Difference Between Pilates Cadillac vs. Tower

Join our Online Pilates Classes to explore the differences between Pilates Cadillac vs. Tower equipment. Uncover the benefits of your fitness knowledge.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • October 15, 2023
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pilates cadillac vs tower online pilates classes

Let’s talk about Pilates Cadillac and Tower

If you’ve been wondering if you should have a Cadillac or Pilates Tower in your home for your personal practice, this video is for you. I’m going to go over the differences between a Cadillac and a tower, the pros and cons, and which one I think could be the best for you.

Hi, I’m Lesley Logan, the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com™. I’ve been teaching Pilates for over 15 years. And I love equipment. I love how many different pieces of equipment Joseph Pilates left for us, to help us with our practice. In fact, the Cadillac used to be called the trapeze table. And it was considered like you know how the Cadillac used to be the car with all the options. That’s why the trapeze table got the name to Cadillac because it was the piece of equipment, all the options, and it can actually really help you take your Pilates practice to the next level. So I’m really excited to talk to you about Cadillac and Tower which one you should have.

Welcome to OnlinePilatesClasses.com™, the most supportive Pilates-loving community across the globe. Enjoy new weekly classes with our amazing teachers. Download the OnlinePilatesClasses.com™ app today.

What are the uses of Pilates Cadillac and Tower?

Before we get into the Cadillac and Tower, I just want to talk a little bit about why we have the equipment and what its uses. Because if you’re like some people, you only do on the mat, good for you or some people only experienced the equipment and you’re like, hey, I love the equipment. I just want all that all the time. So here’s the deal, Joseph Pilates created the mat work first, then he realized, oh my god, we need so much help. We need help understanding how to move our bodies from our center, which is where the equipment came in. And so whether or not you’re using a Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, or Tower or Wunda Chair, all of those things, those different pieces of equipment. Help us connect more to ourselves, we can connect more to others. In fact, I actually have the video on all the different types of Pilates equipment on this channel that you can watch. If you’re wanting to know more information about other than the Cadillac and tower.

What is a Pilates Cadillac?

Alright, so let’s just talk about the Cadillac as a piece of equipment, and then we’ll get into what the tower is. So as you can see, this is kind of a piece of a piece of equipment, does take up some space. You got a nice mat here that you can work on, the Cadillac would have a push thru bar, and you can see it over here on this side where my arm springs are. And then over here, I’ve got something called a roll back bar. And I’ve got leg springs. And what the springs do is help you assist in doing different exercises based on the level of your practice and also the connections you need. I like to think of the Cadillac as the piece of equipment that really teaches you the connections. So whether you want the reformer next, or the mat, or the wunda chair, you’ve kind of figured out how to make some moves in your body.

When you’re looking at a Cadillac, you can see you’ve got this amazing trapeze at the top where you can actually do a lot of things up there. And then you also have space on the outside. So this piece of equipment is more than meets the eye, for sure. In fact, if you were looking at the flashcard deck for OnlinePilatesClasses.com/flashcards for the Cadillac and Tower it’s over 115 exercises that we included, and there are so many more other than that. So the specific differences between a Cadillac like this and a tower. Well, there’s a few, there’s a few. And there’s also a few different towers that we could talk about. But I’m just gonna talk in general and we’re getting to the nitty gritty.

So a tower is going to actually be one, one unit piece here with a mat underneath it, you won’t have this bar situation on the top and everything you see on the sides is actually going to be on one side. So it’s got lots of hooks, you still have your push thru bar, ideally you want that but you’ll have hooks for your arm springs and your leg springs and your roll back bar all that on one side. What is the beauty of that is that, you don’t need to have high enough ceilings to have these bars. And also it kind of looks like it takes up less space. Plus, if you use a wall unit, or a tower wall unit, you can actually lift the mat up to the tower and then recreate your floor space. So that’s what the differences are. You will lose a few exercises if you go for a tower as opposed to a Cadillac. Not too many. But some of the good ones that you want to have, especially if you’re working with your upper body strength.

