienced natural wellness and life coach, who has been teaching Pilates for more than 35 years.