home pilates kit

If you’re looking to enhance your at-home fitness routine, consider adding a Pilates kit. A thoughtful selection of Pilates equipment can help you sculpt a strong, lean physique without ever leaving the house.

What is Pilates?

Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates focuses on strengthening the body’s core muscles. The core refers to the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, hips and pelvic region. A strong core provides a solid foundation for all movement and physical activity.

Unlike yoga, Pilates is not about flexibility. Instead, it emphasizes precise movements and contracting specific muscles to build strength. Proper form and technique are paramount. The goal is to engage the right muscles so each exercise provides maximum toning and sculpting benefits.

A Pilates workout strengthens and balances the entire body, improving posture, coordination and mobility. It elongates muscles while building lean muscle mass. Regular practice leads to a more defined, streamlined physique.

Benefits of a Home Pilates Routine

Pilates is traditionally practiced in a studio with specialized equipment. But with the right tools, you can recreate the Pilates experience at home.

Here are some of the benefits of starting a home Pilates practice:

  • Convenience – Work out on your schedule without leaving home or sitting in traffic. Get your workout done first thing in the morning to start your day energized.
  • Privacy – Avoid the gym scene and work out solo in the comfort of your home. You can focus solely on your practice without distractions.
  • Cost savings – Pilates studios charge $15-$30 per class on average. A home kit pays for itself quickly versus studio fees.
  • Customization – Cater your workout to your needs and ability level. Adjust the intensity to keep challenging yourself as you improve.
  • Versatility – Mix up Pilates videos or routines to target different areas and prevent boredom. Add weights or bands to increase resistance.
  • Beginner friendly – Master Pilates at your own pace. Repeat beginner videos until each move is second nature.
  • Therapeutic benefits – Gentle Pilates can aid injury recovery, relieve back pain, improve posture and reduce stress.
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Essential Pieces for a Home Pilates Kit

You don’t need to invest in every piece of Pilates apparatus to start practicing at home. Here are some must-have basics for beginners:

Pilates Mat

A non-slip mat is foundational for any home workout. Look for extra cushioning to make floorwork more comfortable. The mat provides grip during standing exercises too.

Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

  • Versatile mat suitable for yoga, Pilates, and other floor exercises
  • Extra thick (2/5 inch) for optimal cushioning
  • Made of NBR foam for comfort
  • Includes a carrying strap for easy transport
  • Dimensions: 72 inches L x 24 inches W x 2/5 inch thickness, weighing 3.11 pounds.

Resistance Band

Resistance bands add load to Pilates moves to increase intensity. They also improve mind-muscle connection by forcing you to contract certain muscles. Loop a band around thighs, arms or ankles during motions like leg raises.

RenoJ Resistance Bands

  • The resistance bands are suitable for stretching, strength training, and various workouts.
  • They can be used for yoga, physical therapy, and pilates.
  • Made of durable and skin-friendly natural latex.
  • Can be used to exercise different parts of the body, such as hips, arms, chest, legs, and upper back.
  • Comes in a pack of 5 with an instruction manual and a flannel carry bag.

Pilates Ring

These flexible rings tone arms, back, core and inner thighs. The rings add resistance as you press outward during movements. They work stabilizer muscles not targeted with regular dumbbells. Rings are ideal for small spaces since they don’t take up much room.

ProBody Pilates Ring Circle

  • The text is promoting a foam thigh exerciser that targets inner and outer thighs, core, upper arms, hips, and legs.
  • The exerciser is designed for home workouts and can be used at home, office, or while traveling.
  • It claims to improve muscle tone, fitness, posture, and balance.
  • The exerciser is lightweight, comes with a carrying pouch, and is made to be unbreakable.
  • The company offers lifetime support if the exerciser breaks.

Ankle Weights

Wearing 1-3 lb ankle weights increases lower body resistance, upping the burn in leg lifts, lunges and squats. Ankle weights are inexpensive and easy to store. Adjust weight as needed.

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Sportneer Adjustable Ankle Weights

  • The leg weights have removable sandbags and can be adjusted from 1 to 5 lbs for each weight and from 2 to 10 lbs for a pair.
  • Made of neoprene exterior with reinforced stitching for quality and comfort.
  • Sturdy metal loop prevents the weights from slipping down easily.
  • Long velcro straps ensure a comfortable and secure fit for ankle sizes from 7.5 to 12.5 inches.
  • Can be used to add resistance to various exercises and help increase strength, improve balance, and assist physical therapy.

