Get into the Oov

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Pilates Anytime teacher Gia Calhoun shares her experience using this innovative Pilates equipment.

The first time I saw the Oov was in the exhibition hall at a PMA conference. The people who were using it seemed to enjoy it, but at that particular conference, I didn't have time to test this strange looking device for myself. Months later though, when Daniel Vladeta came to teach on Pilates Anytime, I finally had my chance.

What is the Oov?

The Oov is a tool, made out of durable foam, that allows you to find new strategies to control your movement by challenging your balance and stability. The curves of the Oov are designed to lengthen the spine and to destabilize the body; it puts the body in a position where it is never at rest. The unique shape creates space in the body and organizes the body to facilitate more movement.

The Oov is a self-regulating feedback device for you to have an experience of your own body. It turns something that can be subjective, like someone telling you what's going on in your body, to an objective experience for yourself. Something that you start to learn about your own body, you start to feel things happening in your own body rather than someone telling you what's going on.

—Daniel Vladeta

The Oov comes in three sizes depending on your height and weight. It can be used on the Mat as well as all apparatus. From rehabilitative work to strengthening and stretching, the Oov is multi-functional and works for all fitness levels and body types.

What did I feel my first time on the Oov?

I had no idea what to expect, but when I first used the Oov, I immediately felt at ease. Even though I could feel my body adjusting to find my balance, especially while doing basic movements, I felt that I was breathing deeper, and I was focused more inwardly. Specifically, the Oov helped me in two fundamental ways:

1. Finding my balance

I could immediately tell when my pelvis was out of alignment (which is a common occurrence) and, I could tell when my ribs were flaring forward (also a common issue) because I would lose my balance. I had to figure out how to correct myself without anyone telling me what to do.

Daniel Vladeta teaching Gia a quadruped exercise on the Oov.
2. Increasing my range of motion

When I tried the Oov on the Reformer for the first time, I noticed I had much more range of motion. When I was 14, I pulled my groin pretty badly in a jazz class. Ever since then my hips grip in certain positions when I use my full range of motion in exercises like Leg Circles. When I did Leg Circles on the Oov, I was able to make a full circle with both legs without either hip gripping. It was the first time in a long time that I was able to move that freely.

Daniel Vladeta teaching the Oov on Pilates Anytime.

Have you tried the Oov?

What did you feel the first time you used the Oov? Share your experience in the comments below. If you haven't tried it yet, you can always find an experienced teacher to help you or you can take one of our classes on Pilates Anytime.

About the Author

Gia Calhoun

Gia Calhoun is a Pilates teacher based in Los Angeles, California, who has been teaching Pilates since 2007. In addition to being an employee for Pilates Anytime, she is also a ballet dancer who has danced with companies all over the United States.


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