In Pilates we strive for safe and effective performance of the mat based Pilates exercises (Joseph’s Pilates original 34 as well as numerous progressions/modifications/variations based on those.)
Equipment can often be an excellent way of helping you understand and progress the exercises, it can bridge the gap between ‘almost’ and ‘perfect’, aiding understanding of the moves, kinaesthetic awareness and assisting overall performance of the exercise. It increases precision and control, and over time body awareness.
Joseph Pilates passionately believed in the principles described above, and made his own equipment to assist clients and encourage their understanding of the exercises he was teaching. Nowadays we have developed the equipment further and use various pieces to help us guide the clients towards better posture, balance and core stability.
Another important reason for me personally to use the equipment is to make the class different progressing my clients to the best of their ability and potential through a pain free range of movement. It could assist their understanding of posture, create an ability to realign themselves in their daily living and improve their sports performance.
Equipment in Pilates opens new options, progressions, adaptations and modifications to experienced and novice exercisers alike.
Using equipment could also change a focus of the exercise (for example whilst Pilates squat performed on the mat / floor focuses on the hip and knee mobility the same exercise performed on the half roller would be focused on balance / need to increase core stability).
The pieces of equipment that we use (varies from class to class!) are:
- Small block
- Small ball
- Half roller
- Full roller (private sessions only)
- Fit ball (private sessions only)
Lastly, a couple of very important things to remember:
- All sessions are designed to work with and without equipment so if you’re uncomfortable using it you always have an option not to!
- Equipment is not always there to make it more challenging – it can actually make exercises easier and more achievable, allowing you to progress safely and effectively
- Progressions in Pilates can take a really long time and whilst equipment could and will make a positive difference it also often provides an extra challenge for your mind as well as body so please do be patient and enjoy your journey