The Pilates Apparatuses: What’s in a Name?

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

Lately I've been spending considerable time with my Foot Corrector.

Although there are countless exercises one can do with this lovely device, I've been focusing on the basics: the foot positions we also use for Footwork on the Reformer.

  • Toes
  • Arch
  • Heel
  • Tendon Stretch – Which on the Foot Corrector I call The Massage. How nice.

For more details about these 4 exercises check out this recent post.

It's working!

I am amazed at the power of this little device to correct my feet.

I've known for years that my left foot has a fallen arch and poor alignment with the joints of my leg. In my training program I was encouraged to lift up the arches of my feet when standing.

Well you know, these things take time.

To coerce the arch of my foot to lift (or move at all) or what muscles would even be in charge of said action was a big ol' mystery.

Enter the Foot Corrector.

Repeated use of this humble device is teaching me how to pull up my arch into my center. Oh yes, it's all connected…

Literally correcting my foot.

Did you just hear that sound?

It was my mind. Blown.

I love when that happens.

So get out those Foot Correctors and experience the magic.

I have been working just the 4 exercises I mention at least once every day. If I have a long day of standing, I might do them a few times throughout the day.

See what you think 🙂

Wait! We have other Correctors…

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

If you've been reading here for a while you'll remember my love for Joe's other device, the Spine Corrector.

I have a great respect for Joe's apparatuses which happen to include the word ‘corrector' in the title.

Clearly he wasn't kidding.

Joe Pilates' brilliant Spine Corrector is an anti-gravity machine worthy of a daily habit.

Check it out in these related posts:

The Toes Knows

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

Oh the cute tiny apparatus. Pocket-size, travel ready and with a spring!

Also called the Toe Tensometer, Joe's Toe Corrector lives up to its name: both of them.


(from Wikipedia)

It is usually a universal testing machine loaded with a sample between two grips that are either adjusted manually or automatically to apply force to the specimen.

3 exercises I enjoy on the Toe Corrector:

(oh dear, the whole name thing…)

  • Single Toe Pull
  • The Bunion Eradicator – a classic.
  • Seated Single Leg Pullcan you long the back?!

Single Toe Pull

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

  • Sit up tall with legs long out in front of you.
  • Hold one side of the TC with an index finger. Put the other end over each toe one at a time. I like to start with my left pinky toe and work left to right until all toes have had their turn.
  • Pull each toe forward 5x with the goal that only the working toe moves and the others are still. This probably will not be what you see happening.
  • Persevere.
  • Work to locate the muscles of the center that move each of the toes. This should keep you busy for some time.

The Bunion Eradicator

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

Classic Toe Corrector magic, this one.

It can be done as above, legs long out in front of you. I enjoy the seated version.

  • Sit tall on the edge of a chair or Reformer with feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Press all the toes firmly into the floor.
  • Place the TC on your big toes either above or below the joint. I like above.
  • Keep all toes on the floor and pull the big toes evenly away from each other 5x.
  • Hold one bog toe in place and move the other away from center 5x.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Seated Single Leg Pull?

The Pilates Apparatuses: What's in a Name?

I love a daily dose of Pilates déjà vu…hmmm haven't we been here before?

  • Keep the TC in the same place as for the previous exercise.
  • Hold one toe down on the floor and bring the other knee up toward your chest.
  • (Your big toe will pull upward on the TC)
  • Hey look Single Leg Pull!
  • Lift your waist up out of the hips and work to find length in the back in this exercise. Not easy…

See what you think 🙂

Enjoy this short video tutorial on a related subject: Footwork on the Reformer!

Stay tuned for further tutorials on the  Footwork series.

Got a question you want covered in the discussion?

Lay it on me in a comment below.

Hey Southern California…

Saturday January 21, 2017 California Pilates Center, Oceanside, CA

Join me for a day of guest teaching in Michele Tandy's beautiful studio. Just a couple spots available for private lessons, contact Michele to book. Register for the 10am Mat class here.

Wanna experience the blog live and in person?

Here’s a bit of what’s cooking for 2017:

Thursday – Sunday May 11-14, 2017 Equinox, London UK

Contact Jayne O’Brien for more info and to register.

Friday – Sunday September 22-24, 2017 Pilates Mödling, Mödling Austria 

Join me in Mödling, Austria just 20 minutes from the capital city of Vienna. This is an event not to be missed! I’ll be offering lessons, mat classes and workshops. Workshops include: The Teaser: The Truth will PrevailOn the Order of the Pilates Mat Exercises and 3 Chairs + 3 Barrels = 2-way Stretch and more.

Contact Andrea Seipel for more info and to register.

Saturday + Sunday October 7-8 2017 Everybody Pilates, Portsmouth UK

Contact Amy Kellow for more information.

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  1. Hey thank you so much for sharing such informational, post it really helps the people like me who love to learn various kinds of fitness workouts.

    Keep Blogging.

  2. Alessandra says

    Aah!! Footwork ???? How do I love thee? ❤️❤️❤️ Let me count the ways!! great to have tutorial on this fundamental exercise- can’t wait for the next installments!! I could write for days about this, but I will resist!! Suffice to say that I practice footwork myself pretty much every day and sometimes it’s the only thing I do! And I definitely teach it every day! As you say great place to observe both yourself and your clients.
    One question- I often start with heels on as I find is gives a better connection to the back of the leg to start off, then work my way through the other positions….is there a reason why classically we start with pilates ‘v’ then move on to arches then heels….??
    Oh and I sadly have neither a foot corrector nor a toe corrector, but am seriously considering investing in them as I seem to have a #footfetish ???? at the mo’ ????
    #correctedandunitedinJoswork #rockon #seeyoufriday ????

    • Alessandra,

      Your question is such a good one! It has made me think about the Footwork exercises here on the Reformer and also elsewhere in the system, in particular the Foot Corrector and 2×4 exerciser. You are right about the direct connection into the center and back that one can feel with the heels on the footbar. And I totally understand why it would be helpful to begin with this heels position.

      So this is my understanding and thought process of the Classical order: The contact points of the foot – balls of feet, arches, heels and then the action of Tendon Stretch – correspond to acupressure points of the foot. As you work through the positions from the top of the foot downward and back again you are working top to bottom through the systems of the body.

      The (toes) balls of the feet stimulate the heart and lungs, the arches stimulate the digestive organs, and the heels stimulate the kidneys. And then the Tendon Stretch works to give a massage to the whole foot (body) as you lower and lift your heels. These positions also repeat themselves in the Foot Corrector exercises that are the same. And the Tendon Stretch on the Foot Corrector is literally a massage of the entire bottom of the foot.

      So if you think about it in just these first 4 exercises the entire trunk of the body is getting stimulated and enlivened which we’ll continue to do throughout our workout. Think of the massage of the Stomach Massage series, where you get the Tendon Stretch action repeatedly massaging and stimulating the inner systems of the trunk.

      That’s my thinking on the Footwork order, that it is systematic and reflects exactly what we’ll be doing for our whole workout.

      Whew! Thanks for this question, I have enjoyed thinking more deeply about these exercises. And yes, invest in a Foot Corrector. Get a Gratz one if you can. The Foot Corrector is magical. If there’s a Gratz conference in UK this year you might be able to order one through them that way. Get on their mailing list as they always advertise conferences and events where they sell equipment all over the world.


      • Alessandra says

        Wow! That’s really interesting! I thought that there must be a reason for the order…thanks for taking the time to answer so fully!
        I’m now on the hunt for a foot corrector…thanks for the hint about Gratz…I’ll check it out!
        #pilatesfootfetish #rockon Andrea!
        PS Hope you’re feeling bit better now… x

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