Updated: Apr 18
If you have ever been to one of my Pilates classes then you will know that I do love to occasionally use different pieces of equipment.
There are lots of different pieces of small equipment that can be used in a mat based Pilates class. However I have my favourites that are my go to choices above all others.
Let's take a quick walk together through my top 5.
Before we start in the interests of clarity I only currently teach mat based Pilates and have no experience with the larger pieces of equipment and have never yet stepped onto a reformer or Pilates wunder chair so you won't see them on this list.
Let's start the countdown...
5 - Magic Circle
The magic or Pilates circle is, in my opinion, an odd pice of equipment. It makes my list, all be it at the bottom, simply because of how recognisable and photogenic it is and because of how much I want to like it. I don't use it much other than in a couple of gold membership films on the website. It is just too bulky and expensive for me to buy for a group class. I also find uncomfortable to use.
4 - Resistance Bands
This makes my top five because in class they are an absolutely fantastic piece of equipment. The resistance band has so may different styles and uses that the possibilities are endless. They can also be used in a different capacity at times to assist and modify exercises. They are also small and easy to store and transport but a little expensive to buy in bulk which is mainly why I don't use the much in my classes at the moment. They also need a little extra care.
3 - Prickly Balls
These are a firm favourite in all my classes, though I think that might be because it means an 'easier' style of class. I like them because they are small and because I am am a big fan of helping to heal your own body and these little balls of torture are fabulous for just that. I also use them in my dance classes and 1-2-1 sessions and personally use them at home often, I have a pair at the side of the sofa. I use them a lot in class particularly around Christmas to help 'de-stress' everyone.
2 - Gliding Discs
These thin, circular, rather deceptive pieces of equipment narrowly miss out on my top spot for one reason and one reason only - they are mainly used to increase the difficulty of an exercise and class and this for me reduces their usefulness. They are, however, a big favourite in my group classes and are my most requested piece of equipment. They are also quite fun and always provide a laugh when I bring them to my classes.
1 - Pilates Mini Ball
This little squishy ball is probably the most familiar piece of equipment from all my classes and is by far my absolute favourite. This is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can be used as either a focal point, to assist especially with lower back issues, or to make the exercise harder, usually by making balance more difficult. It can also be customised by inflating or deflating and can be flattened for transport and storage. It is my go to piece of equipment.
How to use and where to buy
Have you ever wondered about buying some equipment to use a home? Unsure of what to buy? Unsure of what its proper name is? Unsure of how to use it?
Don't worry I am here to help.
Check out my 'Everything You Need To Know...' series for more information on each piece of equipment listed here.
In the mean time there are many different fitness stores out there both in real life and online but if you want my recommendation you can't beat a supermarket (hello Aldi middle aisle) usually at certain times of year though when they have fitness equipment in stock or Amazon for the best price and postage. Sports or Pilates specific websites such as The Physical Company are always a good starting point for the more obscure, harder to find pieces of equipment.
So...your turn...tell me..which is YOUR favourite?
I also get very motion sick very easily and can't even sit on a swing so aerial Pilates is also a no no for me!
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