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Article by Edna Allen

Photography by Provided

Small but Mighty

Don’t be fooled! The Pilates Chair is significantly smaller in size than the Pilates Cadillac and Reformer, but its use provides enormous benefits. An original piece of equipment engineered by Joseph Pilates, the Pilates Chair consists of a box with a padded seat and a pedal attached with springs on one side. The small surface area provides an added challenge many might embrace.

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A Welcomed Challenge

The hardest piece of equipment to “cheat”. The chair requires the practitioner to be precise with their movements. Core muscles must be engaged to execute the exercises correctly with little room for a person to use their “cheat” or less efficient muscles.

The Pilates Chair provides excellent opportunities for seated, prone, supine and standing work. Establishing correct posture takes practice and focus. Much more so than the Reformer, the Chair provides a variety of exercises with the body in the vertical position. And if you suffer from kyphosis (rounding of the upper back), standing positions are imperative. 

The Pilates Chair is ideal for individuals experienced with the mat but want to progress to the next level. It is a purposeful tool for intermediate and advanced athletes or exercise enthusiasts to add a new level of difficulty to their fitness routine and create a fresh and energizing workout.

On the flip side, those clients needing extra work on balance can utilize a gondola pole for security during standing exercises and some chairs are designed with handles.

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CONTROL or Be Controlled

The resistance from the springs should never control body movement; the body through core engagement controls the springs. By engaging core muscles, Chair Pilates offers a full-body workout that insures this while promoting functional movement and overall well-being. A multitude of benefits include:

-          Improved Posture

-          Increased Flexibility

-          Enhanced Core Strength

-          Greater Balance and Stability

-          Enhanced Body Awareness

-          Low Impact

As with the Reformer and Cadillac, the Pilates Chair is a low-impact form of exercise, making an ideal choice for individuals with arthritis or other forms of joint pain. The controlled movements and supportive nature of the chair minimize possible strain while providing an effective training.

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Better Bodies Pilates is dedicated to promoting health and well-being utilizing the Pilates Method of exercise. No Memberships or extra fees. Find more information on how to get started at

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