It takes a special kind of workout to appeal to professional footy players and mums-to-be.
But that is the power of Pilates. From twenty-something influencers trying to build muscle tone to seniors wanting to improve bone density, Pilates provides a unique movement experience for the young, the old, and everyone in between.
But when you’re paying anywhere from $50 a week to $50 a class, Pilates can get pretty pricey, pretty quickly. And while we know you love supporting local studios when you can, it’s possible to practise Pilates from home for a fraction of the cost. Plus, think of all the time you’ll save without having to commute to and from class!
So, if 2022 is the year you want to reach your Pilates goals without purging your bank account, it might be time to invest in a few props and start practising at home. Here’s a some of our favourites to get you started.
The perfect Pilates practice starts from the ground up. So, if you’re keen to set up your home studio right from the get-go, you really need to get your hands (and feet!) on a sturdy and supportive mat. But that doesn’t mean forking out a fortune.
Yes, some mats can cost upwards of $70, like Lululemon’s classic Reversible Mat, but this one from Rockwaar is only $40 and will the do the job nicely. You can even score yourself a pretty decent one from Kmart for just $9.95, if that’s all you’re up for spending.
If cost isn’t too much of a concern and you’re looking for something a little more eco-friendly, the Happy Nomad provides a range of ultra-grippy cork mats that are non-slip, lightweight, and durable. Oh – and they’re super cute, too.
Joseph Pilates might have dubbed this one the ‘magic circle’, but we prefer to call it the ring of fire. Buyer beware: these babies burn. Seriously, how can something so light be so torturous?
The Pilates Ring will tone every muscle in your body while strengthening your legs, arms, chest, thighs, and pelvic floor at the same time. You can pick up a Pilates Ring at most fitness stockists or department stores – even Target and Kmart offer a version, but our top pick is from The Pilates Shop.
The ring is made from soft foam, features inner and outer grips for extra support, and comes in black or purple. So, choose your favourite shade and get to work!
Not sure how to use it? Check out this 10-minute ring workout.
The Pilates Ball is great for increasing abdominal and lower back strength, improving balance and stability, and stimulating your core. It also doubles as a pillow while you’re doing side-lying glute work, which means you’ll likely end up having a love-hate relationship with it. Hey, at least we warned you!
This Pilates Ball is designed to enhance your workouts and challenge your muscles. They usually come in a range of sizes – a 15-centimetre ball is a good choice – and colours to suit your studio aesthetic. This one from The Pilates Shop will set you back $12, or you could pick up this duo set from Bahe, which includes a 15cm and 22cm ball for $24.95.
Need help working the ball into your practice? Here’s a 30-minute video to get you started.
Pilates Resistance Bands
Think Mat Pilates is hard? Try adding resistance bands. You’ll be feeling muscles you never thought you had in a matter of milliseconds. Resistance bands look pretty innocent, but we promise they pack a lot of punch. They’re also super portable, which means you can keep up your Pilates practice no matter where you are in the world.
They typically come in a variety of lengths, tensions, and widths and can be used to help you build strength or support you through tougher exercises, like push-ups.
This bundle pack from ES Fit resistance bands offers real bang for your buck, with 5 bands ranging from x-light through x-heavy to tone, shape, and strengthen your body quickly.
Use yours with this this full body resistance band Pilates workout by Lottie Murphy.
Did you ever think you could slide your way to a stronger core? Probably not, but with a set of Pilates Sliders in your kit, you’ll be doing just that. Hey, sometimes you need to inject a little variety into your workouts and these disks deliver! We like this pair from MoveActive, but there’s heaps on the market.
Sliders can feel a bit strange to begin with, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Use them to enhance anything from planks to bridges or even mountain climbers.
Try this awesome Pilates Slider workout for strong legs and abs to get you going.
On the hunt for some new activewear to take your at-home Pilates practice to the next level? We took a look at some of Australia’s best sustainable activewear to help you stay fit and respect the planet while you’re at it! Check it out here.
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