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Equipment Series: The Cadillac/Trap Table

  • Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016

Look at your bed. 

Did you visualize an exercise apparatus utilizing the bed frame and mattress springs? 


Joseph Pilates did.


During WWI, when Joseph Pilates was interned (see his history), many of the prisoners he worked with were bedridden with severe injuries. In order to allow them to benefit from movement, stretching and strengthening without having to stand, he attached springs to their beds to use as resistance. In this manner, they were able to rehabilitate before even being mobile. 

This was Pilates’ prototype of the modern day Cadillac—which by the way, he named after the era’s prestigious car.

Perhaps you’ve noticed (it’s kind of hard to miss) that we recently added one to our equipment collection here at Body Aligned. As when Joseph Pilates used it, the Cadillac (also called the Trapeze Table or Trap Table because of the unique trapeze component) is still used quite frequently in rehabilitative situations. Because of its higher profile, it provides easier access for individuals with limited mobility. 

But it’s value extends far beyond rehabilitation. The Trap Table is an extremely versatile piece of equipment with an array on exercises that can be performed in all planes of motion. It can be used for activating almost any muscle group in both the upper and lower body, anterior and posterior chain. Many exercises emphasize assisted spinal articulationeither flexion or extension. The springs provide assistance in connecting the extremities to the core which requires great core control, centering, stability and breathing—all while allowing a fluidity or flow of movement.

Plus it’s especially helpful when endeavoring to more fully utilize the hamstrings during leg work—specifically calling on them for both strength and flexibility. Leg work can be accomplished lying down, side-lying, facedown or standing depending on hamstring flexibility. And because of its unique design, there are some remarkable standing stretches that can only be done on the Cadillac.

In fact, fully utilizing the architecture of the Cadillac allows for unique hanging exercises that immensely benefit the upper body and spine. And talk about fun? You can experience specialized movements that will make you feel like you’re a budding candidate for Cirque du Soleil. Consider it a grown-up’s version of a jungle gym!

It may look intimidating, but don’t let it be. The Trap Table will definitely bring new movements to your Pilates practice. And at any ability level, how wonderful is it to feel a new sense of accomplishment by experiencing a new piece of equipment?!

Contact us today to set up a private Pilates session so that one of our instructors can help you experience this amazing, transformative piece of equipment. For complete details and pricing, see our Pilates section by clicking here.

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