Props improve form and increase the challenge.

If you’re new to Pilates, props will 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, if you have a congenital or a physical abnormality. Abnormalities are very common as we age because your abnormalities reflect your life.

Props are also a good way to simulate the benefits of Pilates equipment and increase the challenge of the workout. If you’re planning to participate in my classes and/or on demand services, you should invest in a few props. I’ve included links to Amazon to help compile your shopping as well as a wishlist of things that might be nice to add as your practice evolves.

1/ Mats

If your exercise space is carpeted, a yoga mat may be sufficient. Otherwise investing in a thicker mat is advisable because it will help protect your spine. Pilates mats are thicker and more expensive than basic exercise mats. The floor, the props and the exercise dictates the right mat.

2/ Therabands

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 mainly use: Blue and Red. The blue provides more support and resistance than the red. Men typically prefer the blue for the support during flexibility exercises and resistence for strength building.

3/ Pilates Balls

There are several different sizes commonly used in Pilates but I mainly use the small balls in my classes. Purchasing one is good but two will make it easier to incorporate into your workouts. You won’t have to inflate/deflate your ball for different 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 to avoid compromising 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. Add a small ring to your wishlist.

6/ Roller

As with most of the other props, there are different rollers at different price points. The roller should be long enough to support your head, spine and pelvis 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 and weight in mind when choosing a roller.

These are the props that are 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 using the form below.

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