I want to type "Pilates Stick," but the actual name runs together, so it's PilatesStick. What is it? An interesting development in Pilates resistance equipment for the home workout. It simulates many Pilates tower exercises and adds interesting resistance potential to Pilates mat and other exercises as well.
I like the PilatesStick, but it's going to work a lot better for some than for others. If you think you might be interested in the PilatesStick, there is a lot to consider, so read on.
PilatesStick - The Set Up
The PilatesStick package includes:
- a bar
- a stretchy band called a sylastix
- padded hand straps that are adjustable
- foot loops
- a long mat
- and a carrying bag.
Each end of the sylastix clips to each end of the bar and the middle gets closed in a door jamb, held in place by a foam anchor. It's a neat package and it seems well made -- for home use, not heavy-duty studio use.
Finally, so that you can actually exercise, there are two DVDs, beginner and intermediate, and a reminder poster with 12 exercises. The cost for the whole set up, including the DVDs, is $149.99.
Do You Have a Place for the PilatesStick?
You are going to be putting serious pressure on a door in your house. At my home, our interior doors are flimsy, hollow core, and freshly painted. We weren't crazy about the idea of putting a lot of pressure on them or challenging our paint job with straps that might rub or hardware potentially knocking about. As it turns out, I did not hurt the door I used, but I was very careful.
The selection of which door to use is important. You need a big enough area to work out in, relative to the outside edge of the door where the sylastix is attached. For exercises done lying down, my head was about 8 feet from the door (I'm 5'5"). You will also need at least 3 feet on either side of you. Looking for a minimum 8x3 foot spot next to a door, with no walls or furniture in the way, I ended up in the laundry room.
In one video, the model does her workout attached to glass paned french doors. We have those too, but I figure I better not be in front of my glass doors with any possibility of stick and metal slingshot action if my hand or foot slipped. Also, you should be able to lock the door. Heaven forbid that you would be doing an exercise with weight committed to the sylastix and somebody opens the door toward you from the other side....dangerous.
So take a realistic assessment of your home and see if you have an appropriate door to attach the PilatesStick to. Yes? Good. The actual set up is not hard and there are instructions on the DVDs and online.
There is a center door assembly you can buy for another $34.00. It lets you center the stick with a strap that wraps around the door from top to bottom. I tried that and it worked OK. The strap did slip around the door a few inches during the workout, which made me nervous, but didn't really affect anything. I couldn't get it tight enough. The center assembly has the benefit of having a gizmo you clip the sylastix into that slides along the door strap and lets you adjust the height of the stick easily. PilatesStick also sells a ballet bar (14.95) and a wall mount (89.99) you can permanently attach the whole apparatus to. Not a bad solution if you have the space.
Working Out With the PilatesStick
As traditional Pilates equipment goes, the PilatesStick is closest to the tower. I was very pleased with how many exercises, tower and others, can be done with the PilatesStick. It offers lots of possibilities and works very smoothly. It doesn't feel cheap either. The sylastix does not have strong tension, but a light resistance workout is fine.
Now, if you've read this far and you are wondering what the Pilates tower is or what Pilates exercises are like, the PilatesStick isn't for you, yet. The main reason is that the beginner DVD does not provide sufficient Pilates instruction for a beginner.