Fitness experts create new tool to make pilates portable

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Pilates experts created a portable pilates wheel to be used in place of the reformer, which is the gold standard for this type of exercise format. (KABC)

Kristin Anderson used pilates as a competitive figure skater and later when she opened a pilates studio, but she felt there was no middle ground between mat pilates and reformer workouts.

"Pilates equipment is very big and very expensive. And even if you can afford it, you can't take it with you," said Anderson, co-creator of the Pilates Wheel.

After three years of research and development with strength and conditioning coach Brian Abercrombie, the two developed the Pilates Wheel. Their innovation won a grant for its mechanics, manufacturing and aesthetic concepts.

Two wheels, a series of varied weighted cable springs and a hand and foot bar allow you to do pilates in small spaces.

"The lengthening, the strengthening, the elongating, the balance," said Anderson. "Each side is separate. She has to stabilize each side, so we're getting a lot of workout in a short amount of time," said Anderson.

"I use it at night after I put my daughter to sleep on the living room floor," said Santa Monica's Dana Hanlon.

The bar is adjustable to make foot work easier.

Along with being portable, the beauty of this Pilates Wheel, it actually allows the body to do a lot more. Weight stations and reformers keep your body safe and a little bit guarded, but this tool allows you to work harder.

"It offers more feedback so that I really have to stabilize every muscle in my body while I'm doing exercises," said Hanlon.

"It's really simple: push, pull, resist, rotation -- those are the main components of strength training and we found we could really get the benefits with the wheel," said Abercrombie, co-creator of the Pilates Wheel.

Abercrombie said advanced exercisers are surprised at how tough the workout is, but it's also beneficial for beginners.

The Pilates Wheel and cables range from $199 up to $249, but their website streams free video workouts for all levels of ability.
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