PLAY. Developed by Polestar Pilates–trained Kristin Anderson and movement and human performance specialist Brian Abercrombie of L.A.-based Engine Fitness, the Pilates Wheel is equipped with “resistance bands,” handles and foot loops to help you recreate exercises from the Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair repertoire in your living room. “We took the principle components of the Pilates machines and stripped them down,” says Anderson, who had been working on the prototype since 2014 with Abercrombie before they brought it to market in 2017. “We were able to maintain the principles with the Reformer’s moving footbar; we also have the leg and arm springs of the Cadillac, and the constant spring load of the Wunda Chair.”
Plates Wheel Belt Melting Photo Gallery
“We designed this for people who can’t afford Pilates [sessions] or don’t have access. There’s a huge number of people who have always been curious but don’t want to go into a studio—a lot of men. The Pilates Wheel takes the intimidation factor out of it,” adds Abercrombie.
In addition to home users, Anderson and Abercrombie aim to bring the Wheel to studios and teachers—and have a teacher-training program in place. But “this is not a replacement for the Pilates mechanisms, it’s a substitute,” notes Abercrombie. Another bonus: It can support beginners, sometimes even better than the Pilates apparatus can, according Anderson. “There are several movements when you first begin on the Reformer that are hard to do. With the Wheel, there is a progression to the progression.”
For example, adds Abercrombie, “during the Hundred, the Wheel holds your head and neck in the correct position so you can learn slowly; for Teaser, it has the ability to support the neck and torso.” Our verdict: Aside from the super-versatile and portable device, what sets the Pilates Wheel apart from other apparatus simulators is the quality instruction, both on demand and IRL via Facebook Live. Anderson and Abercrombie are the real deal, and understand how to support the beginner and safely challenge intermediate and advanced students alike. Abercrombie sums it up best: “We’re not just ‘product people’—we live this.” Choose from two models: the COR and the DLX, which includes an anchor system ($199–$249;
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