Known as the Bednasium, this apparatus may be used to build the weakest and challenge the strongest. It is the most versatile piece of equipment in the studio. The Cadillac/ Table creates an environment to develop length, strength & Box awareness.
The term Box refers to body alignment. Look in the mirror and imagine drawing a box, starting at the tip of your shoulders to the tip of your hips. If we are misaligned during an exercise, our Box is no longer square. The Cadillac/Table is a series of boxes. Box awareness brings our focus to our alignment. Improper body alignment will compromise your ability to perform an exercise correctly or to receive its benefits. When working on the auxiliary equipment, like the Baby/Arm Chair, Ped-O-Pul, Barrels, Wunda Chair the alignment and precision of the work and body position trumps the range of motion. This is where we are cleaning up movement. And strengthening, lengthening, opening, stabilizing and lifting what needs to be worked in order to balance the body. We execute the Reformer and Mat work to cleanse the body of toxins with movement, we use the auxiliary equipment to balance the body and to prepare for exercises to come. The Cadillac teaches us how to find our best individual and correct body alignment.
The Cadillac/Table also builds the Two-Way Stretch. This action creates length in the joints of the body. I like to use the image of taffy being pulled. Think about what happens to the middle of the taffy when the two ends are stretched in two different directions: it gets long and THIN!!! On the Cadillac/Table most exercises are connected with both ends of your body attached to a fixed or semi-fixed surface. By doing this the chain of energy between the top and bottom of your body are connected. A closed chain movement is a movement where a foot or hand are constrained in space and cannot move and are usually connected to an immobile surface throughout the exercise. This gives us something to press against. A closed chain movement, which we use in Pilates, uses multiple joints against a stable surface. On the Cadillac/Table, the exercises have two points of linear contact. Therefore, on the Cadillac/ Table, while utilizing this double closed chain, we increase the space and stability of our joints and improve functional movement patterns while in the corrective alignment with Box awareness.
Before each movement, feel the body moving in two opposing directions. From the navel toward the head, feel the energy moving toward the ceiling. From the navel to the heels or toes, feel the energy moving through the floor. Engage Two Way-Stretch out of a strong center (your Powerhouse). Find the alignment of your box and execute the exercise.
Below are some of my favorite Cadillac/Table exercises and its Thread to the Mat. Before starting an exercise, take time and study the video to understand the concepts, movement, focus and cues. As always, you are the best judge, listen to your body and if you experience any pain or discomfort while performing a certain movement, stop immediately.
I hope you will be inspired you to look deeper and search for yourselves and your journey in Pilates to find the length, strength and Box awareness of the Cadillac/Table and bring better alignment and balance to the work.
The Roll Back Bar- The Roll-Back
Use to build the skills of rolling from up to down and down to up when building the work from the Hundred to The Roll Up. Pressing of the feet against the Poles of the Frame of the Cadillac/Table will increase the length of the hip joint. This allows for more mobility of the pelvis.
Airplane Board & Leg Springs- Airplane
Use to build the skills to progress from Seal without Beats to the Single Leg Pull Straight. The Airplane builds the ability to hold the Box in position, while articulating the spine to lift the upper body up and the length in the hips to keep the Box still while switching the legs.
Leg Springs- Leg Springs in the Air
Use to build the skills to progress from Side Kick Series- Side Lying- Grand Circles to the Roll Ove. This exercise will build the ability to lift the bottom overhead with the powerhouse, neck strength and length in the hips and shoulders needed to do so.
Learn more about the Contrology Cadillac here