Upon first entry, a prospective client often remarks at how the Pilates studio looks like a torture chamber. I don’t agree … unless of course you are looking at the tensometers. These devices stir up images of torture-based dentistry. I definitely imagine a cross-over with the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors.

Both devices – one for upstairs (the spinal column via the neck), one for downstairs (the leg via the toes) – encourage muscle activation and improve awareness of the body through movement. Simple and focussed exercises can completely change how you exercise and find better technique in exercise and every day activities.

The toe tensometer or toe gizmo wakes up all of the supportive and connective tissue in the foot and toe and helping you to feel ‘awake’ through the leg. I love this little bugger because it helps me to find my seat (Pilates speak for butt) and centre. I’m often asking clients to uncurl their toes in the studio and this device shows you how strong feet connected to the seat reduces the struggle and increases the power in your body.

The next stretcher looks far more brutal / silly than it is and gives you delicious feelings of length and stretch through the back of the neck and entire torso. Place the loop around the head and continue with some of the standard Pilates exercises to enliven the neglected muscles around the neck and spine. This device encourages you to grow up and out of the ground and find a productive sense of lift through your session. Want to feel and look taller? This is the toy for you!

Both devices are used in private sessions and remind us just how innovative Mr Pilates was when looking to add vigour and ease in the body. Joe Pilates was an inventor, we are proud to have many Pilates tools/toys in the studio. They might not be as well known or utilised as the mighty reformer, but they pack a huge punch!

Nicolas xo