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 exercises you can do on the trap table that will give your body improved flexibility, core strength, muscular symmetry, firm glutes, and sculpted limbs.
The trap table is also a lot of fun to use.
A Healthy Pilates Body
A true pilates body is a healthy body – your spine becomes longer, your joints more supple, your posture is improved, your heart and lungs are strengthened, and you will end up looking more poised and athletic.
Earlier, I posted an article with a light overview of what the trap table is and what can be done on it. Today’s article, however, gives you an actual sequence of exercises for an entire trap table workout.
The video lower within this article has a running time of approximately 12 minutes and I encourage you to watch it in its entirety so you can witness how the specific movements appear in action. It might leave you inspired to begin a pilates regimen of your own!
The Genius of Metal Springs
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.
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!
List of Trap Table Exercises
Here is your printable list of trap table exercises.
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.
- Flying Eagle
- Roll Downs
- Roll Ups
BAR WITH SPRINGS UNDERNEATH –
Foot Series Modified:
- “V” Feet
- Flexed Heels(wide stance)
- Heels-Raises for Calves
- Single-Leg Press
- Single Heel Raise
Bar with Springs on Top:
- Push-Through Bar Stretch
- Parakeet (wear non-slip sport socks)
- Swan (cobra) & Prayer
- Reverse Push-Through(*advanced – palms down / palms up)
- Finish w/ Indian Pigeon Using Block
- Walking Long
- Walking Short
- Slo-Mo Bike (and reverse)
- Frog-in-a-Box (and reverse)
Single Leg Inner Thigh:
- Jumping Sheep
- Slo-Mo Bike
Back Extension/Quad Stretch:
- Standard Back-and-Forward
- Abdominal Crunch Circulars(with ab pulses)
- Recline Quad Stretch (*advanced – use blocks for midback and head)
- Finish with Prayer Stretch
MERMAID VARIATIONS –
- Awkward 90/90 Position
Mermaid Rep Sequencing:
• Full Range Side Stretch
• . When Doing Awkward 90/90 include twist and pigeon
Pulls ups with Backbend and Hanging Forward Stretch
Standing Arms Springs:
- Tricep Pushdowns
- Bicep Curls
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.
There are many more exercises for the trap table than are listed here; however, this list represents those that are considered by many to be the most effective and most well-loved. They are an excellent place to start.