The Contrology Ped-o-Pul by Balance Body is my new best friend. The Ped-o-Pul is an amazing and unsung hero of the classical Pilates studio. It’s effortless to spend time on the Reformer, Cadillac, and the armchair, they are fun and provide rigorous feedback to your center and the 2-way stretch of the back. But where do you go when the exercises you have given your student and the notes that you have judiciously added into their lesson to encourage them don’t seem to connect them to the cohesive point of it all?
I have watched countless videos of Joe teaching and working out. It invariably seems like the apparatus he is teaching looks somewhat different than the more modern versions we are used to. Have you seen Joe teaching Eve Gentry on the Ped-o-Pul? Her arms extend way above her head, and you can see Joe just off to the side, making the gesture to bring her arms up, so I don’t think the height was merely a function of her petite size. It seems Joe wanted our arms high up. What I love about the Contrology Ped-o-Pul is that it has captured this design aspect and then some. This Ped-o-Pul is much taller than the others. It stands about 8-10 inches higher than the standard classical version, and the crossbar on top is approximately 4″ narrower on each side. This combination makes the origin of the spring align with students’ backs rather than their shoulders, and the height provides access to the full length of the end.
I have worked with Ped-o-Pul’s from a variety of equipment manufacturers. I usually have to tell my students to control their shoulders so that they do not inadvertently (or purposefully) use them to stretch or control the closing of the spring. I have noticed that working with people on the Contrology Ped-o-Pul is that the only note they need is to stop trying to control their shoulders. The spring location, both in width and height, gives direct instruction to the students’ bodies to pull the spring from and manage the return. The apparatus does the teaching. The arm connection to the back is vital to the integration with the center and is necessary to achieve a full-body workout. The Contrology Ped-o-Pul uniquely informs the practitioner about this essential and often elusive yet powerful connection.