Prior to widespread recognition in the 1990s, Pilates was mostly done in studios. Thankfully the release of Pilates home workout videos by various fitness instructors has now made it possible for you to do it in the comfort of your own home!
One great thing about Pilates is that you can make do without too much equipment, so there’s no need to invest in expensive apparatuses. Ergo, so long as you know what you’re doing, committing to a Pilates home workout can be an effective way to keep fit and strengthen your core!
With that being said, there are a few things you’ll be needing for your workout of course. Here are the five basic things that can help you have a more productive Pilates home workout.
Contrary to popular belief, a yoga mat and a Pilates mat are not quite the same thing. While in most cases they appear similar, the difference lies in the thickness and texture. Yoga mats, or sticky mats, are often thinner (1/8 inch thick) and more sticky to provide more stability and prevent slipping when doing yoga poses. On the other hand, Pilates mats are typically 1/4-inch thick or more to provide more padding and prevent bruises.
There are really no strict guidelines when it comes to clothing for Pilates. This is especially true for a Pilates home workout, where you won’t have to worry too much about wardrobe malfunctions and accidentally flashing a stranger.
Safety should be your number one concern, and loose-fitting clothes can be a hazard. Wear skin-tight clothes that will not limit your movements and will prevent an unintentional peepshow. Refrain from wearing accessories that can distract you or cause you pain. As for footwear, most people prefer to go without. If you don’t want to go barefoot there are Pilates socks available in the market. The special socks are often rubberized at the bottom for a better grip, but are more often used for hygienic purposes. After all, if you’re going to be joining a class and you have to use a mat, other people have and will use it as well! Regular socks can also be used but provide less traction.
Bottle of Water
Most instructors would suggest refraining from chugging down water during a Pilates workout, as this can be a distraction both to you and your tummy. You should already be well-hydrated before doing any exercises by drinking water throughout the day. The more hydrated your body is prior to your Pilates home workout, the less likely you’ll need to immediately replenish during! But don’t drink gallons of water right up to the last minute: iSport Pilates suggests drinking eight ounces an hour before Pilates, eight ounces during, and eight ounces an hour after to pace your water intake and hydration.
And no, coffee or any sort of caffeine does not count.
Unless you’ve been doing Pilates for quite a while now and have a set routine down, it’s best to have a guide. You’ll obviously be needing one anyway if it’s your first time and you don’t have a Pilates instructor with you! There are plenty of videos for Pilates home workout available in DVD or online, so find a few that suit you. Do them on rotation for variety and to keep you motivated. Renowned Pilates instructor, Mari Winsor, tells Shape Magazine “focus on listening to the instructions rather than stopping your workout to watch the demonstrations or craning your neck to see what’s on screen.”.
Liberally pausing or rewinding the video is also discouraged as these could disrupt the Pilates flow. Winsor recommends watching the video once to grasp the concepts of each movement before actually doing it.
These are the basic items you’ll need for a good Pilates home workout. Mat Pilates is known to be the purest form of this physical fitness system, as it was developed by German immigrant and Pilates creator Joseph Pilates before he began designing and incorporating other Pilates equipment.
If you want to amp up your training and incorporate more equipment into your routine, it would make more sense to invest in Pilates classes rather than the equipment.
Not only will you be able to borrow Pilates exercise equipment in the studio, you’ll also be taught how to use them by qualified Pilates instructors!
Ready to take your Pilates workout to the next level?
Find Pilates programs being held in your area by clicking the links below!