Pilates Equipment in Pictures

A Gallery of Large Pilates Equipment for Studio and Home

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

Pilates Ladder Barrel
The Pilates Ladder Barrel. STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

The photos in this gallery represent equipment from some of the most prominent Pilates equipment manufacturers including Balanced Body, Peak Pilates, and Stott Pilates. Much of this equipment is traditional Pilates equipment. I've tried to show the classic designs along with contemporary innovations. I've also included a demonstration photo for each piece of equipment so you can see it in action.

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.

The photos here are all courtesy of Stott Pilates, but the ladder barrel is traditional Pilates equipment. It is used for beginner through advanced exercises.


The Pilates Chair

pilates chairs
The Pilates Chair in Pictures The Pilates Chairs, New and Old. from Lower L: Getty Images, (c)Peak Pilates, (c)Peak Pilates

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

The more traditional Pilates chairs, like the one you see in the lower right part of the picture, have been undergoing a metamorphosis lately as Pilates chairs become popular for home and gym use. Contemporary designs, like the MVe pictured in the upper frame from Peak Pilates, are lighter, and reflect innovations like stack-ability and easier spring changes.


The Pilates Reformer

Pilates Reformer
Pictures of Classic and Portable Pilates Reformers The Pilates Reformer, Classic and Contemporary. from bottom L: woman on reformer: fotolia, reformers, classic and MVe (c)peak pilates

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. In this photo, you see the classic wood design from Peak Pilates. And on the right, their new MVe folding reformer. Other companies are taking similar measures, creating light but sturdy portable and folding reformers.


The Pilates Tower

Pilates Tower
The Pilates Tower. equipment: (c)balanced body, women on tower - fotolia

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

The equipment photos here show Pilates towers made by Balanced Body. Towers can be made to attach to a wall, as you can see in the lower left. They are also commonly attached to Pilates reformers as you see in the classic wood reformer design, and the more contemporary design in the upper right. The woman and her instructor are working with a tower attached to a reformer (manufacturer unknown).

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


The Pilates Cadillac or Trapeze Table

Pilates Cadillac - Trapeze
The Pilates Cadillac or Trapeze. clockwise from left:(c)Core Pilates NYC,(c)Peak Pilates,(c)Balanced Body

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.

Core Pilates NYC sent this nice photo of a woman working on the cadillac. The apparatus pictures are from Peak Pilates (upper) and Balanced Body (lower). See more cadillac exercises in the Advanced Pilates Gallery.

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