English French


Part-scientist, mechanical genius and anatomist, Joseph Pilates created a movement system he coined “Contrology,” accompanied by a whole array of equipment that he referred to as the “Apparatus.”

The Apparatus was designed to help accelerate the process of stretching, strengthening, body alignment and increased core strength that started with mat work. The best-known and most popular piece today, the Reformer, was originally called the Universal Reformer, aptly named for “universally reforming the body.” Eventually Pilates designed a full complement of equipment and accessories, including the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, High “Electric Chair”, Spine Corrector, Ladder Barrel and Ped-o-Pul.
Seventy-five percent of the Pilates repertoire is performed on the reformer and mat, while other pieces are used for creating a balanced workout and addressing the individual needs of each student.

Our clients are surprised to see how dramatically their Pilates practice improves when using the global system of Pilates, which includes working on the mat, Reformer, Cadillac, the Barrells, the Ped-o-pul and the Chair.


All of the equipment Joseph Pilates created came as a result of his original mat work. The equipment is used in various ways, but is specificially aimed at building strength and assisting towards a precise and beautiful performance on the mat. Sometimes we say, “the mat is the method.” Mat work includes numerous exercises of varying and progressive difficulty.


Most equipment incorporates a spring mechanism that the exerciser works to control whilst moving in various planes. The idea of using springs came about when J. Pilates was interned during WWI. He attached bed and machinery springs to the bedposts of infirm prisoners and then used these setups  to facilitate circulation and healing, by moving injured limbs in ways that patients could not otherwise have done, thereby restoring joint function and muscular strength and re-educating the body.


The Universal Reformer, known as the Reformer, is the most popular piece of equipment and one of J. Pilates’s original inventions. He believed that starting exercise on a horizontal plane was important in order to relieve stress and strain on the joints and to align the body before adding additional gravitational forces through the central axis while standing, sitting or kneeling. There are more than a hundred movements created for the Reformer, each one dependent on and built upon the other.


Invented by J. Pilates during his captivity, the massage and therapeutic table is known today as the Trap Table or Cadillac. Initially, the table was used therapeutically, but over time he developed the table to resemble a single four-poster bed with springs, wooden bars and hanging trapezes that challenges even the fittest students. Concentration is a must in order to work your arms, legs, trunk and entire body against the various spring tensions and positions this equipment affords.


The Wunda Chair was invented as a result of J. Pilates’s observation of Chinese acrobatic maneuvers on a “box”—which when overturned doubles as an actual chair. Purely functional. He had strong beliefs about how we should sleep and sit, and designed furniture accordingly. He considered modern chairs a compromise to optimal internal functioning and posture. The Wunda Chair is often used for individual needs to challenge balance and strength as a student progresses from the introductory Pilates work.




J.Pilates created numerous innovations for individuals with specific maladies. The Ladder Barrel was one of those innovations. He was highly concerned with the flexibility of the spine and the corresponding strength of the center. Consequently this equipment offers challenging abdominal exercises as well as flexibility movements that stretch and strengthen the entire body. Used for individual needs.



Utilized for individual needs to stretch, align and strengthen the spine. Relieves stiffness of the shoulders and hips as well as relieving common backaches and other problems ailing today’s society.





The Ped-o-Pul exercises challenges the body in working against gravity with the assistance of the “pole,” which essentially represents the spine. This equipment is great for tackling shoulder girdle issues.




Created by Peak Pilates, the barrel system provides the ultimate in flexibility with its use of  three barrels in one complete system. An array of exercises are offered to balance a session and work on individual needs.