As part of that quest we installed springboards in our Body Harmonics studios in The results have been fantastic! What is a springboard? A springboard consists of a plywood board attached to the wall, complete with the springs from a Pilates Cadillac. The board is typically 20 inches wide and six feet tall and comes with springs of various lengths and tensions, together with handles, foot straps and a rollbar that you can attach to the springs. Along the sides there are 10 pairs of eyebolts where you attach the springs.
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As part of that quest we installed springboards in our Body Harmonics studios in The results have been fantastic! What is a springboard? A springboard consists of a plywood board attached to the wall, complete with the springs from a Pilates Cadillac. The board is typically 20 inches wide and six feet tall and comes with springs of various lengths and tensions, together with handles, foot straps and a rollbar that you can attach to the springs.
Along the sides there are 10 pairs of eyebolts where you attach the springs. The eyebolt levels for the springs are numbered. This makes it easy to give instructions about spring settings in a class. One of the great benefits of the springboard is the ability to change the tension to suit each client and each exercise.
Generally, the higher the spring is set on the board, the greater the tension. Similarly, the further away from the board you position yourself, the greater the tension. So different people can use different positions and settings while executing the same exercise in a class! The springs feel very different from the Pilates Reformer Many clients at our studio take Reformer classes, so working on a resistance-based piece of equipment was familiar.
However, unless they took one-on-one sessions, they were not familiar with the Cadillac. This meant that the transition to the springboard was both new and familiar. While the springs may appear similar to those on the Reformer, the feeling is completely different. There are two main reasons for this. First, each limb works independently, carrying its own weight — literally! Most of us are stronger on one side so we feel that difference immediately. Second, the springs are higher than on a Reformer and are placed behind or in front of the body depending on whether you are facing the board or facing away from it instead of below it.
That affects the pull of the springs significantly. The combination of the added instability of working independently in each limb, and the stronger pull of the springs makes the springboard experience special. Clients feel the difference immediately. They can easily tell which limb is working harder and can modify accordingly, so springboard is a great way to work on imbalances. They love the feel, the challenge and the fun of working with resistance in a new way.
What can you do with a springboard? The variety of exercises is limitless. Spinal motions, arm arcs and squats are a great way to mobilize the spine, hips and shoulders before adding resistance with the springs. Seated spinal flexion and extension using the rollbar to work the spine and abs. Bridge work with the rollbar under the knees or straps around the feet or thighs, followed by quadruped work to strengthen the core.
Standing work with squats and lunges using the leg springs. Add arm work using the handles once a solid base is established in the lower body. Clients love ending a class with feet in straps. The springs can be demanding, but working this way can release tension as well as strengthen all the muscles around the hip.
Check out Ellie Herman, the creator of the springboard, as she demonstrates some typical moves. Think about buying some springboards for your studio! Have you ever tried springboard classes, or worked on one on your own? What did you love about it, and what was not great? Share your experiences in the comments below! She is also a writer and author. Those published on Shoptalk remain the copyright of Body Harmonics. If you share Shoptalk articles with others, please credit Body Harmonics.
This guide is meant for Pilates trainers and fitness professionals as well as for Pilates aficianados who want a deeper understanding for their own practice. This book takes you through classic Pilates Reformer repertoire as well as introducing original exercises developed by Ellie Herman and her instructors over the last fifteen years. Included in this book are: step by step photo sequences, detailed descriptions of over Reformer exercises, proper breathing and specific alignment cues, benefits and contraindications, rehabilitation applications and special tips and imagery. About the Author: Ellie Herman, author of Pilates for Dummies, Pilates Props Workbook, and Pilates Workbook on the Ball, continually strives to expand her approach to bringing balance back to the body. A former dancer and choreographer, she runs two successful Pilates studios in San Francisco and Oakland, and is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.
Ellie Herman's pilates reformer : a manual for pilates instructors & serious pilates students