The idea behind Pilates machines is to take an activity, say running for instance, break it into its component pieces and slow them down to allow you to perfect them. The problem is, if you try to slow down something like running without any special equipment, then you just end up with a Monty Python-eque silly walk.
That’s where the machines come in. Pilates apparatus like trapeze table and reformers allow us to liberate you from the forces of gravity, friction and inertia, letting you rid yourself of those biomechanical gremlins that have been slowing you down all these years.
Running is just one example, but in practice we use our collection of Pilates tools to help with everything from swimming and golf to cancer rehabilitation and post-pregnancy bladder control.
So what’s with all the torture devices?
If only we had a dollar for every time we’ve been asked that! But actually it’s a perfectly valid question. Most people think of Pilates as being yoga without the hippies – and to an extent it’s true – but there’s more to it than that.
Here are a few example Pilates machines to give you an idea:
Trapeze tables (or “Cadillacs” as they’re sometimes known) are essentially a steel frame with springs attached at various points to give you a controllable amount of support. The springs aren’t strong enough to support your entire bodyweight, the idea is to give you a little bit of support to allow you to gently do exercises that would normally be super-human feats of strength.
A reformer is, at its most basic, a low-friction sliding platform with springs attached to give progressive resistance, or progressive support depending on the exercise. Using this very simple foundation we can do literally hundreds of exercises to challenge your balance, body awareness and control.
A wunda chair is simply a chair with a spring-loaded footrest. Like a lot of pilates gear it’s a very simple device but is great for glute activation exercises – that is, things to get your bum working to help stabilise your pelvis to prevent running injuries.
Those are a few of the simplest exercises, out of literally thousands we can do (actually they’re the simplest to describe – trying to explain a physical movement in text without resorting to anatomical Latin is a nightmare :-)) if you’d like to know more about Pilates in Queenstown, drop by for a chat and we can give you a walk through the studio for yourself.