LIT Axis is like having a Pilates reformer at home

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Like many people, over the past few years, I’ve been thinking about bringing more exercise equipment into the house because I’ve now adopted a hybrid fitness routine and spend as much time working out in the living room as I do in the living room. workout time in the gym. gym or studio. I live in a 600 square foot apartment in New York City, so the idea of ​​rearranging my furniture to make room for an exercise machine is not a workable decision. . The only person I can even think of giving up floor space is a Pilates innovator.

At one point during the pandemic, I seriously considered getting rid of my couch to make room for a couch so I could continue the near-daily reform practice I’ve been doing. present in the past seven years. Luckily, the six-month waiting list for the model I wanted stopped me—it turns out, I kind of like having something soft to sit on.

Even after my studio reopens and I can go back to learning cai luong in person, I still find the idea of ​​having a home computer very appealing so I can experiment and develop new habits. , because I have taught group reform classes for a few days. a week.

So when my editor asked me if I wanted to try the LIT Axis, a smart resistance band system designed to deliver a Pilates-style experience at home—minus the big area and with just a small amount of money. a fraction of the cost—I was curious…and a little skeptical. There are so many moving parts for a Pilates reformer (originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1910s) that I can’t really think of how you could reproduce it without all the moving parts. pulley and spring.

Unboxing the LIT Axis . system

When I received the tracking update that my LIT Axis system ($199) was about to be delivered, I made sure to be at home to pick it up as I assumed the box would be large enough to block the entrance to my building. I. After calling my FedEx guy, I opened the door and was surprised to be presented with a package no bigger than a shoebox and light enough to hold in the palm of my hand.

Inside is a white softshell case that holds two sets of smart resistance bands (15 and 30 pounds), a pair of ankle cuffs, two handles, and an anchor strap you can wrap around a heavy object. , fixed in it. your home or wedge into the hinges of your door frame.

To activate my system, I downloaded the LIT Method app to my iPad (iOS version only) and signed in to the membership that I will be offered during the trial. Usually, in addition to the one-time cost to purchase the system, you also need a membership, which costs $10 a month or $80 a year.

Resistance bands are bluetooth enabled so they can track your reps. There are video tutorials in the app as well as a booklet inside the box to walk you through the setup process, which took me less than 10 minutes.

From there, all that’s left to do is activate one of the videos. There are dozens of follow-up workouts to choose from, lasting from 10 to 30 minutes and sorted by experience level: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.


Depending on the type of exercise you choose, you’ll need to fix the system at floor level (like around a table leg) or hip level. The first video I queued up was a 10-minute lower body Pilates class that required a floor anchor that I attached to the base of my lululemon Studio mirror because it was the heaviest thing in my house.

After a quick, dynamic warm-up, we attached ankle cuffs I connected to 15-pound resistance bands and went on all fours to do some glutes. We cycle through the kickback movements (bending and extending the leg back), followed by a leg lift, then finished with some pulses before moving to the second side. It’s a movie I’ve made and taught many times, and it feels like it to reformers, with one exception: Because I’m doing the exercises on the floor instead of a carriage. on the move, I don’t find that it challenges my stability or core as much.

Next, I tried a 10-minute full-body Pilates class, which required a hip-height anchor, so I moved to my front door (the only door I have in my apartment with a copy). margin). It feels a bit odd to have a half anchor, which looks like a black safety line, hanging in the hallway, but I feel it’s much safer than when it’s around the base of my mirror.

This time, we start with the leg rotation, an exercise that any reformed Pilates practitioner will be familiar with. After looping the ankle cuffs around the arch of the foot, I began drawing large circles with my feet in one direction, followed by the other.

Next, it’s the dual-pin extension. Starting with my legs resting on the tabletop, I straighten them at a 45-degree angle, pressing on the resistance of the bands. I also chose to wear 15-pound bands for this exercise because, although I felt like I could use 30-pound bands for the lower body, I knew they were too heavy for the hand movements. , which we move on to the next.

Kneeling and facing the door, I slipped my hands into each cuff, raised my palms to the ceiling, began to bend and extend my elbows, reaching my arms out in front of me as if I was serving someone. It’s something on the disc. Again, this is exactly the kind of movement I would do on the improved machine, and the only difference is that the machine is not stable, which makes it difficult to keep your balance. than when moving back and forth.

Once it was done, I packed all my equipment back into the box, moved the furniture back to where it was, and my living room was back in shape in less than five minutes.

How does the LIT Axis system compare to an innovator

I’ve only taken a few classes, but I can say that once I find a good anchoring system, I’ll be using LIT Axis a lot at home to practice my reshaping technique. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a perfect replacement for the real thing, but it’s certainly a great addition.

Much of the format for LIT’s Pilates classes is similar to what I teach on an innovator. In some ways, though, I’d say it’s more like a Pilates cadillac than a reformer you find in group classes because it doesn’t have a moving chariot.

On a transducer, resistance is determined by the choice of spring: light, medium and heavy, or a combination of them, which is not translated into weight measurements. For comparison, the LIT system has only two resistance options, which for me are like medium and heavy springs. The average person will probably be fine with just these two levels of resistance, but a lighter resistance option may be necessary for people who are new to Pilates and are not yet strong enough to move a lot of loads. A lighter option is also suitable for core work and single-arm movements that focus more on smaller stabilizing muscles like our rotator cuff for example or range-demanding movements. large movements (like arm circles).

Even at a time where you can now get your hands on a Pilates reformer for home use, I feel I would choose to go with the LIT Axis system because you can also use it as a cabling or hangers, so it really feels like you’re getting a lot out of something that takes up as much space as a pair of dumbbells. Also, it doesn’t require me to remove any furniture to make room for it.

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