Exercise Equipment to Fit Your Fitness Needs

Focused on the concept of controlling the body through its core, Pilates increases strength and improves cardiovascular health. It can be as simple as rolling like a ball or as intense as a workout on one of several Pilates machines. It hits the muscles closest to the bone structure, not just the abs. It also teaches you that you’re only as strong as you are flexible and vice versa. At the same time, it’s rehabilitative. You can stabilize your core through Pilates by adjusting the equipment to provide resistance resistance or to make you feel weightless. The point is finding what you best respond to. The endless amount of Pilates exercises makes that possible.

Among the machines, the Reformer is a standout. Utilizing a sledlike apparatus, shoulder blocks keep your head and neck in place for exercises in which you choose to lie down. It’s unbelievable for stamina. You create a real flow to go through 70 exercises in 60 minutes—that takes endurance. You also get a wholebody workout.

The springs on the machine act as resistance, providing a greater amount the farther out you stretch. A further benefit of the Reformer is how easy it is to adjust the straps and the foot bar. If you want to work out the upper body more, you can always go with the Pilates chair, which is often boxshaped and has a resistance pad just below where you sit—it can be pushed from above or underneath in the lying position.

While Pilates machines can make you strong, they promote longer, leaner muscles as opposed to bulkier muscles. For that, consider the SpaceSaver weights. Adjustable to hold up to 50 pounds of weight per dumbbell, they let you choose to go for toning or muscle building. Other advantages include how quickly you can change the weights and how little space they take up.

Pilates is helpful for cardiovascular exercise, but if that’s your main goal you should also look at treadmills. Many have handgrip sensors that allow you to see whether you’re in the optimal training zone. A reading rack and MP3ready jacks and speakers can help you forget you’re even exercising.

But the best part of all of these machines is you no longer have any excuses to skip your workout.

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