- The Mat: The fundamental Pilates mat workout involves your body working and resisting against itself. Romana used to say “the mat work is the meat and potatoes of the method”. WITHOUT A GOOD UNDERSTANDING AND CONTROL OF THE MAT WORK ONE WILL LOSE THE BENEFIT OF THE OTHER PIECES OF EQUIPMENT.
- Reformer: This is the primary mechanism used in Pilates. This machine has a wooden or metal frame with a bed-like platform or carriage that slides along tracks and uses springs for resistance. From various positions one may move the carriage by pushing against a bar or pulling on looped straps with the arms and legs.
- Cadillac: A bed-like platform surrounded by a wood or metal frame. Included are a push through bar, trapeze bar and leg straps. Exercises are performed for the abdomen with arms and legs using springs for resistance.
- Barrels: Free standing rounded floor structures with handles, straps and rungs which allow for a multitude of leg, back and abdominal exercises. There are three versions of the Pilates Barrel – the Ladder Barrel, the Spine Corrector and the Small Barrel.
- Ped-I-Pull: A “t” shaped metal frame with springs and handles attached. It is used to increase strength in the powerhouse and create a greater awareness of one’s center.
- Chairs: On these wooden chairs a series of leg and upper body exercises may be performed. The Chair includes adjustable springs and a foot pedal. There are two main versions of the Chair – the Electric Chair and the Wunda Chair (which, although it looks harmless (or easy) is the most difficult piece of equipment to work on and requires the most amount of strength and control).
- Magic Circle: A metal or rubber circle which is used to strengthen the upper body and arms – teach control of center and balance and aids pregnant women in the performance of leg exercises.