Dani Lieberman


The Chair


Like the Cadillac and ladder barrel, the Pilates chair is another of Joseph Pilates' resistance exercise machines. The Pilates chair is a square box with a pedal that can be pressed down against the resistance of springs. Sometimes the pedal portion is divided into two parts, so that you can work unilaterally and bilaterally. Traditionally, the Pilates chairs are made of wood, with a padded top and pedal. The original chairs that Joseph Pilates designed actually did double-duty as furniture, converting into sitting chairs that would also double as seated exercises.

Though the basic design is simple, there are a myriad of exercises that can be performed on the Pilates chair. It is excellent for strengthening the core muscles, of course, and also the arms and legs. Exercises are done lying, sitting, and standing on the chair, as well as from positions to the sides of the chair. One can expect a lot of stability and flexibility work on the chair. It is truly a testament to the ingenuity of the Pilates method to see how many exercises can be done on the Pilates chair.