I went to my first ever reformer Pilates beginners class and learned some life lessons so you don't have to.Read more…
What you need to do Pilates at home
Equipment, online programs and hacks for your at-home Pilates workout.
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With YouTube, Instagram and live-streamed workouts, it's never been easier to try Pilates at home. I'm a big fan of online workouts, having relied on them while touring as a dancer. You can do a workout anywhere with little to no props at all. But equipment does add a lot of comfort, fun and challenge to a workout!
Here are the best props, equipment, must-haves and hacks for your at-home Pilates workout.
What you need to do pilates at home
- How to use it. Use this as your base during the workout.
- Suggested. Any mat will do, but I'm a sucker for a Lululemon 5mm-thick mat for the grip and cushion.
- Hack. While a mat is ideal, you can also just use a bath or beach towel.
- How to use it. These are used as a stability tool, and for releasing fascia and your muscles.
- Suggested. 90cm Fortress Roller (longer ones can be used for all exercises, short are fine as well, but limiting).
- Hack. If you're looking for muscle release, just use a can of hairspray or deodorant to roll out on.
- How to use it. These are used under your feet and hands to challenge your stability.
- Suggested. You can buy sliding discs on eBay.
- Hack. Tea towels or microfibre cloths can be used if you're training on timber or tiled floors. If you're training on carpet, use 10cm squared cut-outs of baking paper.
- How to use it. This is used for the resistance element of training for your whole body. You can wrap one around your legs to make a booty band or double wrap for more resistance.
- Suggested. These are $5 from your local physio.
- Hack. Use a bath towel.
- How to use it. These add challenge to a workout and increase strength by adding weight to your workouts
- Suggested. Anywhere from 0.5-2.5kg dumbbells (1.5kg tends to be the sweet spot). Pilates dumbbells are lighter than regular gym weights, as you do such high reps and focus on the stabilisers rather than global movers for strength.
- Hack. Grab a water bottle, bags of sugar or full milk bottles.
Don't already have dumbbells at home? See Finder's guide on where you can buy some online.
- How to use it. These are awesome and are used in a lot of glute workouts.
- Suggested. Blackroll band (a set of three with different resistance levels).
- Hack. Use a theraband instead. Otherwise, pop a belt around your legs. Just remember that this will have very little to no give whatsoever, but will give you biofeedback and provide resistance so you can activate the lateral glutes for a whole new level of burn.
Online Pilates programs
Obviously, to workout at home, you'll also need something to work out to. This means finding an online Pilates program that suits your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind when finding an online Pilates program:
- Your current fitness and ability level. Don't go for the advanced class if you've never tried this type of exercise before, even if you're super fit! Pilates is all about form and going back to basics.
- Listen to your body. If you have any pain in your lower back or neck the next day, you need to stop and get a private session. Pilates instructors will cue the target area (where you should feel it/what you're working) with every exercise, so really listen to them and your body to make sure you're connecting the dots.
- Is the style of class designed to get you the results you want? If you're looking for weight loss or fitness, you need to add HIIT/cardio (these can be found in most barre and now a lot of mat classes).
- Are you injured, pregnant or postpartum? Not all online Pilates classes can be modified to suit injuries or pregnancy/postpartum, so make sure you find the right one for your body.
Now you know how to find the right program for you, check out my five favourite free online Pilates workouts to get started. For more online workouts, visit The Loft Pilates & Barre website or follow us on Instagram. For more online workouts, be sure to check out our online fitness video hub where we've gathered together a number of online workouts from gyms all around the world.
As you can see, there are a few things that you can do to enhance your at-home Pilates workout. If you don't want to buy all the props straight away, try a few workouts and see what styles you like and then buy the props that you think will enhance your workout! If you want to know more, read my guide to doing Pilates at home for more tips.
If you want to challenge yourself with a fitness program you can do at home, check out Finder's comparison of 50 popular online workouts. You can also try before you buy with our guide to online fitness programs with free trials.
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