- $99 for Three Private One on One Pilates Classes ($165 value)
Pilates Equipment: Spring-Powered Fitness
Groupon’s study of the larger Pilates pieces gives you an up-close preview of your core-strengthening workout.
The Reformer: Despite its intimidating name and daunting springs and pulleys, the Reformer is quite gentle on the body. Its padded carriage slides in and out with customizable resistance—augmented by how many springs are attached—guiding users through movements that simultaneously strengthen and stretch the muscles. The versatile apparatus can support more than 400 exercises. Users control the carriage with their arms or legs using a variety of attachments, including handles, a foot bar, their minds, and a pull-down bar known as the tower. Each of these exercises focuses on elongating the muscles via controlled movements that resist the forces generated by the springs and the user’s own bodyweight.
The chair: Sometimes known as the low chair or the wunda chair, the Pilates chair also challenges muscles with a spring system and precise, controlled movements. The chair, which resembles a short, padded box, features a spring-controlled pedal that users push down with their hands or feet. They then guide the pedal slowly back to its starting position, resisting the springs’ tension all the while. Although today the chair is only used for fitness, Joseph Pilates’ original design actually converted into a regular sitting chair or a little bed for a teddy bear.
The Cadillac: The Cadillac resembles an elevated table outfitted with an overlay of circus equipment. Sometimes called the trap table for its trapeze-like bar, the Cadillac also sports other spring-fitted bars that users push or pull in various resistance exercises. The Cadillac is most commonly used during private lessons for closely supervised stretches or guided variations on mat exercises.
The ladder barrel: Breaking with the design scheme of other Pilates equipment, the ladder barrel is devoid of springs. Instead, a structure resembling a corner mailbox with a padded top (the barrel) pairs with a detachable ladder to allow for stretches and exercises that increase flexibility while building core strength.