We thought we would take a look at each apparatus that Joseph Pilates invented and a little bit of their history, how they are used and why. Most people when they first come to the studio are a bit overwhelmed by the big Cadillacs with the fuzzies hanging and get a bit intimidated.
Well, what about that quiet "snail looking" as my husband calls it ? It has the ladder attached and no springs on it. It doesn't move, isn't as flashy as some of the other apparatus. What can that do?
That is the Ladder Barrel. It hasladder rungs and a round barrel shape surface to it. It is placed on a sliding base so that different torso sizes and leg lengths can be accomodated for the exercises. The different rungs also help the client in varying fitness levels or abilities.
Joseph Pilates was highly concerned with the flexibility of the spine and the corresponding strength of the abdominals. "If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young" he said. The Ladder Barrel is one piece that challenges the abdominals as well uses flexibility movements that stretch and strengthen the entire body. The roundness of the barrel can do lovely things for your spine and give support for those that need it.
It helps isolate deep postural muscles and challenges the body on all planes of movement, with no assistance from springs. You do extension, flexion, lateral flexion, rotation of the spine all on this Barrel. Focus is needed to execute a lot of the exercises on the Barrel safely and effectively. Some exercises have you sitting on the barrel and rolling backwards with feet in the rungs, you can face to the side and lay over the barrel or again on top with feet in rungs and go over sideways, you can lay over the barrel and go into extension...or just hang and feel the spine just lengthen and that low back widen.
This apparatus is a great one for stretching, strengthening and creating more flexiblity for your body. Ending the workout is a yummy treat on this apparatus as you can go into all the stretches for the hamstrings, the back, the quadriceps, the glutes, the abdominalsand inner thighs just using the rounded barrel or the rungs.