Pilates Archives

Why this New resurgence of the Wunda Chair?

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Pilates chair—or “wunda chair,” as Joseph Pilates called it was designed specifically to challenge athletes and dancers by building even more core, upper and lower body strength. In my studio it is favored by my male clients because it is difficult to use but effective in its pursuit.

Joe lived in a tiny NY apartment where space was premium so his "chair" had a dual use for seating as well as exercise. 

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Why you need a stand for your AeroPilates machine

Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The original reformers that were designed by Joe Pilates were like tables, on legs off the ground so that he could comfortably work with his students. Originally our machines were on the floor for easy storage but today you can raise it off the floor with the stand.

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Burn calories on your back while laughing!

Posted on Sunday, March 6, 2016

When we developed the idea of adding a trampoline to a reformer we had no idea how profoundly we were revolutionizing the work of fitness.
Every one needs to perform cardiovascular exercise at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes to prevent heart disease but I know that many of you have not been able to find a way to increase your heart rate safely, without impact on your knees, without pounding the pavement or having to get wet and chlorinated in a pool or sweaty on someone else's used treadmill or elliptical.

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Why do you need a stand for your reformer

Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

When Joe Pilates designed the original reformer back in 1923 it was raised off the floor so that his students could climb on and off easily and he could spot and correct their movements without having to bend over.
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Lower back pain gets us all sometime; so try AeroPilates to prevent it

Posted on Monday, January 4, 2016

Most people at some point in their lives experience an episode of low back pain. Typically these episodes occur when least expected causing muscle spasm, nerve compression pain and immobility.
 It is important to become aware of your regular daily movements, especially the ones that cause muscular imbalances and repetitive stress like when sitting too long, lifting without using your core, running on high impact surfaces, shoveling snow! and playing one sided sports. read more

How to challenge yourself on your AeroPilates reformer

Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Many of you have worked vigilantly on your AeroPilates reformer to strengthen your core, lengthen your tight muscles and improve your balance and coordination. 
No doubt with regular training you are standing taller, sleeping better, boasting about your ideal weight and feeling ready for the Spring and Summer?
The question you now begin to ask me is, "what do I do to  further improve, grow and challenge myself?"

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Body Awareness

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2015


The emphasis in AeroPilates is on how the exercise is performed taking your time to understand pelvic or shoulder stabilization before you begin to move your legs or arms.

The reformer gives you an opportunity to revel in the mastery of the movement and improve your body awareness. Are you balanced? Is your left leg working in harmony with the right? Does your inner thigh have the same strength as your quad? Are you flexible in all 360 degrees of your range?

Where is the tightness or weakness? Begin to go inward and take stock of body placement and imbalances that need to be corrected with focus.

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Strap Length

Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2015

Your AeroPilates reformer arrives with the straps already adjusted however occasionally they are not equal lengths and will require you to manually make the correction.
On our latest Plus reformers it is a simple change directly on the velcro handle. On past reformers there is a clip system under the platform and on the very easily reformers you need to retie the knot. 
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It's not about cords or springs it's about control

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2015

Over the years we have developed hundreds of different AeroPilates reformers. 

Beginning with the very first maroon and beige with 4 cords to our most recent Plus reformer with 5 cords. We even made studio reformers with springs and have licensed the rights to our revolutionary cardio rebounder exclusively to Stott Pilates for use only on their studio pieces.

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What you need to know about SLEEP?

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

As a younger woman I prided my self in needing very little sleep. Burning the candle atboth ends meant getting more done and supposedly “living more life.”

At 57 I realize how careless I have been and today I pay much closer attention to gettingregular and adequate rest; needed to restore and rejuvenate my aging body.

More and more research is emphasizing the importance of sleep and linking its lack tocancer, obesity, heart disease and depression, please continue reading in order to garner all that I've learned on the subject...

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Do you feel nauseous while exercising? Consider the Head and Neck Support Pillow

Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2015

Symptoms of motion sickness include dizziness, nausea and in severe cases, vomiting. My understanding of the cause of motion sickness is a disruption in your sense of balance because of a discrepancy between messaging from the vestibular (ears) system and visual stimulation registered by your eyes, to the brain. Motion of your body is detected by your inner ears, your eyes and skin all of which send sensory messages to your brain.
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Best home reformer of the year chosen by YOU, the people

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Two years ago AeroPilates won the Reader’s Choice award for the best home reformer of the year.


Since 1995 when we first developed our original Pilates reformer for home use we have seen many subtle yet important changes while never compromising on the look and feel of the mini reformer that Joe Pilates himself conceived of.


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Good posture starts with healthy feet

Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot pain caused by inflammation of the fascia in the sole of your feet and tightness of your calf muscle and Achilles tendon.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot to the base of your toes.

