How to Move your Pilates Equipment Part 2: Loading Up the Truck

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This is the second part of a two-part series on moving your Pilates equipment.  Please click here to review Part 1. So your equipment and accessories are all packed up in your studio and ready to be loaded into the truck.  Now what? Picking the right vehicle For some of you picking up a single Reformer, a light duty pickup truck will do just fine!  I’ve done this many times.   (Once, I even had a customer transport a Reformer home in her SUV, fitting the head end of the frame over the back of the passenger seat and the foot end hanging out the rear hatch.  I’m not sure I’d recommend that method, but they did get the Reformer home in one piece!) For others, a Uhaul truck will be the best option.  I love these, even if I have a pickup, just because sometimes it’s easier to have extra room and an enclosed box.  Often the price difference between the smaller trucks and the bigger trucks isn’t too noticeable, so I err on the big side as long as I’m confident with my parking skills at the new location. The size of truck you’ll need will vary based on what you’re moving.  Many of you will be moving your Studio furniture, bath supplies, storage cabinets, decor, and lobby benches along with your equipment, so it is hard for me to give you a good estimate. Instead of giving you a hard and fast rule, I can give you some … Read More

How to Move your Pilates Equipment Part 1: Packing Up

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Moving your Pilates equipment can be a daunting task.  You’ve invested a lot of money, sweat, and energy in your equipment, so how do you make sure it all makes the journey in one piece? Whether you are moving across town or across the country, in this two-part series I’ll share my best tips to make the move smooth. Note: These tips are geared toward moving equipment yourself, however, many of them will be helpful even if you have professional movers as they don’t often take the time to fully disassemble and prepare your equipment to be moved.   In this first installment, I want to talk about how to pack up your equipment so you don’t lose anything en route. Tools and Supplies In order to pack your equipment and accessories well, I recommend going to your local hardware or moving store to pick up a few items.  Cardboard boxes of varying sizes Packing Tape Masking Tape Plastic moving wrap (the saran-wrap stuff you see in the photos) The tools that came with your equipment (i.e. Allen wrenches) for disassembly A few sizes of English combo wrenches and sockets for disassembly In addition, I like to have some old towels, blankets, and either newspaper or bubble wrap to pack anything that is fragile or needs protecting from bumps and knocks.  If you are moving your equipment yourself, renting those moving blankets will help cushion things in the truck a lot! What to Pack It’s tempting to just throw all your … Read More

Do this to repair your shoulder rest upholstery

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One of my absolute favorite feelings is running my hands over brand new vinyl.  The clean, smooth, and uniquely soft feeling of Reformer upholstery is so satisfying, like new car smell. Conversely, cracked, ripped and dented upholstery can make the whole machine feel old.  No matter how much scrubbing, dusting, and tuning you might do to the rest of the apparatus, the worn vinyl is like a broken headlight on a brand new car.  It just doesn’t fit with the high-quality movement practice you’re teaching. While Balanced Body makes it easy to replace your upholstery without any sewing skills.   I always use their replacement kits for studios I visit because it’s a great way to ensure you get new vinyl and foam that lasts through years more teaching.  However, sometimes you don’t need to replace the entire upholstery kit.  When the foam is still in good condition and the damage to the vinyl is small, a quick repair might be the answer. Today I’m going to walk you through my method for gluing a corner seam back together on a Reformer shoulder rest.  I see this kind of bulging a lot, and with five or ten minutes of effort you can make it look like new again. In order for glue to work (I use this one) you must make sure that you can use your fingers to push the edges of the vinyl together again.  This method will not work for rips, cuts or tears that are missing material or cannot … Read More

