About Peak Pilates Equipment

What are the top benefits of Peak Pilates equipment?
Our top ten list of distinctions has come to define the Peak difference:
Authenticity of design
Ground breaking innovation
Superior craftsmanship
"Build-to-order" production process
Expert consulting
Limited lifetime warranty
Service and integrity
Customized instructor training
Continuing education
Peak profitability

What is the equipment exactly and why was it created?
Part scientist, mechanical genius and anatomist, Joseph Pilates created a movement system he coined "Contrology," accompanied by a variety of equipment that he referred to as "Apparatus."
The Apparatus was designed to help accelerate the process of stretching, strengthening, body alignment and increased core strength started with mat work.

What’s the most popular piece of equipment or apparatus?
The best-known and most popular piece today, the reformer, was originally called the Universal Reformer, aptly named for "universally reforming the body." Eventually a full complement of equipment and accessories was designed by Pilates, 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 a student.

Pilates Equipment vs. Mat. What’s the Difference?
While Mat classes are the typical entry into Pilates for many participants, Classical Mat exercises are often difficult for a beginner because they do not have the core strength to perform the exercises correctly. The Classical Pilates Method is based on a full, integrated system of equipment—the Mat exercises are just part of the technique (only 25 percent of the Pilates exercise repertoire can be performed on a Mat) and often the first step toward learning the equipment. By adding equipment, your members will experience a more authentic, quality experience. The equipment works better and faster to change the body, as the springs on the equipment provide support and resistance that allow an individual to enhance their core connection in a way that is difficult to do on the Mat alone. Because of this, the equipment allows you to shape, tone, lengthen and align quite differently than the Mat. In short, the equipment works better and faster to change the body. Furthermore, additional advanced core work is available on equipment for the more accomplished practitioner. Last but not least, working on the equipment is fun!
Whether you offer Mat classes alone or a combination of Pilates equipment and Mat, a mix of programming options to challenge and progress your members is essential.

Why Springs?


Most equipment designs utilize a spring mechanism that the exerciser works to control while moving in various planes. The idea to use springs was conceived while Joseph Pilates was interned during WWI. He attached bed and machinery springs to the bedposts of infirm prisoners. With the arrangement, he facilitated circulation and healing by moving injured limbs in ranges patients could not otherwise perform, thereby restoring joint function and muscular strength and re-educating the body.

Download our spring tenstion chart [PDF]
See our stock of springs in the store »

What is the Pilates Mat?


All of the equipment Joseph Pilates created came after the development of mat work. The equipment is utilized in various ways but is especially for building strength and assisting in precise and beautiful performance on the mat. Sometimes we say, "the mat is the method." Mat work is the entry into Pilates for many participants and clubs. It includes numerous exercises of varying difficulty and progression.

See our selection of mats available »

What is the Reformer?


The Universal Reformer, known as the reformer, is the most popular piece of equipment and one of Joseph Pilates’s original inventions. He believed beginning exercise in the horizontal plane was important to relieve the 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. Classically, there are more than a hundred movements created for the reformer, each dependent and built upon the other.

See our selection of reformers available »

What is the Cadillac?


The original piece of equipment Joseph Pilates invented during his captivity, the massage and therapeutic table is known today as the Trap Table or Cadillac. Initially, the table was used therapeutically. In time, however, he developed the table to resemble a single four-poster bed with springs, wooden bars and hanging trapezes to challenge even the most fit. 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.

See our selection of Cadillacs available »

What is the Wunda Chair?

Wunda Chair

The Wunda Chair was invented as a result of Joseph Pilates's observation of Chinese acrobatic maneuvers on a "box"—when turned over it doubles as an actual chair. Pure function. He had strong beliefs about how we should sleep and sit, and designed furniture accordingly. He considered modern chairs compromising 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.

See our selection of chairs available »

What is the High/Electric Chair?

High/Electric Chair

A classic piece of equipment, it prepares the student to work on the more complex low chair in addition to meeting the individual needs of specific issues as brought out in part A and B of the session format. The design is therapeutic in that it provides tactile feedback from the high back support. Primarily used for standing and sitting movement sequences. The student is to provide the "electricity" to properly perform the exercises.

See our selection of chairs available »

What is the Ladder Barrel?

Ladder Barrel

Joseph Pilates created numerous innovations for individuals with specific maladies. The Ladder Barrel was one of these 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.

See our selection of barrels available »

What is the Spine Corrector/Hump Barrel?

Spine Corrector/Hump Barrel

Utilized for individual needs, stretching, aligning and strengthening the spine. Relieves stiffness of the shoulders and hips as well as relieving common backaches and problems ailing the population today.

See our selection of barrels available »

What is the Ped-o-Pull?


The Ped-o-Pul exercises challenge the body against gravity with the assistance of the "pole," which essentially represents the spine. Shoulder girdle issues for individual needs are met with this equipment.

See the Ped-o-Pul and other small equipment available »

What is the Peak PilateSystem®?

Peak PilateSystem

Invented and offered exclusively by Peak Pilates, the PPS is a revolution in portable Pilates equipment that is available in two models: the Deluxe PPS and the PPS Reformer. The Deluxe combines three primary pieces of Pilates equipment (reformer, Cadillac and mat) into a multi-use, foldable footprint that allows for a complete Pilates workout on a single unit. The PPS Reformer is the only portable reformer that can be easily upgraded to a full, multi-use combination system.

See more about the Peak PilateSystem »

What is the Total Workout System®?

Total Workout System

Originated by Peak Pilates, the Total Workout System combines the mat, reformer and Cadillac in one footprint. The carriage is hinged and converts from reformer to Cadillac in a matter of minutes.

See more about the Total Workout System and other combination systems»

What is the MVe® Fitness Chair?

MVe Fitness Chair

An evolutionary take on the original Wunda Chair, the MVe Fitness Chair brilliantly integrates a lightweight, open frame with a sleek, stackable design. The MVe's patented spring changing system is incredibly easy to use, allowing you to change resistance levels without ever removing or wrestling with springs. Designed for maximum versatility, the larger seat and wide pedal open up new territory for all body types. Use MVe to introduce Pilates to new audiences with affordable, music-driven group classes or specialized private instruction.

See more about the MVe chair »

What is the Instep Barrel System®?

Instep Barrel System

Created by Peak Pilates, the barrel system is the ultimate in flexibility by providing six barrels in one complete system. An array of exercises are offered to balance a session and work individual needs.

See our selection of barrels available »

What is the Power Circle®?

Power Circle

Designed to work the entire body as well as to enhance and/or advance Classical Pilates exercises, the Power Circle adds variety, challenge and aids in modifications, thereby meeting many individual needs.

See the Power Circle and other small equipment available »

About Peak Pilates Instructor Education

For a full list of education and certification FAQ’s.

Click here »

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