In 1997, Stamina Products’ first Pilates reformer, called the Performer, made it on QVC. Stamina’s hopes were high for the reformer, but it was risky. At this point, Stamina was only 10 years old. The owners, Kevin Gerschefske, Barry Laurie, Bob McBride, Brent Swanson and Jeff Hutchens, had invested everything they had into this company. This Performer needed to succeed. Luckily, it did.
Swanson recalls, “I can still see Daphne [Howard] at the end of the hallway waving her arms because we sold out of all the units.”
Now, Stamina has over a dozen AeroPilates reformer units available for purchase. This doesn’t even include older models we no longer sell. At Stamina, the leadership and product development team take pride in developing new equipment and improving upon existing equipment. There’s always something that can be improved upon. The AeroPilates series is a prime example of that belief with the invention of the Free-Form Cardio Rebounder.
The invention of comfortable, low-impact cardio
When Joseph Pilates developed his namesake in the early 1900s, obesity and metabolic syndromes were not as prevalent. Pilates sole purpose was to build and strengthen muscle with one’s own body weight. Ultimately, Pilates was – and is – an excellent modality for this purpose. But it missed a crucial component: cardio.
On Jan. 17, 2003, Stamina Products filed for a patent that would soon become a staple for all of their AeroPilates units: the Free-Form Cardio Rebounder. It was the solution to Pilates lack of cardiovascular endurance training. Described as an “exercise apparatus with resilient foot support,” the Cardio Rebounder offered a new way for practitioners to experience Pilates. Perhaps more importantly, the rebounder could be utilized by those who could not participate in typical forms of cardio due to the impact. Rebounding on reformers’ sliding carriage on the horizontal plane makes cardiovascular exercise comfortable. But it wasn’t until 2007 that the public could enjoy this new form of reformer Pilates. Even Stott Pilates, who manufactures commercial reformers, adopted the cardio rebounder for their reformers.
If you own an AeroPilates unit, we hope that you take as much pride in your machine as we do. Please know that you purchased from a company that has developed cutting-edge Pilates technology. The community that has continued to support AeroPilates and Marjolein is one of a kind, and we intend to continue this tradition of invention to support you.