If you missed the boat on virtual sessions during lockdown or enjoyed them but didn’t have the proper gear on hand, then read on.

There are a host of reasons why it can be difficult to get out of the house and into the studio.  We are always available for virtual private lessons, and you are always able to do a workout on your own.  There really is no excuse for skipping Pilates.  Having the right setup helps, so here are our top picks for things to have at home to keep your Pilates routine on point and give you variety.

Anybody who knows Pilates history knows that mat work is the heart and soul of the Pilates method and the original 34 exercises in Joseph Pilates book Return to Life are enough to sustain you for a lifetime.  If you are interested to see how workouts were taught and spread back in the day of Joe, grab a copy of the book here and learn from the master himself.

Still, we sometimes get bored with routine so adding a few props to your home setup can keep things varied and different for days and days.  Here are a few of our recommended favorite things:

  • A nice mat.  We recommend that you get something a little bit thicker than a yoga mat or if you already have a couple of yoga mats laying around at home lay one on top of the other or put your yoga mat on top of a rug.  There’s a fair amount of rolling that takes place in Pilates and if you have your mat just on the ground and you’re exploring those rolling exercises it can be a little bit rough on the tailbone and on the spine.  We like a nice thick mat.
  • 2-pound weights.  You really don’t need anything heavier than the two-pound weights because we’ll do a fair amount of repetitions and overtime your arms will get fatigued and you don’t want to feel that in your neck.  If you’re not looking to invest, then water bottles or cans from your pantry make excellent substitutes.
  • We love a foam roller.   It has many uses beyond just rolling out the tight parts of your body.   We use them to open your shoulders, we’ll do the entire AB series, the hundred and even some roll ups and rollovers for our more advanced clients.  We’ll use it for our leg series from the leg springs without the springs.  It’s a great exercise if you’re in a situation where you can’t bear weight on your legs, but you still want to work them out, and it also works your abs like mad!  The foam roller comes close to replicating the feeling that you get when you are on one of the small barrels, so we highly recommend them for home.  In the studio we have a softer foam roller so you would be looking for a soft density foam roller like this one linked here, or if you really love rolling check out this vibrating roller for an extra treat.  
  • The trusty magic circle.  Anyone who’s taken class with Ania has probably been tortured with his device in a million different ways, but it really is a brilliant piece of apparatus, and you can use it creatively for your entire mat work or you can use it just for the original exercises for which it was intended which include a series of arm, leg and neck exercises.  I think we all need the neck exercises in particular right now.  The links are to the magic circle that we used to have in the studio and our current ones which we think are among the better ones out there.
  • The toe corrector.  This is an amazing thing for anybody who has foot issues whether it be bunions or plantar fasciitis or any issue that may plague your feet.  What’s remarkable about these toe correctors is that it works your whole leg so you can be sitting down on your mat with these little bands on your toes doing the feet exercises and you will feel like you got an incredible leg workout almost as if you had been in the leg springs.  The ones we have in this studio are pricey (over $100), this one is much less. 

  • Finally – you know we like to keep a neat studio.  Here is something to help you keep everything neat and tidy and roll it out of the way when not in use.  

These are our recommendations for a few things you might want to start with to begin building your home studio up.  While we don’t currently have virtual classes on the schedule, expect them to come back during the winter whenever we have snow days and are forced to close.  We will also gladly put them back on the schedule if there’s enough demand for them.  In the meantime, crack open the book, set up a virtual private or give it a go on your own.  You know more than you give yourselves credit for!  So go ahead and order some stuff for your home gym and we will see you on the mat.