Discover the Pilates Tower

Pilates With Springs - The Tower
Real Pilates

Heard of the Reformer? Probably. The Tower or Wall Unit? Maybe not. 

Joseph Pilates was an inventor and an innovator. In addition to his vast system of exercise, Pilates created a host of diverse pieces of equipment to support his technique. One of his largest inventions was the Cadillac or Trapeze table which combined a Mat with a metal frame to offer the user options to use many different types of springs attached at different places for a multitude of resistance options.


Whenever I hear resistance training I wince in advance of the perceived pain associated with weight training. But Pilates is true resistance training using oversized springs instead of weights for a totally unique training experience. The Reformers use springs all attached to a central location but the Tower offers total flexibility allowing the legs, arms and torso to work directly with the spring rather than just moving the sliding carriage to mobilize the springs underneath. Sort of like taking out the middle man. 

So what's so great about it? Variety for one thing. The ability to target body parts and adjust the resistance for your height, weight, and strength. Plus, you can do more standing and upright moves than you could ever do on a Reformer since standing on a moving platform is not entirely safe for many folks. The Tower is done with a mat along the floor so you can enjoy all those arm and core training moves while standing.

According to Jan Phillips, owner of Henry Street Pilates in Brooklyn, NY "My Tower clients are animals. I can put them in a Reformer class or a TRX class for the first time and they are the strongest people in the room. Bodies change working with the Tower - as in "what are you doing - you look amazing"."

Is it Brand New?

Not even a little. The Cadillac which Joe invented has been around since the dawn of Pilates but the Tower version came a bit later. By the late 1980's the Towers were growing in popularity and studios all over utilized them to offer small groups the chance to enjoy the Cadillac exercises.

What Can I Do on It?

Pilates of course. And basic strength training. Squats with springs take on a whole new meaning when coupled with 2 to 3 foot long springs. Think your tricep kick backs build up a burn. You haven't tried tricep work while hooked up to arm springs. And a simple abdominal curl is maddeningly challenging when you have to open up a set of springs just to get your head and shoulders off the mat. 

Who's Doing it?

Loads of studios and some gyms that have invested in the equipment. But largely you'll find dedicated Pilates studios lining their walls with beautiful Towers and filling up mats with hard core spring addicts. Need strength? Need alignment? Need stretch? Grab a set of springs and line up for Tower Class

How do I Find It?

However you take your Pilates  - the Tower should be a part of it. Look up your local Pilates studios for classes called "Tower" or "Wall Unit" or "SpringBoard".

Most Pilates studios that have all the proper equipment include a bit of Tower work in their group Mat Classes. 

For a look at the Towers and to see a Tower class in motion click here and watch our signature Real Pilates SpringTone class. 

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