Pilates Reformer vs Pilates Tower

Which is best for me?

The Pilates tower is also know as the half trapeze. The trapeze tower was a direct adaptation by Joseph Pilates of a bed with a frame with springs attached to support or challenge traditional Pilates matwork. The tower (or half trapeze) is an adaptation that can be used in group classes and almost all the trapeze repetoire can be performed using the half trapeze. Just like the reformer, the Pilates tower uses springs for resistance and the springs and their height can be adjusted to add support or challenge. Or Pilates reformers convert to a tower with an added mat and the addition of the tower frame. The tower has a spring bar and a push through bar which can be sprung from the top or the bottom as well as springs with hand/foot loops attached.

How are Pilates tower classes different to reformer classes? Tower classes allow you body to move in a completely different way – and they feel very different. As the angle of pull on the springs is quite different to the reformer the same exercises – i.e. feet in straps can feel very different and emphasise different muscles. The tower is great for getting an amazing stretch and certainly the feedback from our classes is that the stretch you get in tower classes is amazing (don’t worry – you’re still working hard with that resistance!). The tower also lends itself well to working on spinal mobility and can assist mastering moves like the roll-up and teaser by assisting you through the movement.

What can you expect in a tower class? Tower classes combine elements of matwork combined with the tower springs to add challenge, facilitate and assist movement. Just like our reformer classes, you’ll get a full body workout (with plenty of core work!). A Pilates tower class will cover work all the major muscles groups, work on muscular endurance, spinal mobility and flexibility. As we said the tower also provides an amazing stretch and also provides great opportunities to challenge your balance. Many of the exercises we do in Pilates reformer classes can also be done in Pilates tower classes – exercises like short spine, bridging, feet in straps, swam, teaser…… but they will feel different on each piece of equipment.

What’s better for me Pilates tower or Pilates reformer? We’re Pilates lovers – so we say both! The tower will allow you to move your body in new ways so is a great way to shake up your Pilates practice. You may find too that learning an exercise (i.e. feet in straps) on the tower gives you new insight and and you get more out of the exercise on the reformer.

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