Get To Know your Classical Apparatus

Posted on March 19, 2024

They may look confusing at first, but once you’ve tried our beautifully crafted Classical apparatus, you’ll never look back (nor get a sore back).

We know, because Flex Singapore clients tell us all the time how much they love to feel the stretch while strengthening, lengthening, breathing and opening up the entire body.

But in a studio as fully equipped as Flex, we understand you may not have used them all, and are therefore unsure what each one does best or how it’s utilized.

But as we are in the studio, we’re here to help!

Here is a run-down of what you can expect from the equipment at Singapore’s most professional Classical Pilates studio, the way the founder – Joseph Pilates – intended the practice to be. 

The Electric or High Chair

In Classical Pilates, there are two types of “chairs”: the Low or Wunda Chair, and the High or Electric Chair. The main difference is the High Chair has a back and two handles that rise on either side of the seat.

This high chair essentially is a two-sided box with a padded seat.

Underneath the seat, a foot pedal attached to the chair with two or four springs provides adjustable tension. Over the years, Joseph Pilates constantly revised the Chair; consequently, a number of variations exist, including one with a split foot pedal.

Pilates himself performed approximately 50 exercises on this multipurpose apparatus. You can sit, kneel, lie or stand on, in front of, or behind the Chair.

You can face toward or away from it – even sideways – as you move the spring-loaded bar! 

When you add the back piece and the handles, creating a High Chair, the equipment provides even more support and guidance for the body; a handful of exercises are designed specifically for the High Chair.

The back piece supports your spine during seated exercises and helps guide your knees through standing exercises.

The handles – in conjunction with the spring-loaded foot paddle – enable you to adjust the level of support and resistance as you progressively strengthen your upper body in exercises as the Triceps Dips. 

Wunda Chair

It truly is wunderful. You may have seen this at Flex and wondered what it’s meant to do. But no, this is not a place to rest and reset! 

Instead, the Wunda Chair is one of Pilates’ most challenging pieces of equipment. So what’s so good about it and what can it do for you?

 Consists of a spring-loaded pedal, which provides added resistance against the body

 An excellent tool for strengthening the core, arms and legs

 Can easily be used and stored at home (it could double as household furniture!)

 Has less support, which means you can’t cheat and therefore get results more quickly

 Can accommodate a myriad of exercises from pull ups, the swan and the double leg pump 

Tower Wall Unit (with High Mat)

Flex Singapore is the ONLY Pilates studio in the city with the amazing Tower of Truth.

Essentially, it’s a vertical unit that uses a variety of attachments – a roll-back bar, arm springs, leg springs and a push-through bar to provide a full body workout. Basically, it uses a multitude of springs. But it is these springs that provide the amazing neural feedback.

Throughout the 20th Century, Joseph Pilates created diverse pieces of equipment to support his techniques and mat exercises. One of these was the widely used Reformer, which you see in our private and small groups. It uses springs attached to a central anchoring point.  

The Tower, however, offers a variety of springs in different locations, allowing legs, arms and torso to work directly with the spring. Where you’re weaker or not as agile, these will shake. You will see this and feel it. Thus there is plenty of personal feedback from machine to client.

The Tower is incredibly challenging, effective and comfortable, and its stable platform makes it easier to master the seated and standing exercises.

The Tower is done as a private, duo or trio, so there’s time to allow adjustment of springs and resistance for your height, weight, and strength.

This slowing down of a session really gives clients a moment to feel their strengths and weaknesses and monitor areas for improvement.

As with all Classical Pilates, it’s a total strengthening workout without any stress on your joints, works fast on strength building and hugely improves your general Pilates class sessions.

Your trainer will take you through it from all angles – lying down, seated or standing. If you’re unsure of your physical abilities, a Tower session really allows your trainer to get to you know you and your requirements before you embark on group classes.  

Arm Chair

Also called the Baby Chair, this smaller piece of equipment uses light springs to strengthen the upper body.

People with neck problems, newcomers who are building on arm strength and those seeking to improve posture or lessen neck problems are drawn to this amazing little powerhouse.

Once you get to know it, the Arm Chair is excellent for learning arm series on the Reformer, to deepen your mat practice, or assist elderly clients or desk workers to maintain or gain upper body strength and motion.  

The Pedi-Pole

Authentically crafted in accordance to Joseph Pilates’ design, this is a simple yet intuitive device that increases strength and improves balance.  

The handles securely attach to a pair of high-grade springs to allow for a variety of resistance-based exercises. The vertical pole – attached to the small wooden platform – is also meant to mimic the user’s spine, challenging them to maintain proper alignment through the entirety of each exercise. 

The Pedi Pole is one of our most unique apparatuses at Flex Singapore. It is designed to accommodate users of all heights and experience levels, and can typically be explored through private sessions if your trainer believes working it’s what your body needs.

Lengthen the spine while simultaneously strengthening important muscle groups, and encourage control of the upper and lower body while maintaining a long, straight spine and a stable center.  

Also known as the Hump Barrel, the Spine Corrector addresses imbalances or weaknesses in the spine. You do most of the exercises Pilates developed for this piece while lying with your back arched over the barrel.

Spine Corrector exercises stretch the tight muscles in the chest, shoulders, sides of the body, and front of the hips – muscles that pull the spine out of correct alignment.  

This Classical Pilates apparatus helps you develop a more uniformly strong and supple spine by massaging, supporting, and challenging your spine and Powerhouse muscles. It’s a favorite for a reason!  

Ladder Barrel

The Ladder Barrel is a great tool if you’re looking to increase flexibility, lengthen your spine and enhance your posture.

The ladder’s four supportive rungs provide increased versatility, allowing practitioners of all proportions and experience levels to customize their Pilates practice.  

Looking to try it on your next workout? Here are the 5 the best exercises to do on a Ladder Barrel:

  • The Swan
  • Side Sit Ups
  • Short Box Series
  • Scissors
  • Bridging (Semi-Circle)


Also known as the Trapeze Table, the Cadillac comes loaded with everything you could want in an exercise apparatus, and is ideal for correcting alignment, specifically spine, shoulder and hips.

It’s a direct descendant of early Pilates experiments in fitness equipment invention, back when Joseph Pilates was interned in a camp during World War I.  

It consists of a rectangular upholstered platform with metal poles at each corner. Each corner pole connects together at the top by a frame canopy. At one end is a swinging wooden rectangle called the Push Through Bar, which attaches with springs to either the platform or the poles.

On the other end, a wooden bar called the Roll Down Bar hangs from the Arm Springs, which are attached to the canopy frame. A set of heavier springs, called the Leg Springs, attach to a series of eye hooks located at varying heights along the support poles.

A padded Trapeze Bar is connected by springs to a sliding pole on the canopy. For comfort, a variety of cloth and fleece straps are attached to different areas on the Cadillac’s canopy and platform.

Have you trained on Flex Studio’s Classical Apparatus this year? If you’re looking to step up and are ready for more technical, challenging and targeted Pilates workouts, kick off your Classical training by signing up for a Quartet, Trio, Duet or Private!

Flex Studio Hong Kong

Central : 3F Man Cheung Building 15-17 Wyndham Street, Central
T: 2813 2399 WA +852 5740 5103

Island South : Shops 2205 & 2209 One Island South 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang
T: 2813 2212 WA: +852 5740 9420

Flex Studio Singapore

Orchard : 390 Orchard Road 05-02 Palais Renaissance S 238871
WA: +65 9111 6855  

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