Equipment Recommended

Check here what equipment you'll need when taking a live class!

 

For all Mat based classes you'll need an exercise mat and for Barre a chair or equivalent to use as a barre.

Why extra equipment? Adding small equipment and props is a great way to either adapt an exercise or add balancing challenge, resistance and intensity. They can also be used as feedback tools to help with your technique and alignment

 

Below you'll find a list of the variety of equipment we'll be using over the currently running block. Please note, you won't necessarily need all the equipment listed in each class of the block. You can also try substitute with household items, such as weights with tins of beans or water bottles, and a small/medium ball with a rolled up thick towel.

Want to learn more and where to buy?

Checklist for Block 4 classes

Beginner Pilates: Strong Foundations 1
  • A cushion, a block if any wrist issues

  • Optional light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

Block 4 Pilates Level 2-3
  • Pilates circle (or a small/medium ball or rolled up thick towel/cushion)

  • Optional Light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

  • Optional half foam roller for balance exercises

  • If needed: a cushion, a block or half roller if any wrist issues

Block 4 Pilates Level 3-4
  • Pilates circle (or a small/medium ball or rolled up thick towel/cushion)

  • Stretch band or weights

  • Optional Light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

  • Optional hedgehog or half roller for balancing

  • If needed: a cushion, a block or half roller if any wrist issues

Block 4 Fast Paced Pilates Level 3-4
  • Pilates circle (or a small/medium ball or rolled up thick towel)

  • Large gym ball or a sofa/arm chair

  • Optional Light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

  • Optional hedgehog or half roller for balancing

  • If needed: a cushion, a block or half roller if any wrist issues

Block 4 Barre
  • Pilates circle (ideal), or a small/medium ball/weights 

  • Optional hedhehog for balancing 

  • Optional light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

Block 4 Barre+Core
  • Pilates circle (or a small/medium ball)

  • Large gym ball

  • Optional Light/medium weights x2 (0.5-1kg)

  • Optional hedgehog for balancing

  • If needed: a cushion, a block or half roller if any wrist issues

Block 4 Pilates with Equipment
  • Full length (38 inches) foam roller (diameter 6 inches) or half (D shape 3 inches) roller

  • For beginners half roller is recommended

  • Small or medium Pilates Mini ball

  • A selection of blocks or books and cushions

Massage & Stretch
  • Hedgehog

  • Full roller (full length or shorter)

  • Tennis ball

  • Small spiky ball

  • You don't need all of the above, but it's great to have variety!

 

Elevate your practice!

Learn about the different pieces of small equipment, how they are used and which ones we recommend. Please note, we are not affiliated with any of the products listed. We either share the equipment we use, or show you examples on Amazon to help you with your decision what to buy.

Exercise Mat

For comfort we recommend a good quality thicker Pilates mat. This is down to personal preference though, for example Anna prefers a thin yoga mat. If you go for a thinner mat, look for one with good grip.

For example, this thicker mat from Amazon is a good choice.  JLL Yoga Mat Extra Thick, £24.99

fom roller.jpg

Foam Rollers

Foam rollers are excellent, multifunctional tools. You can use them for foam rolling (massaging the muscles), for balance practice, as feedback tool for alignment and to add challenge to mat exercises. For mat exercises you need a full length roller (38"). If you are a beginner, go for a half roller, also known as D shape roller. For foam rolling a shorter full roller works fine and there are plenty of affordable options on Amazon. If you are new to foam rolling, we recommend one with a smooth surface. If you already have one that has little bumps on it, you can of course use it. It's just a bit more intense.

We recommend these full length rollers from Physical Studio. You can get the full one (6"x38") and half ones (D shape 3"x38"). Club Core Foam Rollers -Blue, from £18.64

Small Weighted Balls

Adding a bit of weight is a great way to take your toning to the next level! Ideal for adding heat to warm ups and increasing intensity on the mat or at the barre. Normal dumbbells will work fine too, but the benefit of the soft balls  is that you can easily hold them between your ankles too. 

We love these balls from Physical Company and you can get them either a pair of 0.5kg, 1kg or 1.5kg each. We recommend starting off with the lighter 0.5 kg ones. You can always get heavier ones later on! You can also look for alternatives on Amazon. Weighted Soft Pilates Balls  -A Pair, from £9.13

hedgehogs.png

Hedgehog, Massage Balls

We absolutely love hedgehogs! and we're sure you will too They are amazing for balance exercises as well as for massaging tense and sore muscles. 

