SPHC’s New Pilates Equipment Studio

We are very excited to announce that in mid February we will be opening our new Pilates equipment studio. We hope to commence classes by the beginning of March. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates and class timetables.

In today’s world we are fortunate to have access to a wide variety of innovative Pilates equipment that enables us to support or challenge movement. This gives us endless possibilities to help you reach your movement goals. Here is some more information on equipment Pilates and how it might benefit you.

Pilates Equipment

Perhaps before you start taking a new Pilates class you might like to get to know what equipment could be involved in your workout. Here are some common pieces of equipment that are used in Pilates.

  • Pilates Reformer
  • Trapeze/Cadillac/Tower
  • Pilates chair/Wunda
  • Pilates mats
  • Pilates bands
  • Pilates circle or ring
  • Pilates ball
  • Balance products
  • Weights

It is good to familiarise yourself with the different pieces of equipment and options available to you but you will probably find there is no piece of Pilates equipment more famous than the Pilates Reformer.

The Pilates Reformer

Joseph Pilates, the creator of Pilates, invented the Reformer, one of the primary pieces of Pilates apparatus. He reportedly started with hospital beds with machinery springs attached to the bedposts, and offered exercises to prisoners of war at an internment camp on the British Isle of Man where he was also being interned during the First World War. This evolved into his Universal Reformer and today’s variations of the Reformer.

Mat Vs Reformer Pilates

Mat Pilates

Different forms of mat based Pilates involves performing body-weight exercises and movements low to the ground such as roll-ups and single-leg circles. Because exercising on the mat provides resistance against gravity, Mat Pilates focuses on developing and strengthening your legs, stomach, lower and upper back muscles. Simple, yet effective, all you need is a mat and yourself to do Mat Pilates.

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates involves exercising using a bed-like piece of equipment which contains a sliding flat platform and adjustable springs. This Pilates machine, known as a “reformer”, is made up of a foot bar, straps and pulleys which add tension and resistance to your Pilates workout technique.

Reformer Pilates is much more dynamic and versatile as the machine allows you to perform a whole range of workouts in many different body positions, including lying down, standing, sitting, sideways, pulling the straps, pushing the foot bar and more.

Due to the adjustability of the reformer equipment, Reformer Pilates can be tailored to target one specific area, smaller muscle groups or the entire body, as well as adjusted specifically to your fitness and capability levels.


Another important piece of equipment worth mentioning is the trapeze. Most trapeze exercises are performed from a suspended or semi-suspended body position. There is also often a degree of inversion (the body being inverted) associated with these exercises.

Both the reformer and trapeze are traditional Pilates apparatus used to help facilitate correct muscle patterns as well as increase muscle flexibility and strength. The beauty of the Reformer is its suitability for everyone from the elderly who cannot get up or down off the floor to high level athletes that need to be pushed that extra mile.

Benefits of Using Pilates Equipment

Full body workout

Using a Reformer to perform specific, individualised movements will give you a balanced, full body workout. Where there is uneven weakness, you are also able to work unilaterally to focus in and correct imbalances.

Builds strength and tones muscles

Reformer pilates allows you to move through full range while working on strengthening muscles.  It not only targets major muscle groups, but also the small stabilising muscles are called to action when working on a reformer machine.

Low impact (but high intensity)

Reformer Pilates is ideal, under professional guidance, for anyone suffering and recovering from an injury. The low impact allows for repetitive movements to occur which in turn tones and strengthens the injured areas to speed recovery.

Improves core and posture

Many of the exercises performed on a Reformer machine target the core whilst working the peripheral postural muscles at the same time. A stronger core is essential for ideal posture.

Improves mental health

Research continues to emerge on the positive impacts that Reformer Pilates has on mental health. From using the steadiness of your breath to find mindfulness in movement to stress management and relaxation.


Deciding on what type of Pilates is best for you will depend on a number of factors. We have a variety of Pilates classes that are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. At SPHC, one of our Pilates trained Physiotherapists will conduct a thorough assessment of each patient before constructing a personalised Reformer / Trapeze program to help you achieve your goals.

Contact us online or give us a call on 3869 1099 to book your assessment today.