However, you’re gonna pick the piece of equipment you have room for. You may notice that the Cadillac and Tower have some similarities to the reformer. For example, the springs or the handles from the arm springs. Also, a nice little bed to lay on. That’s on purpose. Actually, you’ll see as I mentioned before, the Cadillac can actually really help us make connections that can make their reformer practice better, and also our mat practice better. And so if you want to see all the different types of Pilates, make sure you check out my video on the different types of equipment for Pilates and then subscribe to this channel so you never miss a video from us.

Teaser with Push Thru Bar on the Cadillac or Tower Online Pilates Classes

What are the benefits of a tower?

Okay, let’s talk about the tower, the benefits, and all the different reasons why it’s amazing. So first of all, as I mentioned earlier, the tower is a bit of a space saver. So especially if you have a low ceiling place to put this or you don’t have a ton of room, a tower can be a really great option. Also, there are things called a tower reformer combo. That’s for those of you who really want to space safe, and we can get into the differences of why you’d want that versus just having a wall tower unit. And I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of that on this video, we’ll do it in a future one. So let me know if you’re interested in that in the comments below. But the benefits of a tower that you still get to have a lot of the awesome myths of a Cadillac with less space.

Also, let’s just be real, they’re less expensive. So that can be a benefit as well, while you are losing some exercises, because you don’t have this trapeze at the top, you still gain a whole lot of exercises that you can’t replicate without it. You need these legs springs to teach you that connection of your legs to your center, the arm springs are a really great tool for teaching your arms neck to your back. So when you’re looking at towers, there are ones that are on a wall, and there have a high mat. And if you don’t get the high mat, you can use a regular mat. But the high mat is really, really great. There’s also things like called a springboard and some of those do come with a push thru bar. So that goes with like on an actual wall. And then as I mentioned before, there’s towers that are attached to a reformer. So all of those save a lot of space still give you access to some of the amazing Pilates Cadillac exercises, and allow you to have a few pieces of equipment in a small space and also save some money there.

At OPC we create the classes

What’s super cool about OPC is all of our tower classes, even if they’re filmed on a Cadillac are designed for those of you with a tower. So we keep that in mind, we create the classes. So we don’t put exercises in that cannot be done on most towers. And so if you want to give it a try out, you can actually check out our Cadillac workout here on this channel, it’s actually a tower workout. So give it a try on the piece of equipment that you have. And if you liked that tower workout, you should check out OnlinePilatesClasses.com™, where we actually release a new tower workout every single month, it’s based on an entire theme that goes with the mat. And if you have access to a reformer or chair, you can see how the theme continues to go around the Pilates studio. It’s really designed to help you become your own teacher of your own body and to see how the tower work can affect your entire Pilates practice. So if you want to try that out, check us out here.

Let’s talk about space and cost

Let’s talk about space and cost. Because I mean, I know we’re all thinking that. So I wanted to explain the space I’m in with my Cadillac, it’s at my house, this is a regular size bedroom and a house. And you can see my Cadillac is about a foot from the ceiling. That does limit me a little bit because I am five foot nine is when I stand on this. If I have a hair bond, it’s on the ceiling. So really affects I can’t do candlestick in this space. But I can still do a several exercise on top here. And I have it in a position where I can still do exercises on either side. If I was in a smaller size room, I would probably push this towards one side, be able to have access to one end and then pull it to the other side. So you do want to have a bit of space around a Cadillac. So even if you’re like oh, I’ve got room for it in my ceiling, you also need to have room around the sides of it to fully use the Cadillac.

A tower, is still going to be the same length of a bed, it’s still going to have roughly about this height of the of the poles on it. So you’re still looking around six feet tall. Most rooms are at least that tall. So I think you’re good there. But the length of the bed is still going to be about six to eight, seven feet long. So you want to have that. What’s really nice if you have a wall unit, as I mentioned, you can actually just pull the mat up, it can tip up to the tower unit on the wall to attach there. And you get all your floor space back, which is really nice. If you’re using one of the tower units that’s connected to a reformer, then you would need to have the length reformer, typically about 86 inch reformer is what’s needed to have a tower attached to it. So that’s going to mean you need to have at least that much room plus room on one side or the other. So you can move the equipment back and forth.

