Props are used to improve form and increase the challenge.
For those new to Pilates, props offer support. I’ll often add them into a class after I see how people move. Working in proper alignment is hard especially if your body has been conditioned for a particular sport or if you have a congenital or physical abnormality. Abnormalities are very common.
Props are also a good way to keep classes fresh, simulate the benefits of Pilates equipment and increase the challenge of the workout.
If your exercise space is carpeted, a yoga mat may be sufficient. Otherwise investing in a thicker mat is advisable. Pilates mats are thicker and more expensive than basic exercise mats. I use all of them for different reasons.
There are many different bands available, but I recommend buying a roll of Theraband in the weight you want because the length matters. For most people, the band needs to be at least 6 feet long and even longer if you’re tall. There are two weights that I use the most: Blue and Red. The blue provides more support and resistance than the red.
3/ Pilates Balls:
There are several different sizes commonly used in Pilates but I use the small balls the most in my classes. Purchasing one is good but two will make it easier to incorporate into your workout. You won’t have to inflate/deflate your ball between workouts. Add a large exercise ball to your wishlist.
4/ Hand weights
I often incorporate 2 pound hand weights to increase the intensity of the arm work and to increase the challenge of core work. Using a different weight is fine. I wouldn’t recommend more than 3 pounds even if you’re really strong. You don’t want to compromise your form.
5/ Pilates Ring
There are a lot of different types of rings available at different price points. The Amazon basic ring will do the trick unless you want to spurge. You can add a small ring to your wishlist.
As with most of the other props, there are different rollers at different price points. The roller should be long enough to support your pelvis, spine and head when lying on your back. The density matters too. Really firm rollers will add challenge to some exercises but may not be comfortable when lying on your back or rolling over tight muscles. Keep your pain tolerance in mind when choosing a roller.
These are the props that are really core to Pilates and ones that I’ll try to stick with so that your home doesn’t start looking like a studio. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
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