by Catherine Amo
Joseph Pilates is the father of Pilates, a popular system of exercise. He created this system based on movements that would produce a balanced development of the body. Pilates exercises can be modified to suit the abilities of the participant, which makes it safe for most people. The exercises are performed on a floor mat and on Pilates equipment. Pilates equipment provides resistance from the participant's own body weight and exercise muscles efficiently. They are important additions to any Pilates studio.
Buy a reformer to develop alignment, flexibility and strength. This machine has a carriage that moves your body forward and back as you work against resistance with the straps and the foot bar. You can use it while you sit, kneel, stand or lie down. Choose from reformers made of wood or metal with leather straps or ropes.
Purchase the tower. The tower is a simple resistance machine that attaches to the wall. To save money and space, you can also buy a reformer with a tower attached.
Work on upper and lower body strength with the Pilates chair. This piece of equipment is a staple of the Pilates system. The Pilates chair is designed to exercise the muscles that are difficult to reach with machines.
Stretch your body with arcs and barrels. These pieces of equipment are helpful for correcting the alignment of the spine.
Purchase a trapeze table. The trapeze table, also known as the "Cadillac," is a combination of several pieces that makes a wide variety of exercises possible.
Purchase a Pilates mat for floor exercises. Lengths vary, but purchase a firm mat that is at least a one-half inch thick.
Use an exercise ring for light-resistance exercises. These rings, also called magic circles, are about 13 inches in diameter, have two pads and are made of rubber or metal.
Buy an exercise ball for balance. Exercise balls are not traditional Pilates equipment but have become part of the exercise regime. Exercise balls range from 2 to 30 inches in diameter.
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