Handles have so much to do with the Pilates experience. On a Classical reformer, with leather straps, you can expect that a handle serves as just that, a handle for the hand. That’s because we use the leather strap or extension straps for the legs, not a foot loop. This allows for a seamless flow from exercise to exercise. There is no adjustment of the straps nor change of the handle necessary.
The Contrology apparatus line now offers three classical handles to choose from. Depending on your preference you may opt for leather with a wooden dowel, leather with a contoured dowel, or wire handle with a contoured dowel.
While the Contrology Reformers come standard with leather handles and a smooth wooden dowel, it’s certainly fun to play around with the other options. For a simple grip, the leather handle with a contoured grip is great. This handle fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and the contour of the wood allows for more precise hand and wrist positioning in all exercises. The leather gets softer overtime, making for a truly comfortable fit.
The Wire Contrology handles are a nod to the original handles found in Joe Pilates’ studio. Wire handles with contoured grips were likely a common handle for exercise equipment in the 1950s and 1960s. Jay Grimes says that he recalls these handles in Joe’s studio. However, he says that the contoured grip was made of Bakelite, not wood. (Bakelite, invented in 1907, was the first plastic made from truly synthetic components.) So, if you are a fan of old-school accessories these may be the handles for you. They can be used on the Contrology Reformer, Ped-o-Pul, Arm chair, and Cadillac Arm Springs.
Leather, Contoured, or Wire Contrology handles offer variety to your Pilates practice. Explore the subtle differences and see how they inform your Pilates experience.