Pilates is well known for the fancy equipment that goes along with it. The good news is, though, it’s easy to do Pilates at home! My favorite part of Pilates has always been Pilates mat because I love its simplicity, and mat Pilates makes it so easy to do Pilates at home or anywhere at anytime. Pilates on the mat is great because it makes Pilates accessible to everyone.
Pilates can tend to be an expensive practice not only because the equipment is expensive, but also because the instructors who teach it have a lengthy certification practice. Even though the Pilates reformer is the most popular of all of the Pilates equipment, that doesn’t make it the best way to get a good workout.
Pilates at home is so simple.
There is something so comforting about being at home in your own space without the pressures of being in a classroom where anyone can see you. It’s freeing and allows you to move your body intuitively. It’s also time-saving because you can get a workout without having to account for travel time to the studio. And if you’re pressed for time, you can modify your workout to fit your schedule. You can choose your own music and wear your pajamas. Having a dedicated space to do Pilates at home will make it a ritual space for you. You can diffuse essential oils, have some crystals near your mat, or even exercise outside in your backyard.
When beginners start a movement practice, they are usually hung up on how their form is and if they’re doing things correctly, which is of course important. But there is also something to be said for closing your eyes, feeling how your body feels, and moving intuitively. Good Pilates instructors online will cue you where in your body you should be feeling each exercise or movement. Being at home while exercising will allow you to relax and tune into these feelings and strengthen your mind-body connection.
Pilates at home is simple because all you really need is your body and a mat–and, as I said, perhaps a few props that I mention below. My suggestion for a Pilates mat would be a thick foam mat like the one here. In yoga or other fitness modalities you can use any mat, but in Pilates we do rolling and a lot of movement that can be sensitive to the spine. Because of this you want an extra thick mat for support and cushion.
For an effective workout, even without a Pilates reformer, you can still get a good workout at home with a few inexpensive props.
If you’d like props to have at home for your Pilates practice, I would recommend purchasing an overball (this is a soft ball with an 8- or 9-inch diameter), a magic circle or Pilates ring (this is a circular resistance prop with padded handles) , therabands (thick elastic bands), resistance bands (looped elastic bands), and a pair of light hand weights. This is a great kit because it comes with an overball, ring, and three bands.
There are so many options for doing Pilates at home.
If you already have a regular Pilates practice, you can do the exercises and stretches you know. If you’d like guidance, you can follow the instructions of an online class. Some of my favorite platforms for online Pilates classes are Pilates Anytime and Glo. I like the styles and teachers best on these platforms. My favorite thing about Pilates Anytime is you can filter by class and props. You’ll learn how to use the props listed above in your classes. An online instructor will also be able to give you good substitutes if you don’t have the props. Even though props are great, they aren’t necessary, and you can do Pilates at home with just a mat.