We use Physical Company ones, however they do come in a pack of 6. If you don't want to get that many, go for alternatives from Amazon. For comfort we like a bit of softness in the hedgehog, some hedgehogs can be quite hard which make them more intense as massage tools.  

Here's an option we found on Amazon, however please note we've not tried these ones ourselves.. They come in pairs, so you can use them for "2 feet" balance exercises as well. Two hedgehogs are also lovely for massaging your back and your feet. Navaris 2x Hedgehog Balance Pods, £13.99

We also recommend getting a tennis ball or a small spiky massage ball to add variety to your Massage & Stretch classes. They are great for releasing stubborn muscle knots. If you are new to foam rolling and using massage balls, we recommend you start with a hedgehog and a smooth foam roller. Tennis ball/spiky ball might be too intense to begin with!

ring.jpg

Pilates Circle/Ring (Magic Circle)

Yet another fantastic piece of kit! The Pilates Circle (also known as Magic Circle or Pilates Ring) is amazing for toning your arms and your legs. You can squeeze into it with your hands, or hold it between your thighs or ankles. The circle can also be used as an aid when stretching. We love using the circle both in Pilates and Barre classes. 

There are plenty of options on Amazon. Keep in mind though, that with the lower the cost options, the circle will most likely offer less resistance. The cheaper ones may also make little cracking noises. For beginners a lower cost option is absolutely fine, but spending a few pounds more will give you a tool you can enjoy for longer. Ones with flat cushion pads tend to be slightly larger, ones with rounded pads are often smaller circles. If you are a bit shorter or have shorter legs, you may prefer a smaller circle. However, the flatter cushion pads may feel more comfortable when the circle is between your thighs.

 

Not really a surprise, our favourite one is again from Physical Company. It has comfortable flat pads and provides a good and smooth resistance. Pilates Power Ring, £17.94

mini ball.png

Pilates Mini Ball and Gym Ball

A Mini Ball can be a great alternative to using a Pilates Circle. You can use it the same way as a circle to tone your arms and legs. The circle will provide more resistance though compared to a ball. The Mini Ball has another benefit to them though; they provide stability challenge to mat exercises making your core work extra hard, as well as help you align your legs if you have issues your knees turning inward. 

Mini Balls come in a few different sizes: most often 7-8" (18-20cm) and 10" (25cm). The smaller one is great for aligning and it gives a real balance challenge when placed under your lower back. The 10" one works nicely as a substitute when pressed into using your hands or your legs. When used for balancing, beginners will most likely find the bigger ball a bit more manageable. 

Not sure which one to get? Amazon sells affordable sets of each size, for example this one: 66fit - Pilates Balls Set of 2, £10. 

A large Gym Ball (also known as Fit, Swiss, Stability or Exercise Ball), adds fun variety to Pilates exercises. You can also perform seated exercises on it. Choose the size based on your height. Height 5'0" to 5'5" -> 55cm/22" ball, height 5'6" to 5'11"  -> 65cm/26" ball, height 6'0" to 6'3" -> 75cm/30".  There are plenty to choose from online, for example this one on Amazon: REEHUT Exercise Ball, 55cm, £12.99

Yoga block.jpg

Stretch Bands, Blocks, Cushions

Stretch bands can be used to add resistance, or to adapt an exercise to make it more manageable if you struggle with it If you make a loop of it, it's a great way to make your legs work harder in squats and one leg kicks or box swimming.

You can buy individual ones from Physical Company at varying resistance levels, for example: SupaFlex X-Band, Beginner (Pink), £3.53. Amazon sells sets of 3 offering a light, medium and hard resistance options, for example: ERUW Resistance Bands Set of 3, £10.90

 

Blocks are great for modifying exercises to make them more comfortable, for example if you have issues with your wrists. It's a good idea get one or two thick and slimmer blocks. They are often sold as pairs. Alternatively you can use books and cushions from your home. Examples from Amazon: thick yoga blocks (Yoga bricks) H&S 2 x Yoga Block, £9.99  and slim ones (great for sitting on) Yogamatters Yoga Block, £7

  

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Email:

avmpilates@gmail.com

We get back to you as soon as possible Mon-Fri

Pilates Stretches

Contact Us

© Anna McLean Pilates 2020. All rights reserved.