Diagnosis is easy due to the sharp pain felt particularly in the morning when putting pressure on your heel but the reason for it is far from consistent. We see it most often in people who are over weight and spend long periods of time standing.

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Pull up your way to a toned upper body

Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Women complain to me all the time about their upper arms. Why can’t they have toned, defined biceps and triceps without flabby skin and saggy muscles?

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AeroPilates Stand

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When Joe Pilates designed the original reformer back in 1923 it was raised off the floor so that his students could climb on and off easily and he could spot and correct their movements without having to bend over.

As innovators of the first portable, home reformer we were particularly mindful that the workout was easy, attainable and safe. Thus our reformer was equipped with bungee cords instead of springs for resistance and the reformer sat on the floor.

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Why is the circle magic?

Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Romana, Joe Pilates protégé and my teacher, used to tell the story that Joe needed a way to challenge the extremities of an injured dancer one day so he removed the metal rim of an old cognac keg, wrapped 2 sides with cloth and placed it between her feet while she was performing the Hundred. read more

Pain is the Body's language so listen and heed its warning.

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013

As a society we are educated to numb, hide, placate and medicate our pain. Despite pain being the warning that there is a problem that needs attention we have come to believe that it is unacceptable. read more

The Mat

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

When we first invented the Cardio Rebounder and I added it to my machine I began to realize that I may want a mat underneath it to save my cork tiled floor. It was then that we developed a mat that is long enough to comfortably fit under any AeroPilates Reformer. read more

Common Mistakes in AeroPilates Exercises Warm-up Footwork

Posted on Sunday, September 1, 2013

So often people worry that they are not performing the Pilates exercises correctly, at home, when they watch my DVD's or videos. I want to alleviate all concerns regarding this sensitive issue.

Just as most people work out at the gym alone, without a personal trainer, I am making it possible for you to work out, alone, at home. All my instructional DVDs and videos have been developed so that you can work along in real time. I emphasize the correct muscles, the correct breathing and the correct set-up without being confusing and intimidating. The benefits of working out regularly, on your own, far exceed what you would get if you chose to only work with a personal trainer and since the machine is a brilliant support structure, that prevents you from doing something wrong or hurting yourself, you can rest assured that while you may get additional subtle benefits from a trainer you are still truly getting an amazing and profound workout without one.

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Neck Support while reforming your body on your AeroPilates machine

Posted on Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Your neck or cervical curve exactly matches your lumbar curve when your spine is long and aligned however due to the unhealthy amount of time spent at a computer or looking down while texting, your front neck muscles shorten and your back neck muscles become fatigued and tight. 
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Tips on performing the AeroPilates 100

Posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Hundred has long been considered the one exercise that Joseph Pilates was renowned for. Even though it engages almost all the muscles of your front and back, it is primarily a breathing exercise that warms up your whole body bringing fresh oxygen throughout while uniquely strengthening your abdominal muscles and expelling stale air. read more

No More Excuses. Get your AeroPilates now, Watch QVC US 4/23 2am, 10pm

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013

If you love your AeroPilates or you haven't yet purchased one, now is the time. I've spoken to thousands of people who say the main reasons they don't exercise are lack of time, too much money, a lack of results, previous pain and fear, and lack of space. 

AeroPilates owners however report that their AeroPilates reformer solves these problems and most of our customer have had their machines for over 5 years and by the way are still using it!

No Time: AeroPilates is so efficient. No more wasting time driving to the gym, find a few minutes a day and change your life. Unlike other fitness routines that isolate one muscle group at a time our AeroPilates reformer works out your whole body in a safe yet functional and balanced way. In just 20 minutes a day or in 2, 10 minutes sessions you can strengthen opposing muscles at the same time while lengthening and realigning your spine. You will stand taller, define and tone every muscle group, increase your suppleness, improve your balance and lose a couple of pounds a week. I am not kidding, our clinical study proved it.

Money: What are you spending on your gym membership, gas to get there, a private Pilates or yoga class, meditation CD's, chiropractor, massage therapist, fancy gym clothes and sneakers? Save it all and invest in a once in a life time "life changer": an AeroPilates reformer. I am amazed at how much more time I have and how much less body work I need to stay strong, supple and pain free. One 20 minute session a day and my AeroPilates reformer, re aligns my spine to stand taller, defines and strengthens all my muscles, flattens my tummy, helps me sleep, reduces my stress and assists in maintaining my weight. 

You will never look back and you will save a ton of money at the same time!

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Less cords means more work

Posted on Saturday, August 17, 2013

Typically, when working out on exercise machines, we are taught that more resistance makes it harder to perform the movement. In AeroPilates this is not necessarily so. read more

Correct Form when performing AeroPilates

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Every fitness routine should function to increase mobility of the spine, strength of all the mobilizing muscles, range of motion of the joints, flexibility of your spine, postural improvement and oxygen uptake by the heart and lungs. In AeroPilates we uniquely attain all of those goals in a safe and fun routine that will totally change how you look feel and move.

