Small pilates equipment
Pilates is amazing because you can literally do it anywhere and with absolutely nothing but yourself! You do not even need a mat if desperate times call for desperate measures and you are stuck without one. In saying that, there are some accessories that can enhance your workout so we would like to talk about some of small pilates equipment that we use in our classes.
On the Unlimited package you have access to pre-recorded videos with related exercises, with new content added regularly.
Pilates Mat. Obviously a Pilates Mat is ideal for comfort when you work out on hard or uncomfortable surfaces. We like mats with a little extra thickness so our hips and tailbone have more cushioning. Try a few out and see what works for you.
Magic Circle or Pilates Ring. This soft rubber ring provides resistance and helps to improve muscle strength throughout the body. One of our favorite exercisizes is to place the ring between ankles during abdominal Workouts for an extra challenge. The Pilates Ring can also be used to strengthen the upper body when doing exercises that focus on the legs or abs. Just use the arms to squeeze the Pilates Ring together, slow to start and then finish with quick little pulses. You can also use the ring to assist with stretching. A great one is a hamstring stretch - just extend the legs straight toward the ceiling, take both feet inside the ring and pull down.
Resistance Bands. These bands come in different intensity levels and can come with or without handles. We like to add resistance bands around legs during exercises like Clam, and also use the bands to tone the arms (e.g tricep pull backs).
Soft Hand Weights These are small, hand-held, weighted balls that are appropriate to add to every exercise routine. Alone or in pairs, these lightweight, pliable balls can bring a new dimension to upper-and lower-body moves as well as target the all-important core. Add variety, increase challenge, build endurance and develop strength with these straightforward tools.
Foam Roller. A Foam Roller is traditionally used to massage and stretch out your muscles, but it can also be used in various pilates exercises. The unstable nature and smaller base of support of the full cylinder helps you focus on balance and coordination. Used in many different ways, the Foam Roller targets core stabilizers, ensures optimal alignment and challenges strength through the torso as well as the arms and legs. Add more intensity, complexity and fun to any workout, at any level. Make sure you use your roller on an exercise mat so that it does not slip and you have maximum control.
Stability Ball. Designed to improve balance and strength as well as tone your body, these Stability Balls are even used by Pilates enthusiasts as an office chair! By alternating body parts, that hold or are supported by the Ball, the unstable nature of this tool will stimulate dynamic stabilization and proprioception.
Mat classes do not require a large machine, but you might look out for other pieces of gear like a foam roller, the Pilates ring, small soft balls and others to pump up certain moves, add stability to exercises, and help you connect with your deepest core muscles.