Struggling to book into your old favourite studio thanks to ongoing social distancing restrictions? Take advantage of the fantastic workout videos available online, invest in a few choice pieces, and you’ll have your own at-home Pilates space up and running in no time.
Between them they have a royal title, two Academy Award nominations and numerous hit records. But what Meghan Markle, Margot Robbie and Miley Cyrus share in common is their passion for Pilates.
All three credit the discipline with helping them feel their best. And they aren’t alone: Over 1 million Australians practice Pilates each year and it has broad benefits. You can improve your posture in just ten sessions, pave the way for stronger abs and enhance balance too.
And while gyms across the nation are opening back up, limited class sizes and the four-square-metre social distancing rule are probably making it difficult to book a session at your local studio. So save that spare change you were spending on classes and invest in a few choice purchases to create the perfect Pilates space at home.
Not ready to return to the gym just yet? Check out the top tips for making the most of your at-home yoga practice, plus five genius tools for making your at-home barre routine as good as any studio.
Portable Pilates Bar Kit, $29.58 at Tom Top
A decent Pilates bar can be the difference between an okay and a great workout. The best can help you enhance your oblique endurance, activate your glutes and improve overall toning during your Pilates practice. This kit from Tom Top has the added benefit of being portable: You can assemble and disassemble in a few seconds, which makes it an ideal fit for at home Pilates or a trip to the park if you want a breath of fresh air. Plus, it ships to Australia for free.
Foam Roller, $15 at Decathlon
A dual purpose piece of equipment, a foam roller can be used in mobility exercises and for all important post workout massage to help stretch out those stubborn muscles (hi hamstrings, we’re talking about you). The textured surface of this roller will keep you comfortable throughout even the most challenging Pilates class and help ease any tightness you’re feeling afterwards.
Fortis Yoga Wheels, $49.99 at Dick Smith
We all know someone who throws themself into a backbend at the first opportunity. But for mere mortals like the rest of us, they take a bit of practice. A yoga wheel can be the solution to safe backbends, help prevent injury and enable you to build up strength at the same time. This set of three act like body scaffolding: They’ll adapt to your body type, are padded for comfort and build on your body’s own mobility to help you flex that little bit further.
Bowern Yoga Mat, $127 at The Iconic
A quality mat can make all the difference to your Pilates practice, but a bad mat can be worse than no mat at all. Cheaper mats are typically made with latex, silicone and other ingredients that have a bunch nasty side effects for the body. Fortunately, you can find quality mats made with hypoallergenic and eco-friendly ingredients. Bowern’s mats are made with recyclable tree-rubber, feature a microfibre suede top and are 3mm thick, which means your joints are protected but gives you great connection to the floor. They’re also in a range of fun vibrant prints that’ll perk you up each time you use them in your practice.
Gaiam Toning Ring, $39.95 at The Iconic
Strengthen your pelvic floor and you strengthen the body overall. And adding a toning ring to the equation opens the door to a bunch of pelvic exercises that’ll knock kegels out of the running. A ring like this Gaiam one will raise your flexibility and the benefits don’t end in your at home Pilates studio. They’ll also help out in the bedroom: Tracy Zindell, who founded noted studio Flex Pilates, credits pelvic floor targeted Pilates exercises for “way better orgasms”.
NKD High Waisted Leggings, $89.95 at Ryderwear
Great support during Pilates starts with your leggings. The right pair will add structure to your core, the right kind of compression in your legs, and in an ideal world look good too. This pair are made from sweat-wicking material that is lightweight and breathable, to keep things cool even in the sweatiest workouts. The high waist will keep things supportive and comfortable, plus they’re available in five chic colours.
Everfit Balance Ball Trainer, $199.95 at Crazy Sales
If you’ve spent most of iso hunched over a desk, you’re not alone – but all those hours haven’t been kind to your spine or your posture. A balance ball trainer can help out with balance exercises to improve your posture, and pelvic floor exercises for all those additional benefits. This Everfit model can also help you work on strengthening your joints, which come under a lot of pressure in Pilates and can really benefit from added support.