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Complete Full-Body Workout on the Pilates Trap Table • [Video and Guide]

These exercises on the Pilates trap table comprise a full-body workout and help to give you a healthier, better-looking physique.

The trap table is fun to use, and it firms up your entire body. For many athletes, it is their favorite piece of Pilates apparatus.

I like the trap table so much that I got one for my home gym.

The trap table – also known as the Pilates “Cadillac” – is a piece of fitness equipment that provides excellent results. Below, I reveal many of the best Pilates exercises you can do on the trap table that will give your body:

  • improved flexibility
  • core strength
  • muscular symmetry
  • firm glutes
  • and sculpted limbs.

Trap Table Exercises for a Healthier Body

A Pilates body is a healthy body – your spine becomes longer, your joints more supple, your posture is improved, and your heart and lungs are strengthened.

You will end up looking more poised and athletic.

male mature athlete doing full-body workout on the Pilates trap table

Though previously I posted an article with a light overview of what the trap table is and with some unusual examples of what can be done with it, here I am outlining an actual sequence of Pilates exercises – an entire trap table workout for your full body.

The video lower within this article has a running time of approximately 12 minutes. I encourage you to watch it in its entirety to witness how the specific movements appear in action. It might leave you inspired to begin a Pilates regimen of your own.

Pilates uses a specific combination of exercises to increase muscle and joint mobility, strength, and endurance while improving balance and posture.

The Genius of Using Metal Springs for Pilates Leg Exercises

The brilliance of the Pilates trap table is that it uses metal springs.

If you’ve been doing free weights at the gym for a while, your body has likely adapted to that style of resistance loading. Often, the longer you use free weights, the less your body responds.

full-body workout can be done on this Pilates trap table

These springs are outstanding for helping your body to respond once again:

  • They recruit stabilizing muscles – not just the standard major muscle groups but also the smaller muscles that help support them; this gives you a true athlete’s physique.
  • They’re fundamental for functional training – the springs allow for more movement than gym machines (just like real life).
  • They give you more angle control – many of the exercises allow you to make those micro-corrections as you move that help protect your joints and prevent them from becoming injured, such as your knees, hips, ankles, wrists, and shoulders.
  • They help you use proper form (free weights are great, but they’re also notorious for inciting you to use momentum; with springs, you’ll demonstrate more control and mindfulness while executing your reps).
  • They give you resistance when you most need it – with the springs, as you approach the point of peak muscular contraction, that’s usually when the spring is longest and the most challenging; this helps you get results exponentially!

According to the US National Library of Medicine and Institutes of Health, Pilates can be adapted “to provide either gentle strength training for rehabilitation or a strenuous workout vigorous enough to challenge skilled athletes.”

Each exercise is initiated by stabilizing the core musculature – which, the Library of Medicine explains, “includes the abdominal, gluteal, and paraspinal muscles in particular, and then proceeds through a controlled range of motion.”

Foot Series Modified:

  1. “V” Feet
  2. Flexed Heels(wide stance)
  3. Heels-Raises for Calves
  4. Single-Leg Press
  5. Single Heel Raise

Leg Springs:

  1. Frog
  2. Circle
  3. Walking Long
  4. Walking Short
  5. Beats
  6. Slo-Mo Bike (and reverse)
  7. Frog-in-a-Box (and reverse)

Single-Leg Inner Thigh:

  1. Standard
  2. Jumping Sheep
  3. Slo-Mo Bike

Quads, Hip Flexors, Glutes, and Hamstrings:

  1. Teaser
  2. Parakeet
  3. Assisted Reverse Nordic

Pilates exercises on the trap table help create definition, strength, firmness, and strength in your inner thighs, outer thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks, and calves – as well as your torso.

Additionally, these Pilates exercises designed by the late Joseph Pilates (creator of the original method of Contrology) will improve joint mobility in your shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and lower back vertebrae.

As a bonus, most of the exercises also help to make your upper body and core muscles healthier.

Printable List of Pilates Leg Exercises on the Trap Table

Here is your printable list of Pilates exercises done on the trap table.

The trap table comes with various accessories, including a selection of springs and handles. The springs come as short springs or long springs, and all of these are usually color-coded based on resistance.

trap table list of exercises

How to Train on the Trap Table

Here are some of the best Pilates leg exercises. In many of the trap table exercises, you want to keep your glutes and abs activated. That means your top rib will be compressed, your navel will be pulled inward, your lower abdominal plate should be flat and taut, and keep your buttocks slightly tight.

Those movements that are more advanced – and must be endeavored with extra common sense and caution – have been marked with an asterisk.

Ask your doctor before beginning a Pilates program or making any significant changes to your exercise habits.

Instructions

Warm-Up:

  1. Flying Eagle
  2. Roll Downs 
  3. Roll Ups
  4. Rollovers
  5. Hundreds

BAR WITH SPRINGS UNDERNEATH –

Foot Series Modified:

  1. “V” Feet
  2. Flexed Heels(wide stance)
  3. Heels-Raises for Calves
  4. Single-Leg Press
  5. Single Heel Raise

  1. Tower
  2. Monkey

Bar with Springs on Top:

  1. Push-Through Bar Stretch
  2. Parakeet (wear non-slip sport socks)
  3. Swan (cobra) & Prayer
  4. Reverse Push-Through(*advanced – palms down / palms up)
  5. Teaser
  6. Finish w/ Indian Pigeon Using Block

Leg Springs:

  1. Frog
  2. Circle
  3. Walking Long
  4. Walking Short
  5. Beats
  6. Slo-Mo Bike (and reverse)
  7. Frog-in-a-Box (and reverse)

Single-Leg Inner Thigh:

  1. Standard
  2. Jumping Sheep
  3. Slo-Mo Bike

Back Extension/Quad Stretch

  1. Standard Back-and-Forward (Assisted Reverse Nordic)
  2. Abdominal Crunch Circulars(with ab pulses)
  3. Recline Quad Stretch (*advanced – use blocks for midback and head)
  4. Finish with Prayer Stretch 

MERMAID VARIATIONS –

3 Poses:

  1. Bench
  2. Kneeling
  3. Awkward 90/90 Position

Mermaid Rep Sequencing:

• Partial-Range

• Full Range Side Stretch

• When Doing Awkward 90/90 include twist and pigeon

Pulls ups with Backbend and Hanging Forward Stretch

Standing Arms Springs:

  1. Tricep Pushdowns
  2. Bicep Curls

Notes

Sometimes when an exercise gets especially difficult, that is when it's most tempting to hold the breath. However, keep breathing throughout all movements.

When exercising on the trap table, always use the safety straps around a spring-loaded bar.

Pilates is a form of exercise developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 20th century and is even more popular today. It focuses on core conditioning, strengthening muscles, and creating flexibility through controlled movements.

In particular, the trap table is a piece of Pilates exercise equipment designed to train your abs, back, hips, and thighs. It also helps improve posture and balance.

There are many more exercises for the trap table than are listed here; however, this list represents those considered by many to be the most effective and well-loved. They are an excellent place to start.

Additional Sources on Full-Body Workout on Pilates Trap Table:

Research: Impact of Pilates on Health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038747/

Science-based Benefits of Core Training – https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core

Facts about Joseph Pilates, Creator of Contrology – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Pilates

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