The Pilates Cadillac reformer is a big piece of gym equipment with a lot of accessories and attachments. To a beginner, it may seem intimidating and difficult to use. But with practice and guidance from a good instructor, a Cadillac provides an excellent, versatile workout for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
What is a Pilates Cadillac?
Also known as a trapeze table, the Cadillac is the largest of the Pilates apparatuses. It looks similar to a reformer but is on a stable frame that is higher off the ground than a reformer. It has a lot of bells and whistles, which is how the machine got its name. Supposedly, Pilates brought the first Cadillac he built to the studio and an impressed client, who asked if it was his new Cadillac.
Over the frame of the raised table, a Cadillac has additional frames, called towers. The towers are vertical attachments at each end of the table. They are connected horizontally and have eyelets along them that allow for the addition of attachments, like straps and bars.
From the horizontal bars, hang more attachments, including a trapeze, hence the alternative name for the Cadillac. Some students speculate that Joseph Pilates got the idea for the Cadillac from the trapeze, from his experiences as a child watching his father do gymnastics.
However it came about, the Cadillac is an impressive piece of equipment. There are several benefits of using it to do Pilates workouts:
- The frame, table and accessories provide the most versatile set of workout possibilities. You can do hundreds of moves on a Cadillac.
- The elevated table helps people with mobility limitations and back problems do more exercises more easily.
- The Cadillac is an ideal piece of equipment, when used with a trained instructor, for rehabilitation.
- Cadillac workouts are comprehensive, hitting most muscle groups and improving strength, flexibility, mobility and posture.
- Because there is no moving carriage as on the reformer, there is less risk on a Cadillac of overstretching joints and muscles.
- As with the reformer, the Cadillac includes springs that can be loosened or tightened to change resistance and the difficult of a workout.
Mat vs. Equipment Pilates
While it may seem like a piece of equipment like a Cadillac or a reformer will always give you a better workout, mat-based Pilates can be just as challenging. There are some advantages to the Cadillac and other equipment, though—namely that you can increase resistance to make workouts more challenging. They also allow for more versatile moves.
This doesn’t mean that a mat workout isn’t challenging or beneficial. One of the bonuses of a mat workout is that it’s a lot less expensive. If you are doing Pilates in your home, a mat is the most accessible and cost-effective way to do it.
For studio workouts, you can try all types of Pilates workouts. But don’t be afraid to go straight to a reformer or Cadillac. The mat workout is not a prerequisite to equipment workouts. With the right instructor, you can start on the Cadillac. In fact, in many ways the equipment is easier to begin with because it provides support.
The most important consideration when choosing a type of Pilates is the instructor. Pilates is a great workout with a lot of health benefits, but done incorrectly or with poor form can result in injuries. All beginners must work with a trained instructor before attempting to do a workout alone.
What Size is a Pilates Cadillac Reformer?
A Pilates Cadillac is the biggest piece of equipment available for these workouts. There is some variation between brands and styles, but the size is mostly uniform. The table is about 25 inches tall, 30 inches wide and 80 inches long. You can get Cadillacs that are a little bigger and that hold up to 350 pounds of weight.
The towers and frame fit the size of the table. It is usually 80 to 90 inches tall. This is a big piece of equipment, which is why many people use it only in a studio or gym. For a home Cadillac, you will need a lot of permanent space. It cannot be easily dissembled and put away when not in use.
What Does a Pilates Cadillac Weigh?
For its big size and all its attachments, a Cadillac does not weight as much as you may think. Most models are between 185 and 215 pounds. The materials impact the weight. Some are made of solid wood, while others are lighter metal frames. The attachments also add weight, but the bed and its frame make up most of the weight of the machine.
How to Use a Pilates Cadillac
Once you have practiced it, using the Cadillac Reformer is easy and natural, but there is a learning curve. To learn how to use the Cadillac, you must have a skilled, experienced instructor. They will guide you through basic to advanced movements, correct your form and adapt exercises to your needs, goals and limitations.
The Cadillac has several functionalities, which allow you to use it in several ways:
- With the straps on the tower, you can do core strength exercises, upper body strength and even leg strength exercises, adding resistance for a tougher workout.
- A push bar on the tower allows you to do more leg and glute exercises.
- With the trapeze and horizontal frame of the Cadillac, you can do more acrobatic moves that involve hanging, also known as inversions.
- The flat table of the Cadillac is used for stable workouts, particularly for gentle rehabilitation for clients with injuries or medical issues.
- The size, stability and accessories of the Cadillac also make it a useful tool for a number of stretches, especially spine stretches.
Who Should Not Use a Cadillac Reformer
There are few people who cannot use the Cadillac. That said, everyone—especially those with medical conditions or limitations—should talk to their doctors before trying a new workout. Your doctor may know of reasons you should not do Pilates that may surprise you, so always ask.
Cadillac Pilates can actually be better for people with injuries or medical conditions than other types of Pilates. This is because the table is elevated and stable. It is essential, if you have any limitations, to work with a trained, certified instructor who can adapt and guide your exercises and forms.
PilatesEquipment Vintage Cadillac Reformer
The Pilates Cadillac Reformer is space friendly as it incorporates the Reformer and the Cadillac. It converts safely and easily between cadillac and reformer. It is a state-of-the-art European design with outstanding finishes. It is made with robustness, covered with flat varnish for its safe protection. Its upholstery is made of synthetic leather on foam. It provides highest level of comfort especially for kneeling positions. Includes the jump board and box.
This is a large, sturdy, wood-framed Cadillac with full towers and several attachments. These include eight connection points for the accessories, cross bars, an adjustable push-through bar, a padded trapeze bar along with springs and collars, fuzzies and foam handles, a roll-down bar, several springs, and 28 hooks for moving attachments.
This Cadillac also comes with a reformer conversion. You can turn the stable, solid Cadillac table into a sliding carriage. It includes the head rest, shoulder rests, ropes, loops, pulleys and springs typical of a reformer. It also comes with a jump board to attach to the reformer to add cardio workouts and a box that fits on the carriage.
With all the options and the reformer conversion, this is one of the most versatile Cadillacs you can purchase. It’s longer than many Cadillacs, too, at 94 inches and can hold up to 350 pounds of weight.
About Pilates Equipment
Pilates is a versatile workout. Skilled instructors can adapt it for nearly any skill level and for people with specific limitations. You can do the workout with nothing more than your body and a mat, but you can also make use of specially designed equipment, in a studio or in your own home:
This is the fundamental piece of Pilates equipment, the first apparatus that Joseph Pilates developed while a prisoner of war during World War I. It’s like a bed with a narrow frame and a carriage, or gliding platform that moves up and down the frame. Reformers include foot bars, head rests, shoulder blocks, and straps with springs you can adjust for greater resistance.
It’s a great piece of equipment for progressing from beginner to more challenging Pilates moves. It allows you to make a workout easier or more difficult and is versatile. You can do hundreds of moves on it. See more on Pilates reformers here.
The Wunda Chair
Pilates invented the Wunda Chair to support the spine and to help people develop better posture. It seems like a simple piece of equipment, but you can do nearly 100 moves and poses with the chair. It’s great for posture and is smaller and easier to fit in a home studio than a reformer.
The barrel is a rounded piece of equipment used to do specific exercises. It can be used to correct spinal alignment and to stretch and increase mobility in the hips and shoulders. The barrel often comes with a ladder to help you do strength exercises.
The Magic Circle
This is the simplest piece of equipment Pilates invented. It’s simply a ring, which legend has that he first created from a barrel ring. A Magic Circle adds extra resistance to Pilates moves and is not typically used alone.