Larger pieces of equipment (apparatus) include the Pilates Reformer, Pilates chairs, barrels, tower, and Cadillac


The Reformer is probably the most famous and versatile piece of Pilates apparatus. It consists of a mat on a bed frame called a carriage which is attached to springs. Your job, on the Reformer, is to resist those springs. Joseph Pilates invented the reformer to help people perform the mat work more efficiently.


The Cadillac is a Pilates jungle gym of sorts consisting of an elevated mat on top of a long table. It has arm springs, leg springs, a roll back bar to challenge length and spinal articulation, and a push thru bar to challenge shoulder stability and assist stretching. Mr. Pilates originally called this piece a Trapeze Table but when his clients saw it for the first time they compared it to a shiny new Cadillac. The name stuck.


The Pilates Chair is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment that is gaining ground in mainstream fitness.
Based on a piece of circus equipment, the Chair is one of the most challenging pieces of Pilates apparatus because your only support is a tiny square and a pedal. Exercises can be done sitting or standing either on top or around the chair.


The Tower is a Cadillac minus the trapeze and the hanging loops. Towers or wall units were only recently invented by Pilates manufacturers to accommodate small spaces and group classes in a Pilates studio.


A half moon shaped apparatus that comes in a variety of lengths.
It’s said that beer kegs may have inspired Joseph Pilates when creating the original barrel.

Ladder Barrel

One of the best ways to strengthen the back muscles through back extension exercises, the ladder barrel has many uses.
More likely to be found in a studio than as part of mainstream fitness, the ladder barrel is a unique piece of equipment that allows for relatively safe experimentation with a range of flexion and extension exercises for the back. It is also a good overall strengthener.
It is used for beginner through advanced exercises.