Apparatus & Glossary


Pilates apparatus is the term Mr. Pilates used to refer to his inventions. He preferred the term apparatus over equipment or machine, in the same way a gymnast would use apparatus, not equipment. To paraphrase Joe’s protege, Romana Kryzanowska: A machine moves you, Pilates is the other way around—you and the apparatus work together.

Joe called the springs on his apparatus your ‘extra muscles’ and by working the springs you strengthen your body from the inside out. He created apparatus as a way to correct imbalances that he saw in bodies doing the mat work. Over time, the apparatus work became as much a part of a Pilates workout as the mat. You’ll notice with practice that every exercise on the apparatus complements and refers back to an exercise on the mat, helping you to do the mat better. We recommend Gratz Pilates Apparatus for their high standards of maintaining Joe’s original design. 

The following is a Glossary of Pilates Terms and a list of the most commonly used Pilates apparatus.