Do this to keep your Allegro 2 bumpers from falling off

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Picture this: Your clients are right in the middle of footwork, dutifully pressing in and out, coordinating their breath, paying attention to their spinal position, and following all your other cues.  All of a sudden, the next time they bring the carriage in, instead of a soft thump when the carriage hits home, there is a loud, metallic clang.  Maybe, even, there is now a humming reverberating along the reformer rails as they move. How embarrassing. But luckily, it’s a simple fix. First, some background.  Earlier versions of the Allegro 2 used U-shaped rubber bumpers which attached to the carriage itself.  Over time, these can come loose and either fall off, or get caught half-way off and make noise as the carriage moves up and down the rails.  It’s time to get rid of these bumpers. Regardless if you experience these symptoms, if you have these U-shaped bumpers you should replace them as a preventative measure. The new style bumpers are square and flat.  Here is a great photo showing the difference between the two. Now, to apply the new bumpers, you need to provide a clean surface to adhere them to.  The place to look is a little hard to see, but if you take a light and look down the rail toward the footbar, you’ll see a flat, silver, rectangular surface.  That’s where you’re going to put it. Before you stick one of those squares on there, you need to make sure the surface is clean.  Especially if … Read More

How to clean your Wooden dowels and Push-Through Bars

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There is nothing less glamorous than picking up your wooden roll-down bar, push-through bar, or gondola pole and feeling your palms stick to the surface.  Yuck! Learn from my mistake: I once spent thirty minutes with some steel wool on a roll-down bar only to end with an ugly, bare piece of wood and a pile of flakes of grime and wood finish! In this quick guide I want to share with you how to maintain your wooden dowels and, if necessary, deep clean them. How did they get this way? The problem with these wooden dowels is that they usually get overlooked when it comes time to clean the equipment after a session.  Most clients are great at wiping down the upholstery, but other things like footbar, rollers, balls, handles, and dowels often get neglected.  This can cause all their sweat, hand lotion, and skin oil to build up very time.  This clear, sticky buildup can then catch dirt and dust, too, turning it an ugly red-brown color. An ounce of prevention The first thing you want to do to prevent this buildup is verbally instruct your clients to clean their dowels after a session.  I recommend spraying your cleaning solution on a towel, and then wiping down the wood surface.  If you aren’t sure what to use to clean after every session, check out this blog post.  It is important not to use something that is really heavy-duty and will leave a film of its own. Deep cleaning If you already … Read More

Which cleaners to use on your equipment, and when

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Cleaning your Pilates equipment is hugely important for the look of your studio, the feel of each exercise, and the safety of your clients.  There are four different cleaning solutions I recommend for your equipment.  I prefer using all of these in spray form with a microfiber cloth. Water Plain water from your tap is hugely beneficial for 90% of the cleaning you need to do.  This is my go-to solution for cleaning the following places: Reformer rails Reformer frames (wood and metal) Wood roll-down bars Metal and wood push-through bars Reformer wheels Chair pedals and other dusty/dirty areas The problem with cleaning with some solutions (not all) is that they can mix with skin oil, sweat, or body lotions to make a sticky buildup.  Patience is key, here.  Take a few extra seconds to scrub rather than jumping to a heavier duty solution right away. Water + Dish Soap For a little extra cleaning power, I recommend 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 16 ounces of water.  (Yes, regular Dawn® dish soap!)  This is great for these applications: Cleaning vinyl after each client Extra scrubbing power (remember, just a microfiber cloth!) for tough grime of both metal and wood surfaces Note: for tough stains on reformer rails, use water and some aluminum foil from your kitchen folded into a small scrub pad for extra oomph.  Check out this link for more info on this technique. Silicone Spray While the results you might get with Silicone spray seem magical, please be careful not to … Read More

How to replace your footbar padding

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After years of footwork in parallel, your footbar padding will get worn down.  This may look like you’ve got two indentations and if your feet are on the bar it’s very, very hard in just those two spots because you can feel the metal beneath your heels. (Note: When I talk about footbar padding I’m not talking about the vinyl sticky mat that velcros around over the top of the bar, but the neoprene padding between the cover and the aluminum bar.)  Conveniently, this padding is really easy to change.  This procedure applies to the Inifinity footbar on a Studio or Clinical Reformer, the black Allegro Reformer, and a Classic or Revo footbar on the Studio Reformer. First, you’ll need to order the correct footbar padding from your BB Sales Rep or distributor.  The dimensions are slightly different so make sure you get the correct one.  They will be able to help you determine what is correct for your Reformer. Second, remove the Velcro footbar cover.  On older Reformers you will need to just undo the Velcro.  However, if you have a cover that pulls tight on both ends with draw strings, keep the strings wrapped around the footbar, but just slide the cover to one side of the footbar and let it hang. (Note: If you want to upgrade your footbar cover to one with drawstrings at both ends so it doesn’t slide sideways over time, you can!  Just talk to your sales rep or distributor.) Now, you’re ready … Read More

