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Pilates Product Review: The PilatesStick
By Rebekah Rotstein
Back when I was seeing private clients in their homes, I would lament not having Pilates equipment with me. Many of my clients have specific conditions and past injuries, so I rely heavily on the machines for the neuromuscular feedback, assistance and challenge that springs provide. The need I had for transportable equipment—a need I’m sure that many instructors still have—would be diminished now, thanks to the PilatesStick® . This clever device allows you to set up a resistance unit in your own home, or anywhere you like for that matter. Just secure it into a door and you have your own springboard with a rolldown bar.
The brainchild of exercise physiologist Charles Blount, the PilatesStick is a portable kit containing a bar, a thick resistance band called Slastix, cotton loops for the feet or hands, a foam anchor to secure it into a door and a yoga mat. All this comes in a sleeve making it as easy to carry around as a yoga mat bag, with the Slastix serving as a strap to throw over your shoulder. The basic kit will run you about $150. The system also offers additional items for purchase like wall mounts and a ballet bar attachment. Peak Pilates acquired the distribution rights to the PilatesStick earlier this year.
For those looking to complement their current workout, or studios wanting to offer economical and comprehensive classes, the PilatesStick is a good investment. The kit also includes a list of exercises along with a poster-size version for display on a wall to remind you of various options. The accompanying introductory DVD provides an easy assembly guide and a nicely laid out Pilates exercise program. It includes the classical repertoire like Rolldown, Swan/Flying Eagle and Thigh Stretch with a smooth flow and clear transitions between exercises. It also demonstrates new adaptations made possible by grip straps on the bar that secure the feet. This addition to the traditional rolldown bar activates the feet with exercises like “Leg Arcs” (where the straightened legs rise and lower) and integrates further core control in “Pushaways” (where the knees bend in and then push the bar away.) The minimal explanation and cueing on the DVD, however, make it more appropriate for an experienced Pilates practitioner than for a beginner.
I tested the PilatesStick myself and also on my colleague, fitness veteran Jeff Bell, to get a well-rounded perspective on varying heights and body sizes. Since there’s only one tension option (i.e. only one Slastix band), certain exercises worked better on his muscular male frame than on my petite female body. This is true specifically in open-chain arm work in which more tension makes the exercise more challenging. For instance, the resistance was too great for my hypermobile shoulders in Arm Circles and Chest Expansion unless I repositioned ...
Pilates Product Review: Wrist Assured Gloves
By Kathryn Comperatore
If you dread doing planks and push-ups because of wrist pain, Wrist Assured™ Gloves , or WAGs, offers a wearable solution. WAGs, from licensed occupational therapist Paula Wilbert, are designed to ease pain and improve comfort for practitioners of Pilates and yoga.
Wilbert set out to create WAGS after recovering from a wrist injury; she noticed that she still had pain in certain weight-bearing positions in her yoga practice and felt that her wrists needed relief from the stress of those positions.
For beginning students and for those with wrist pain, WAGs are a helpful aid for loading the forearm and upper extremity correctly in weight-bearing exercises.