Cost wise. So you’ll find a wide variety, we actually have a link below to our favorite manufacturer Balanced Body who makes Contrology, which is this Cadillac. And you’ll notice that between the springboards and the tower units, you’re looking at around $1000 to almost $3,000 for those tower units. Whereas the Cadillacs by Balanced Body and Contrology are around $5,000 or actually just shy of that at the point that I’m filming this. But if you wanted to add things on like I have here with my with my Contrology. I actually have what’s called the toy box, the treasure chest, which makes it really a space saver because I can put stuff on the inside and then I can push this down and I get access to my mat all over again. So that can put up towards 5000. That is not cheap, but also this is going to last me forever and I can use it every single day as part of my Pilates practice. If you think about it, it really does get its great use and the quality is really amazing. So make sure you check out our link in the description below. When you’re choosing a tower or a Cadillac.

We actually have Pilates Cadillac flashcards

If you’re looking at Pilates Cadillac equipment or even the pictures of the towers going okay what what would I do with that? Don’t worry I have you covered. So at OPC, we actually have flashcards for all the different pieces of equipment. And the Cadillac deck also includes if it’s available on a tower. So if the card inside can be done on a tower and a Cadillac, it’s really easy to notice. If it can’t be done a tower to about 14 exercises, then you’ll see that you can pull those out to the side. So you can actually give yourself a personal practice at home with whatever piece of equipment you end up buying for yourself.

Which one is best for you?

So which one is best for you? Well, ultimately, you’re gonna have to make that decision. This is my favorite. This is the Contrology Cadillac, as I mentioned, and I do know that it is pretty, it takes up a lot of space, one of my girlfriend’s puts it in her living room, and she put some pillows on it when it’s not being used. So it’s just part of her own furniture. If you do decide to choose a different Cadillac, or to use a tower, all of that is fine. I still love you can still take class with me, you can still use our videos and our flashcards. But what I want you to consider is this, make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re going to miss out on.

Again, if you lose the trapeze up here, you are going to lose out on all that upper body work that can that goes with it. If you decide to go with a tower, double check that it actually has a push thru bar that is important. Notice that mine is wood, I would love for you to have a wood push thru bar. And the reason for that is because the weight of that bar really does teach some connections. If you end up with a metal one, though, you’re still good to go. And then finally, I want you to make sure that you’re getting springs that are suitable for your practice and your body. So make sure that they’re the right weight, the right tension. If you have questions about that you put comments below. But I do like a heavier spring setting on the Cadillac because it really does teach you those connections and also on the tower. And of course, you can always ask me questions about which one is right for you in the comments below. You can join me Sundays at 9am pacific time where I answer those questions.

Community, accountability and connection

Finally, if you’re not ready to make the decision to purchase a tower or Cadillac yet, do not worry about it. At OnlinePilatesClasses.com™, we have mat classes. We also have memberships with a mat and reformer if you have access to a reformer and so you can still get your Pilates on. You can still have community, accountability and connection to yourself and connect more to others. You can even get feedback on exercises that you’re doing with us. And so we can actually make sure you’re getting the connections you need and increasing your practice to the level that’s right for you. So no matter what your Pilates experiences, you can join OPC today by checking us out here. Thank you so much for watching this. I will see you next Sunday at 9am Pacific Time to answer your questions. Make sure you subscribe this channel so you never miss a video from us. Have an amazing day.

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,


MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.



We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.



Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

We gather good things in circles…friends, flowers, pie! So let’s get our circles on! In this week’s Mat and Reformer classes we’ll be focusing on how the size and shape of circular work changes how we feel an exercise. We’ll even be adding some circular movements along the way! You won’t need any extra props and please, have your box for the Reformer class.

See you in class,

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we will focus on all things Rowing! How do the other exercises help our rowing series and how does rowing influence the others! Finding the arm/back connection throughout the class is how we will Row Row Row Our Boat to the finish line!

Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light hand weights and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

    On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

    The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10


    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋


    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by


    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.