The MVe Redesigned Pilates Chair

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The Pilates chair is a classic piece of Pilates equipment. The MVe Chair from Peak Pilates is a redesign aimed at making chair workouts available in more mainstream settings. MVe stands for maximum versatility exercise. The MVe is designed for studio, gym, and home use. Peak Pilates also has an MVe teacher training program.

Features of the MVe Chair from Peak Pilates

  • Open design with a powder coated aluminum frame
  • Measurements are 23.5 inches high, 31 inches wide and 37.5 inches long
  • The manufacturer states that the chair weighs just over 30 pounds.
  • It is stackable, you can stack up to five high for storage.
  • Four resistance levels are available at one control


  • It has an attractive, sleek design
  • The open frame allows for more exercise options
  • It is large and has a stable feel
  • Four easy-to-change tension levels
  • Portable and stackable


  • The MVe is not especially easy to lift.
  • The legs of the base extend beyond the bulk of the chair, making them easy to trip over.

Expert Review 

My favorite thing about the MVe is how easy it is to change the spring tension. No more walking around to the back of the chair to add or remove springs. You choose one of four settings using a sliding control at the front of the chair. This one improvement truly enhances the flow of a workout.

I also like the open design and size of the MVe. I found that a few more inches of workspace made me more comfortable on the seat, especially for "lying down" exercises. The open frame, which allows you to wrap your legs around the frame for stability or slide them under for floor work, creates some new exercise options as well.

The pedal has a nice, quiet glide to it. It's also longer than that of a traditional chair, which is good for side-bending and twisting exercises where alternative in hand or foot placement are helpful. There is something different about the arc the pedal makes as it goes down. It seems to move a little further outward than most Pilates chairs.

The pedal trajectory took some getting used to when doing the legwork, I like my legs more under my pelvis as in a traditional chair. But this worked very well for me with some of the upper body work, accommodating the length of my torso better than some other chairs.

It is important to recognize that the MVe is spring-loaded exercise equipment, and the pedal action can be dangerous for the uninitiated. A chair pedal can pop up with a lot of force. So, you do need to have qualified training to use it safely and effectively. As with all Pilates equipment, the full benefits are to be found in the details of how you use it.

Classes are the way to learn to use the Pilates chair. Peak Pilates MVe teacher training courses, and follow-up DVDs are making MVe workouts available at many gyms as well as Pilates studios. Start with a class, and then move on to an MVe of your own.

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