Choosing the right Pilates equipment

Pilates and me

‘Mind-Body Fitness for Life’ has been the philosophy guiding my work for over three decades.
And to me, Pilates is a system that focuses on just that. It is an inclusive training method that embraces all other systems of exercise, sport, movement, and daily living activities.

The first fully-equipped Pilates studio, with an offering of Pilates Fitness and Rehab programs, along with Teacher Training Programs, was introduced in India by Sharat Sareen and myself.
Working with clients and training Pilates instructors, for nearly two decades, has given me a unique perspective on using Pilates equipment.


About Pilates

World-wide Pilates finds a place in the training regimen of professional sportspeople and athletes. It is used by rehab specialists for injury-recovery and post-rehab and has safe, effective programs to address needs of pre- and post-natal women and special populations.

This system of movement, developed by Joseph Pilates, is done using a range of specialised equipment and can also be done just using a mat. The equipment allows for numerous programming options for varied fitness levels and age groups.

Pilates equipment was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s. In current times there are many companies manufacturing Pilates equipment, with designs that have evolved to make the equipment more versatile and adjustable to address varied needs.


The Pilates Reformer

The Reformer, an iconic piece of Pilates equipment, is one of the most popular and widely-used Pilates machines world-wide. It is the staple Pilates machine in stand-alone Pilates studios, fitness centres, rehab clinics, and private homes.

It has incredible versatility with hundreds of exercise options to train the entire body to strengthen, tone and build muscle, improve posture, strengthen the core, improve stability, balance, endurance, and more.
The Reformer is designed to provide feedback that increases the user experience, for safety and effectiveness. The machine offers a wide range of exercise options for the full body in various positions (lying down, seated, kneeling, standing) on a moving surface (the carriage).


The Tower

The Tower, a popular Pilates machine in studios and fitness centres, is a versatile piece of equipment that attaches to the Reformer. It offers programming options for total body workouts using vertical resistance with a stable base (unlike the moving carriage of the Reformer). The Tower and Reformer combination helps to include many exercises from the larger Cadillac unit.


Pilates equipment also includes the Chair, Cadillac-Trapeze, Ladder Barrel and other smaller equipment.


Choosing your Pilates equipment
There are four main factors to consider when making a decision.

It is important to understand the differences in the many models available, especially when deciding on a Reformer, the most popularly bought Pilates machine. Manufacturers offer multiple models at different price-points to widen their market-base. However, the various models can be confusing to choose from and in the absence of experienced advice the best choice, for your specific needs, may not be made.

Start by considering your goals and the purpose of the machines. Will you be using them for commercial or personal use?
If for commercial purposes then it is important to consider machines that will enable you to work with a wide cross-section of people (in age and fitness-levels). Another consideration will be whether you are working with general fitness or a rehab clientele or both.  
What type of workout format will you be using the machines for - Group, Privates, or a Combination?

When choosing a machine for home use, remember the machine is a long-term buy. Your needs and goals will change over time.  


The space you have will also influence your choice of machines and the specific models you choose. If, you have a space constraint you will need easily stackable options that will free up space for other activities.  


As mentioned earlier there are Pilates machines available at various price points. I suggest cost should not be the first factor to consider when selecting equipment. Functionality and quality are more important considerations because this is a long-term investment.
Buying lower priced machines may seem attractive for your budget but one can land up spending more if the lower-priced equipment does not hold up for regular use or does not allow for varied programming (which is one of the key advantages of Pilates, especially the Reformer and Tower.)
Be sure to understand the differences in the various models, how they would impact your user experience while working out and in the long term.


Pilates equipment is available in wood and metal options. Whether for commercial or home use you have the option to choose depending on the look that you would like. For instance, the Wood Reformers offer a classic and elegant look. If you prefer a modern, contemporary look the Metal Reformers would be suitable. Wood Reformers are especially appealing visually and offer a superior user experience. They are also generally top-of-the-line machines and priced accordingly.


Experience and expertise make all the difference

When deciding on your Pilates equipment, whether it is a single piece or a wider range, it would be worthwhile to discuss your requirements with an experienced professional who will be able to guide you to make the best choices keeping in mind the four main considerations (functionality, space, cost, and look).

We are the exclusive distributors in India of Elina Pilates equipment. Manufactured in Spain they offer a complete range of Pilates machines.







You are a work in progress


Working Out With Intent