1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Pilates Machines vs Pilates Equipment

The Truth About "Pilates Machines"


Updated June 18, 2014

Three women sitting on the exercising mat and doing abdominal exercises with a Pilates Power Ring.
Kristian Sekulic/E+/Getty Images

This quick tip is mostly for beginners, it's about "Pilates machines". Pilates terms change over time, so what I'm about to tell you might not always be the case, but the truth is that it is mostly the uninitiated who say "Pilates machine". Once you get into Pilates, you will find that almost nobody says "Pilates machine". Usually, we say Pilates equipment, or Pilates apparatus for the larger pieces, or we use the specific names of the different kinds of equipment.

With that bit of info out of the way, let me give you a brief on Pilates equipment.

Pilates equipment can be grouped in two general categories. First, there is the small, portable equipment like the magic circles, fitness bands, and the exercise balls. (Just FYI, the magic circle is the only one of those popular 3 that is traditional Pilates equipment invented by Joseph Pilates.) The smaller equipment is popular for studio and home use, and is frequently featured in Pilates DVDs.

Then, there are the larger pieces of equipment (apparatus) that include things like the Pilates reformer, Pilates chair, barrel, tower, and cadillac. This is the equipment you would expect to find at a Pilates studio.

For more on specific pieces of Pilates equipment, see the following links:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.