When you think of improving how your body moves however, it is important to understand that your upper body is stabilized by your shoulder girdle, your lower body by your pelvic girdle and your core is the connection between the two. Your head sits on top and your spine runs uniformly, throughout.

In order to get the most out of your AeroPilates routine it is helpful to be mindful of some of the following rules of correct body placement to prevent injury and maximize results:

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Common Mistakes in AeroPilates: The Hundred

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013

This exercise has been long considered the one that Joseph Pilates was renowned for. Even though it engages almost all the muscles of the front and back, it is primarily a breathing exercise.

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Lower back pain gets us all eventually

Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2013

Most people at some point in their lives experience an episode of low back pain. Typically these episodes occur when least expected causing muscle spasm, nerve compression pain and immobility. read more

The magnificence of the Vetruvian Man

Posted on Saturday, June 8, 2013

When Leonardo Da Vinci drew his picture of the Vetruvian man, he emphasized the magnificent beauty of our human proportions. 

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My Secret to Toned Arms, Flat Tummy and Lean Legs

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013

People ask me all the time how I maintain my tone, especially in my arms. With the extremely busy schedule I have, I still make certain to do at least 8 minutes of Pilates every day... read more

Why AeroPilates On a Machine?

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013

Most people have some kind of physical pain from years of exercising incorrectly. High impact aerobics and muscle isolating weight training have caused their bodies to break down.

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Breathing the Pilates Way

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blood must be oxygenated in order to fill the cells with energy. We also know that breath enhances the benefits of exercise. Breathing is actually how we regulate our energy, and so it was taught by Joseph Pilates. read more

Grow Strong, Not Old

Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I recently read a great article by Dr. Karl Knopf who says all it takes for the average 50 something to stay fit is 30 minutes of walking three times a week, some regular stretching and lifting weights. At 50, I too recognize that I can no longer do all that I did when I was younger. My recently stress-fractured foot reminded me that my running days need to be limited and replaced with something gentler. AeroPilates to the rescue!

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Mistakes reforming your body

Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013

Even though I have worked hard to teach you the correct alignment and form while performing AeroPilates from my DVDs, I want to share some helpful tips that will ensure the maximum benefit from your workout. read more

Spiritual Transformation Through Pilates Part Two

Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meditation is merely the ability to quiet the mind long enough to listen to messages from our higher self and to be able to ignore the judgmental chatter that fills our brain much of the time. The most accessible way to achieve this state is to concentrate on the breath. By focusing on cool air filling your body and warm air leaving your body, you automatically relax every muscle and turn off your conscious mind.

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#1 My Knees Hurt - Pilates Reformer Instructional Video & Article

Posted on Friday, February 8, 2013

Title: My Knees Hurt
Level: Beginner
Duration: 10 Minutes
Description: A Knee Stretching and Strengthening Sequence on your AeroPilates Reformer with Marjolein Brugman

Join the Video Fitness Club!
Buy the DVD!

Additional Reading:
1. Pilates: The History
2. The Importance of Correct Positioning
3. Correct Form when performing AeroPilates
4. Breathing the Pilates Way
5. My Secret to Toned Arms, Flat Tummy and Lean Legs
6. Common Mistakes in AeroPilates Exercises Warm-up Footwork
7. Common Mistakes in AeroPilates: The Hundred
8. Common Mistakes in AeroPilates: Arms in Straps
9. Common Mistakes made in Elephant series
10. Mistakes reforming your body
11. AeroPilates and Osteoporosis

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Common Mistakes made in Elephant series

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013

The Elephant Series was so named such by Joseph Pilates because when you are standing on the platform with your hands on the foot bar and your head is relaxed, the line of your spine looks like an elephant's trunk!

Because there is a natural flow from the Knee Stretch Series into the Elephant Series and then into the Downstretch Series I am going to write about all of these exercises as best I can, to share their benefits and their common missing links.

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Spiritual Transformation Through Pilates. Part One

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013

Good health requires a strong Body, a strong Mind and a strong Spirit. When all three are in harmony and balance, we are able to feel and look great. We essentially make a contract with Spirit, at birth, to take care of the Body we are given, in order to fulfill our human roles during this lifetime. read more

Total Integrated AeroPilates Cardio Workout Level I

Posted on Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Integrated Level I workout routine is an exercise regimen designed to be used in conjunction with the weight loss portion of the lighterliving ™ Weight Management System, available at lighterliving ™ and assumes that participants have an AeroPilates Performer and the accompanying exercise videos. For maximum weight loss benefit, use Level I for 30 minutes, 5x a week for 30 days, before moving to Level II.

