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Pilates Equipments For Deeper Core Training

Aug 17, 2007
Pilates exercise is a low intensity workout that combines a series of breathing techniques with stretching, and is suitable for all groups regardless of age or health. It helps improve the body's core muscles, including that in the back, abdomen, and buttocks, and also your posture, flexibility, strength and mental focus.

Pilates makes use of various equipments that are designed to challenge the muscles with strength-resistance workouts, and are an integral part of Pilates. Some of the more popular Pilates equipments include:

* Mat - This is a definite must have. The Pilates mat is the cheapest but also the least versatile. It is good for basics but does not provide much strength-resistance workouts.

* Reformer - This is one of the most popular equipment due to its effectiveness and versatility. It consists of a sliding carriage with jump boards, foot bars, and arm and leg pulleys, thus allowing for a full body workout.

The basic exercise on the reformer requires you to lie face up on the carriage without straining your body, meaning the spine, quads, pelvis, hip flexors and knees must all be relaxed, with the strain absorbed by the back of your legs and your hips in a safe way. With your core muscles you push your body, along with the carriage, backwards and forwards, or up and down. The core muscles get a deep workout, greater than that you'd usually experience with leg presses or stomach crunches.

As you become more advanced, the reformer can be adjusted for higher intensity workouts, with particular mechanical supports removed with each advanced level so that your core has to dig even deeper for stability. Each level becomes more complex and harder, so it is important that an instructor is on hand for safety reasons.

Spring reformers and gravity reformers are the two main types of reformers. The spring Pilates reformer uses springs to provide resistance, and you either pull with your arms or push with your legs while lying down. The gravity Pilates reformer uses the force of your own weight as you lie in a diagonal position.

* Ring - The Pilates ring is made with lightweight material and can be easily carried around. It comes with various resistance levels and can be positioned at various locations of the body. The ring tones the core muscles and also targeted muscles such as the leg, triceps, biceps, pecs and lats.

* Cadillac - Otherwise called the trapeze table, this equipment looks like a cage with just the frames. Attached to the bars are straps, springs, and extra bars for various types of exercises.

* Wunda chair - a bench with bars on each side with springs attached to them.
About the Author
For more on Pilates visit Susan's site at Pilates Workout Now and Pilates Workout . Susan also writes at Sports & Recreation.
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