There are many options to consider when buying Pilates equipment. Whether you are just starting out with Pilates at home or you practice at a local studio, the right equipment can help you to support your practicing. There are Pilates clothes, mats, balls and bands, as well as books and DVDs that can be all be quite confusing when trying to differentiate between those items that you really need. Follow this buying guide, and be prepared for taking your Pilates fitness to the next level.
Most Pilates moves are done on the ground, so a good Pilates mat is essential. This is your core piece of equipment, though if you are practicing at a studio, you rarely have to bring one. However, if you are practicing at home, this is an essential item. Though yoga and Pilates mats look about the same, a Pilates mat is much thicker to provide more padding on the floor, so you must be sure that you purchase a mat specifically designed for Pilates. There are a lot of rolling exercises in Pilates that make that extra padding necessary. Look for a mat that is at least a ½ inch thick, is firm, and within the range of 72 inches to 86 inches long by 21 inches to 39 inches wide.
Pilates Balls and Resistance Bands
Balls and bands are not traditional Pilates equipment, but they have become very popular in both studio and home Pilates workouts. The key to buying a fitness ball is to buy one appropriately sized for your body. A 55 cm ball is appropriate for someone 4’11”to 5’4,” a 65cm ball is for someone 5’5” to 5’11” and the 75cm ball is for someone 6’ to 6’7.” Resistance bands are also necessary for certain Pilates workouts. Before purchasing either of these items, determine if they will be necessary. Most beginner programs do not require them, but there are videos and specific workouts that use these regularly.
There are a lot of clothing lines that are specifically designed for Pilates. However, it is not altogether necessary to have Pilates clothing to do Pilates. It is important if you are working out at a studio that you do wear tighter fitting clothing so that the instructor can see your muscle use and positioning. Many Pilates clothing items are simply comfortable, and casual pants and shirts that could be used for any type of workout. Check out some popular brands to see if you need anything for your workout, but if you are working out at home, chances are you have some suitable clothing for working out.
Pilates Reformer and Cadillac
If you are moving into more advanced Pilates training, you may want to consider a Reformer or Cadillac to enhance your practice. Originally designed by Joseph Pilates for physical therapy, these fitness systems have gained popularity in recent years amongst people that practice Pilates. Used by providing body weight resistance, these are both a larger financial commitment and should only be considered after trying one out to see if it is right for you. With reformers starting around $500 and Cadillacs around $3000, this is an investment for a serious Pilates student.
Consider the previously mentioned Pilates equipment, and jump start your Pilates routine today!