Foam Roller

Foam rollers are must-haves for pre-workout myofascial release. Rolling out tight muscles prevents injury and soreness. They also improve mobility for deeper stretches. Use them for added core challenge during planks, bridges and other moves.

TriggerPoint Grid Patented Multi-Density Foam Massage Roller

  • Patented foam roller design with multi-density exterior and rigid, hollow core
  • Constructed from durable materials that maintain shape over time
  • Provides access to online instructional videos on foam rolling techniques
  • Trusted by professionals in various fields such as physical therapy, massage therapy, coaching, training, and athletics
  • Original GRID model has standard density, measures 13 x 5.5 inches, and has a weight limit of 500 pounds.

Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks help beginners modify moves by providing extra lift and support. Place them under hands, feet or hips if exercises are too intense on the floor. This allows you to build strength and work up to the full range of motion.

Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block

  • Yoga blocks provide stability, balance, and support in yoga practice
  • Made of durable foam with a nonslip surface and beveled edges
  • Can be used to modify and align poses, as well as extend and deepen stretches
  • Dimensions: 9 inches W x 6 inches H x 4 inches D / Weight: 4.6 ounces
  • Sold as a 2-pack

Creating a Home Pilates Studio Space

To maximize your home Pilates experience, create a dedicated workout space if possible. Here are some tips:

  • Clear an area that’s at least 6 x 8 feet. Protect nearby walls or furniture from errant limbs.
  • Ensure the ceiling height exceeds your height with arms upstretched.
  • Choose a space with an open view, not facing a wall or clutter.
  • Set up near a window for ample daylight and ventilation.
  • Add a large mirror to check form and posture.
  • Install non-slip interlocking foam mats for extra cushioning.
  • Use rugs or towels to define your space and prevent slipping.
  • Play motivating music at an upbeat tempo.
  • Keep bands, weights and props organized in a caddy or basket.
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Building a Home Pilates Routine

Once your space is prepped, it’s time to start sculpting! Follow this framework when structuring a complete home Pilates workout:

Warm Up

Spend 5-10 minutes warming up muscles to prevent injury. Foam roll tight spots. Perform gentle stretches focusing on the hips, hamstrings and shoulders.

Standing Series

Standing Pilates moves like side bends and leg lifts target balance while working the arms, legs and core. Repeat each move 5-10 times per side.

Mat Series

These floor-based exercises strengthen the core from every angle. Aim for 10-15 reps of crunches, leg lifts, planks, bridges and more. Modifyintensity with bands and weights.

Cooldown Stretches

Finish by stretching any tight muscles. Hold lunges, hamstring and calf stretches for 30 seconds each. This increases flexibility, aiding recovery.

Optional Cardio Bursts

To boost calorie burn, insert 1-2 minute high intensity intervals between strength sets. Jumping jacks, crunches and mountain climbers are great options.

Aim to practice 3-5 days per week, taking rest days as needed. Mix up your routine by emphasizing different muscle groups each session. As moves become easy, increase resistance or reps.

Sample 30 Minute Home Pilates Routine

Try this Pilates sequence for a balanced full body workout:

Warm Up:

  • 5 minute foam rolling
  • Cat/cow pose
  • Hip circles
  • Shoulder rolls

Standing Series:

  • 10 Bicep curls with resistance band
  • 10 Shoulder presses with band
  • 10 Side leg raises per side with band around ankles
  • 10 Front leg raises per side with band around ankles

Mat Series:

  • 15 Reverse crunches
  • 10 Single leg lowers per side
  • 15 Bicycle crunches
  • 10 Inner thigh lifts with yoga block or pillow between knees
  • 10 Outer thigh lifts with ankles together and band around knees
  • 30 second plank hold
  • 10 Donkey kicks per side with ankles in band
  • 15 Glute bridges
  • 15 Swimming arm reaches

Cooldown Stretches:

  • 30 second runner’s lunge per side
  • 30 second hamstring stretch
  • 30 second calf stretch
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Get creative and make each Pilates session uniquely yours. Over time, a regular home practice sculpts a strong, lean physique to be proud of.

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