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The Importance of Correct Positioning

Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2012

Whenever you begin an AeroPilates exercise it is important to place your body in the correct position. Always aim for a neutral spine,it is the natural position of the spine and includes a strong lumbar curve. Most people have a flattened lower back that has lost its natural lumbar curve and, additionally, have weak abdominal muscles. This combination eventually causes the head to fall forward and the neck and back to ache.

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What is AeroPilates?

Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2012

AeroPilates is the smart and intelligent way to retrain your body, mind and soul. It is an all encompassing method of Pilates that focuses on the whole body. Primarily, it is concerned with developing correct posture and efficient movement patterns.

Since no clinical studies have ever been performed on a reformer we decided to put our AeroPilates system to the test.

The goal of the study was to thoroughly examine AeroPilates, an exercise program that combines Pilates Strength Training with supine Cardio Rebounding; which can be accomplished by a majority of people, and to determine whether there are significant fitness and weight loss effects.

Pilates is renowned for its unique multiple plane movements and is well touted for the wide array of benefits it provides including Improved Strength, Mobility, Endurance, Flexibility, Core Stability, Proprioception, Control and Coordination as well as Mind/ Body Stress reduction. It has long been used for rehabilitation and is typically performed on a reformer or on a mat on the floor.

I have prepared a short summary of our findings but if you care to read an in depth discussion of the study performed by Neil Wolkodoff, PhD, Sue Peterson and Jeff Miller, PhD. Click here to read the study.

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Common Mistakes in AeroPilates: Arms in Straps

Posted on Monday, October 1, 2012

In Pilates we strengthen the arms, back and chest by pulling on straps that originate from the back of the machine. If we are sitting facing the foot bar the resistance comes from behind us, if we are sitting facing the back of the machine the resistance originates in front of us and if we are facing one or other side the resistance origination is different again. read more

AeroPilates, an Exercise System That Has Arrived, Not a Moment Too Soon!

Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012


In 1968, Dr. Kenneth Cooper was the first to write the book "Aerobics", in which he explained how energy expenditure could be scientifically measured. Suddenly there was a way to control weight by measuring calories ingested versus calories expended. The world of fitness was later caught up in the Jane Fonda era, consumed by the adage "no pain no gain". "You must work hard, sweat hard and get sore" exhorted Fonda on her 1981 "Workout" video.

Suddenly men and women flooded to the gym in an effort to become strong, fit, slim and healthy. Consumerism quickly followed. It began with specialized running shoes and when Nike was asked why they endorsed the concept of "target zone" energy expenditure, they answered "it sells shoes"! The fitness clothing manufacturers followed with trendy, comfortable workout gear and the diet industry with protein bars and weight loss shakes. Today, however, most of us in our forties and fifties are still suffering some irreparable damage after all those years of high-impact and mindless exercise!

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The Miracle of AeroPilates

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I wrack my brain daily to find a unique and more succinct way to explain how AeroPilates is superior to other methods of exercising. read more

AeroPilates and Osteoporosis

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Did you know that 30 % of postmenopausal Caucasian women have osteoporosis and by the time they are 80 70 % will have the disease?

There are many safe ways to help prevent this inevitable bone loss. Dietarily be sure to get at least 1000 units of Vitamin D but most important is weight-bearing exercise.
Amazingly, AeroPilates is a safe and gentle weight bearing routine that may help to keep your bones strong while it improves your metabolism, and builds longer, leaner and stronger muscles.

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Pilates: The History

Posted on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

People everywhere are intrigued by the genesis of the Pilates Movement. I have never written an excerpt on its history, so decided this month to share with you how it all began. read more

Pilates Performer Protocol

Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010

So many of you ask me which machine to buy and what to do after mastering the basic workout that comes with the machine. Here is a simple breakdown that will simplify your concerns. read more

AeroPilates SpaceMate: a portable pilates gym in a bag

Posted on Saturday, May 15, 2010

As you all know I spend so much time on the road traveling and thus often feel the frustration of not being able to get on my AeroPilates performer to stretch out and realign my weary body.

Over the years I have developed my own portable kit: a tennis ball to work through tight trigger points, my Back Magic to workout the knots and spasms in my poor lower back, from long spurts of sitting, a stretch band or two and a series of floor movements that keep my arms strong and my body toned.

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An innovation that twists and extends your spine

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2009

I recently came across a new product that I would love your feedback on. Email me at in info@lighterlving.com and tell me what you think.

You know that my passion about the miracles of a regular Pilates reformer routine is endless because it truly does everything one needs, that as Joe used to say, "is good for the body, mind and soul".

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Refresh Your Brain Daily

Posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Pilates on one of my machines is like the wake-up call that says, "no, don't do it that way...do it like this instead." It is the re-programming of old patterns and the relearning of new ways to move, employing the correct muscles and reducing the burden on the others. read more

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