Pilates Trapeze Table, also known as the Cadillac, is a large piece of equipment that allows for a variety of exercises to be performed. To some it may look like some type of torture device but it was actually the first piece of Pilates equipment ever developed!
After the start of WWI in 1914, Joseph Pilates was transferred to the Isle of Man where he began using his method of exercise to treat the war-injured. He began experimenting with an exercise apparatus that used bed springs for resistance to train the soldiers who were bedridden.
Joseph used springs attached to the head and foot boards to create resistance and assistance to help patients gain strength and heal quicker. If a person had difficulty sitting up in bed, he attached springs to a wooden dowel to assist him up. This is very similar to the roll down bar used today to perform an assisted roll up. If you can imagine, the trapeze table today very closely resembles hospital beds during the World War era.
The trapeze table has short and long springs with light and medium resistance, a roll down bar and a tower bar that can all be used to facilitate spinal articulation and core control while performing exercises from the Pilates repertoire.
Along the top of the apparatus is a sliding crossbar to which the trapeze is attached. This trapeze can be used for more higher level exercises as well as acrobatic moves. There are also loops that attach to the upper horizontal bars that are used to hold your feet for exercises where you are hanging.
Due to the diverse nature of this apparatus, Joseph Pilates coined the term “Cadillac” since at the time that was the nicest car you could buy! The multiple parts and attachments to this apparatus allow for a wide variety of movements appropriate for any fitness level.