Troubleshooting your Trapeze Table canopy

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There’s nothing more frustrating than when you are working with a client on your Cadillac and the slider bars won’t adjust where you need them to be.  You scurry around, trying to loosen things and find the best angle to apply force to move the bars into position, all while your client is watching you and waiting. Fixing this issue might sound intimidating, at first, but can be fairly simple if you have the right tools and process.  Here’s where you can start. First, make sure the tubes the sliders are mounted to are clean.  There’s a quick #MaintenanceMonday video on Instagram about how to clean your tubes with Silicone Spray, here.  Basically, you spray some silicone on a dry rag and wipe down the rails.  If the canopy is aligned well, the sliders should move much more easily. However, if the silicone spray cleaning doesn’t help your sliders move more smoothly, you may need a slightly more in-depth tune-up.  To do this, you’ll need a 3/16” Allen wrench and two cotter pins.  (Hint: you can substitute some thin nails or small Allen wrenches for the cotter pins, if you didn’t keep yours). To watch this process as it relates to a sticky vertical slider bar, you can check out the free video in the BB Garage, here. Insert the cotter pins (or cotter pin substitutes) into the holes on the vertical tubes.  This will prevent the tubes from sliding down once you loosen the set screws. Loosen the two set screws … Read More

The difference between wheel bushings and bearings

KaleenEquipment Care, Nerd Alert, StudioTipsLeave a Comment

How your carriage rides on the rails is one of the most noticeable things about your Reformer and one of the most critical to getting the intended feeling of an exercise. Not only is the condition of the outer rubber wheel important, but the metal part that surrounds the axle bolt, as well.  That metal part (it looks like a donut), can be either a bushing or a bearing. Bushings Classical leaning machines, such as the Contrology Reformer and the Centerline Reformer, use bushings on their wheels.  Bushings are simply a round metal donut that fits between the rubber or plastic wheel and the metal axle bolt.  It can be made of different materials, such as steel, bronze, or high-grade plastic like Nylon.  The material chosen depends on what kind of friction properties you want  (Translation: how you want it to feel/the drag) and what kind of wear properties you want (Translation: whether you want to oil or maintain the surfaces that rub on one another.) Bearings Contemporary leaning machines, such as the Studio Reformer, Allegro and Allegro 2 Reformers, and the Rialto Reformer, use wheels with bearings.  Bearings are also donut shaped, however, they have a few layers because inside of the donut are a bunch of tiny steel balls and lubricant.  This allows for a much silkier ride than bushings, with hardly any drag.  You can find these types of bearings on roller skates or inline skates. Which is better? Despite very different designs and “feels” neither one … Read More

How to never tighten that one loose bolt again

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We’ve all experienced a loose knob, bracket, or post on our Pilates equipment, and some of us even have the exact right wrench in the front desk drawer to tighten that bolt because it happens week after week, after week.  It’s so annoying! Today I want to show you how to use Loctite® to prevent these bolts from rattling loose over and over again. First, Loctite® is a brand name for a liquid thread locker.  It comes in a small tube and there are several “colors” you can purchase, each of varying strengths.  The color you want is BLUE.  The blue Loctite® is semi-permanent and will balance preventing your bolt from rattling loose from daily activity while still being able to manually remove the bolt with regular tools at some point in the future, if needed. Loctite® is quite runny, so be wary when cutting the nozzle open the first time and handling the tube with the cap off at any point.  Once applied, the liquid will harden into a gummy substance that will grip both the female threads and the male threads so that they can’t easily wiggle loose. Please, avoid the RED label because that one is permanent!  You’ll never get those bolts out again. Here’s a quick Maintenance Monday clip on how to apply the Loctite® to your Allegro 2 silver loop hooks on the carriage.  Those hooks can get quite loose over time, so this little trick will keep them securely in place. To do this procedure on … Read More