Pilates Plus: Equipment-Based Practices Explained

Pilates Plus is an exercise method that incorporates equipment-based practices to help individuals achieve overall physical fitness and strengthen their core muscles. In this article, we will delve into the details of Pilates Plus, its benefits, and the various equipment used in this practice.

What is Pilates Plus?

Pilates Plus is a derivative of the traditional Pilates method, which was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. It combines the principles of traditional Pilates with modern fitness techniques and equipment to provide a challenging and effective workout.

The aim of Pilates Plus is to improve strength, flexibility, and posture by targeting the body’s core muscles, including the abdominals, back, hips, and glutes. It focuses on controlled movements, proper alignment, and conscious breathing to enhance body awareness and promote overall well-being.

Pilates Plus offers a holistic approach to fitness, incorporating both physical and mental elements. By emphasizing body awareness and conscious breathing, it helps individuals connect with their bodies and improve their overall well-being. The controlled movements and emphasis on alignment also make Pilates Plus a low-impact exercise method, suitable for individuals of all fitness levels.

Benefits of Pilates Plus

  1. Core Strength: One of the key benefits of Pilates Plus is its ability to strengthen the core muscles. The core is responsible for stabilizing the body and supporting proper posture, and a strong core can help alleviate back pain and improve overall spinal health.
  • Pilates Plus engages the deep abdominal muscles, including the transverse abdominis, which act as a corset to support the spine. Strengthening these muscles can help improve stability and prevent injuries.
  • By targeting the core muscles, Pilates Plus helps individuals develop a strong and stable center, which enhances overall body strength and power.
  1. Improved Flexibility: Pilates Plus incorporates stretching exercises that help improve flexibility and joint mobility. By lengthening and elongating the muscles, it enhances range of motion and reduces the risk of injuries.
  • Pilates Plus includes exercises that focus on both static and dynamic stretching, which helps improve flexibility in a safe and controlled manner.
  • By increasing flexibility, Pilates Plus enables individuals to move more freely and efficiently, enhancing overall athletic performance and reducing the risk of muscular imbalances.
  1. Enhanced Body Awareness: Pilates Plus promotes body awareness by emphasizing proper alignment and control during movements. This heightened awareness transfers to daily activities, leading to improved posture, coordination, and balance.
  • Through the focus on alignment and control, Pilates Plus helps individuals develop a better understanding of their body’s movement patterns and postural habits.
  • By increasing body awareness, Pilates Plus helps individuals identify and correct imbalances or compensations in their movement, leading to improved overall movement quality and reduced risk of injuries.
  1. Full-body Workout: While Pilates Plus focuses on the core muscles, it also engages other muscle groups throughout the body. This results in a comprehensive workout that targets multiple areas simultaneously, leading to increased strength and muscle tone.
  • Pilates Plus incorporates exercises that work the entire body, including the arms, legs, and back, in addition to the core muscles.
  • By engaging multiple muscle groups, Pilates Plus helps individuals develop balanced muscle strength and coordination, improving overall functional fitness.
  1. Injury Rehabilitation: The controlled movements and low-impact nature of Pilates Plus make it suitable for individuals recovering from injuries or with physical limitations. It can aid in rehabilitating various conditions, including muscle imbalances, joint issues, and post-surgical recovery.
  • Pilates Plus offers a safe and effective way to rebuild strength and mobility after an injury or surgery.
  • The equipment used in Pilates Plus, such as the reformer and Cadillac, provides support and assistance, allowing individuals to perform exercises with reduced strain on injured or weakened areas.

Equipment Used in Pilates Plus

Pilates Plus utilizes a wide range of equipment to enhance the effectiveness and variety of the exercises performed. Here are some commonly used equipment in this practice:

1. Reformer

The reformer is the most popular and versatile piece of equipment in Pilates Plus. It consists of a sliding carriage, springs, and various attachments for different exercises. The reformer provides resistance and support, allowing for controlled and targeted movements that challenge the muscles.

  • The reformer offers adjustable resistance through the use of springs, making it suitable for individuals of different fitness levels.
  • The sliding carriage provides a smooth and fluid motion, enabling a wide range of exercises that target various muscle groups.
  • The reformer can be used for both strength training and stretching exercises, making it a versatile piece of equipment in Pilates Plus.

