What Is A Pilates Tower And How Does It Work?

With celebrities like Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, and David Beckham crediting pilates for helping them stay in shape and build strength, it's no wonder this mind-body workout has continued rising in popularity over the years (via Tribe Pilates). Well-known names praise pilates' healing powers when it comes to recovering from injuries and chronic conditions, but we also hear about how this low-impact workout improves one's core strength, stability, posture, and flexibility while also helping with stress relief, anxiety, and depression, per Healthline

Created by Joseph Pilates, the versatile movements that make up pilates first became popular in the 1990s and experienced a renewed vigor during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Body+Soul. American Council on Exercise president and chief science officer Cedric Bryant thinks this was because people were looking for more workouts that focus on mind-body connection during the pandemic, per The New York Times

While there are forms of the exercise that can be done using a mat, which could make pilates your go-to workout at home, there are also apparatus-based movements for greater resistance, per Verywell Fit. The pilates tower is one such piece of equipment. 

What is a pilates tower?

The pilates tower is a more compact version of a pilates Cadillac, the piece of equipment that comes with a trapeze and surrounding frame around the raised bed and mat that make up the entire setup, per Pilates Connector. Also known as a half-trapeze, the pilates tower resembles a bed that has a frame and springs fastened to one end of it, according to Yoganic. Users can perform resistance-based movements by using the adjustable springs attached to the tower.  

The pilates tower stretches to the ceiling and holds the safety straps and various adjustable springs that you require for the workout (via April Plank Pilates). They also include pull/push-through bars and roll-down bars for a fuller range of movement, Pilates Connector explains.

Using a pilates tower to do your pilates movements is more of an advanced phase in the exercise regimen, mainly because the workouts offer more of a challenge, reports Yoganic. 

How does the pilates tower work?

Using a pilates tower for your workout offers more stability than a simple reformer, per ABS Pilates. You begin by either sitting, standing, or lying down on the mat. The resistance springs fastened to the tower are then used to perform the various movements. Pilates classes that use a tower usually move from horizontal to vertical exercises after a warm-up on the mat. These classes provide an effective and rewarding full-body workout that give users a feeling of being "taller" and "lighter," according to Pilates Connector

Stretching using a pilates tower is an experience unlike any other, reports The Pilates Studio Dublin, mainly because there is a lot of attention to straightening out the muscles surrounding your hip, pelvis, chest, and also extending the spine. Targeting all the important muscle groups, exercises using a tower can help with spinal mobility, flexibility, and endurance.

There's a lot that happens to your body when you do pilates every day. Perhaps you can throw in some extra challenge by adding a pilates tower to your workout.