Prop Up Your Pilates Practice

Picture of Jean Keese

Jean Keese

Some girls collect shoes. I collect Pilates props, and bicycles – but that’s another story. While a mat is truly all you need, it’s fun to play with Pilates toys. In some cases, the prop makes the exercise more challenging. In other cases, more accessible. I’ve put together my short list of favorite Pilates props to play with. The one thing they all have in common – aside from portability and affordability – is FUN!

If you only have one Pilates toy, THIS is it! Not every mat is created the equal. Consider how much cushion you need, whether you want it to be sticky and how long you want your mat to last. Pilates and yoga mats come at a variety of price points, ranging from $20 to more than $100. My personal favorite mat is by Manduka.

Foam Roller
If I had only two props, this would be my second! Foam rollers can enhance your practice by challenging your core stability and strength. But, my favorite way to use a foam roller is for release work. Rollers come in soft, medium and firm. If you are sensitive, opt for soft. If you like a deep tissue massage, go for firm. My personal favorite is this firm roller by OPTP.

Magic Circle (aka: Ring of Fire)
Some call it a magic circle. Others, “the ring of fire.” One of my class favorite props, I’ve been known to play a bit of Johnny Cash Ring of Fire in the background to highlight how the ring can make any pilates exercise just a little more “hot” with this amazing tool! THIS is my favorite ring.

Take your practice on the road with this portable prop that let’s you work muscles that may be ignored in other movements. Therabands are also super affordable!

Stability ball, over balls, massage balls and tennis balls. These all have a place in a pilates class, testing your stability and strength.

Now, let’s go play!

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