2. Cadillac

The Cadillac, also known as the trapeze table, is a large piece of equipment with a bed-like platform and an overhead frame. It includes various bars, straps, and springs that enable a wide range of exercises targeting different muscle groups. The Cadillac is particularly useful for spinal decompression and stretching.

  • The Cadillac offers a variety of attachment points, allowing for exercises in different positions, such as lying down, sitting, or standing.
  • The springs and straps on the Cadillac provide both resistance and assistance, making it suitable for individuals with varying strength levels.
  • The Cadillac can be used for exercises that target the upper body, lower body, and core, providing a full-body workout.

3. Chair

The Pilates chair, also called the Wunda chair, is a compact and versatile piece of equipment. It consists of a padded seat with springs and handles, allowing for a variety of exercises that target the core, upper body, and lower body. The chair offers both stability and instability, making it suitable for different fitness levels.

  • The chair can be used for exercises that focus on balance, stability, and strength.
  • By adjusting the spring tension and body position, the chair can provide varying levels of resistance and challenge.
  • The chair is particularly effective for targeting the core muscles and improving overall body control and stability.

4. Barrel

The Pilates barrel, available in different shapes and sizes, is used for stretching, flexibility, and strengthening exercises. It can be utilized to improve spinal mobility, open the chest, and target the abdominals, back, and hip muscles. The barrel provides support and helps maintain correct alignment during the exercises.

  • The barrel offers support and stability during exercises, allowing individuals to safely perform movements that may be challenging on the floor.
  • By utilizing the barrel’s curved shape, individuals can effectively stretch and strengthen the muscles of the spine, improving overall mobility and posture.
  • The barrel can be used in various positions, such as lying on the back, side, or stomach, providing a versatile tool for targeting different muscle groups.

How to Get Started with Pilates Plus

If you’re interested in trying Pilates Plus, here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Find a Qualified Instructor: Look for a certified Pilates Plus instructor who has expertise in equipment-based practices. They will guide and assist you in performing the exercises correctly and safely.
  • A qualified instructor can provide personalized instruction and modifications to suit your individual needs and goals.
  • Look for instructors who have completed comprehensive Pilates training programs and have relevant certifications.
  1. Choose a Suitable Class: There are various levels and types of Pilates Plus classes available, ranging from beginner to advanced. Select a class that suits your fitness level and goals.
  • If you’re new to Pilates Plus, consider starting with a beginner class to learn the fundamental principles and techniques.
  • As you progress, you can explore more advanced classes that offer greater challenges and variations.
  1. Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for clothing that allows freedom of movement, such as leggings or athletic wear. Avoid clothes that are too loose or restrictive, as they may hinder your movements during the exercises.
  • Choose breathable fabrics that wick away sweat to keep you comfortable during the workout.
  • Wear supportive footwear that provides stability and traction, such as grip socks or athletic shoes.
  1. Stay Consistent: Like any exercise routine, consistency is key. Aim to practice Pilates Plus at least two to three times a week to experience the benefits and see progress over time.
  • Create a regular schedule that includes dedicated time for Pilates Plus.
  • Consistency will help you build strength, improve flexibility, and develop better body awareness.


Pilates Plus is an effective exercise method that utilizes equipment-based practices to strengthen the core muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance overall body awareness. By incorporating controlled movements, proper alignment, and conscious breathing, it offers a full-body workout with numerous benefits. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner, Pilates Plus can be tailored to suit your fitness level and help you achieve your fitness goals. So, why not give it a try and experience the incredible benefits of Pilates Plus?


  1. What is Pilates Plus?

    Pilates Plus is an exercise method that combines traditional Pilates principles with modern fitness techniques and equipment. It aims to improve strength, flexibility, and posture by targeting the core muscles and promoting overall well-being.

  2. What are the benefits of Pilates Plus?

  • Pilates Plus strengthens the core muscles, improves flexibility, enhances body awareness, provides a full-body workout, and aids in injury rehabilitation.
  1. What equipment is used in Pilates Plus?

    The equipment commonly used in Pilates Plus includes the reformer, Cadillac, chair, and barrel. Each piece of equipment offers unique benefits and allows for a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups.

  2. How can I get started with Pilates Plus?

    To get started with Pilates Plus, find a qualified instructor, choose a suitable class, wear comfortable clothing, and stay consistent with your practice. It is important to receive proper guidance and instruction to ensure safety and effectiveness in your workouts.