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  • What equipment do I need to teach Pilates?

    Today I am sharing with you the essential equipment you will need to teach pilates classes.

    Pilates is a low-intensity, full-body workout that helps you build core strength, increase your flexibility, and tone, and it can be done with little to no equipment. However, to keep your workout dynamic, intense, and stimulating at home or in a studio, you need proper equipment, and there are a lot of them available for you to choose from. Besides, most Pilates workout equipment does not take a lot of space and can be easily put away after every workout.

    With the wide range of options available, it can be difficult knowing which equipment you need to buy, especially if you want to set up a pilates studio at home. You should consider the size and durability of the equipment, as well as your skill level and whether you are teaching live or online.

    If you are teaching live face to face classes…Will clients bring their own equipment to class? Will it be provided by the venue? Or will you be taking it in your car? ALL important questions you need to ask before setting up.


    This article will discuss everything from types of Pilates to the different types of Pilates equipment:


    What is Pilates and what is it good for?

    Pilates has existed for over 100 years and it was developed by Joseph Pilates, a German-born fitness specialist. This low-impact workout helps to improve balance and flexibility while toning and strengthening the body. Plus, health professionals have stated that Pilates is beneficial for better posture, joint mobility, and overall mental and physical health.

    This low-impact exercise is great for everyone from athletes to the elderly, young, and those recovering from injury. With Pilates, you can go at your pace and increase the intensity as you like.

    Types of Pilates

    Pilates has since evolved from the initial exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. Now, there are different forms and types of Pilates, with each having its own distinct equipment and purpose.

    Essential Pilates Equipment

    Pilates Mats

    Pilates mats are essential for both your home and studio Pilates workouts. They are designed to be denser and thicker than your average yoga mat to ensure your hands, joints and spine are protected and cushioned all through your workout. However, if you already have an exercise mat at home, you don’t need to purchase a separate one for Pilates. Also, you can use your mat for almost all forms of Pilates exercises, making it a very good choice to start with.

    It is important that your mat is durable and provides you with the support and comfort you need during your exercise. This cost-effective Pilates equipment doesn’t take a lot of space and is also easily transportable, making it easy for you to take it along to your class or tuck it away after a session at home.

    Most venues will supply these.


    Reformer Machine

    Reformer machines are usually quite pricy but they make a great addition to your collection as they help to simplify flexible and safe Pilates workouts. People of all ages and fitness levels can use this equipment, from rehab patients to pregnant women, athletes, and people with disabilities, to increase their flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, muscle tone, and posture. However, before you invest in this equipment, you need to consider the size of your space as well as your budget, because they do not come cheap and are usually quite bulky and large. Plus, you also need to know how to properly make use of this machine before you invest in one.


    Pilates Ring

    The Pilates ring, which is commonly called Magic Circle, is a small but mighty Pilates equipment created by Joseph Pilates that helps to improve balance and add resistance to your workouts. This ring comes with two padded handles that you can comfortably grip using your palms, ankles, thighs, or other parts of your body, and they are great for toning and strengthening different parts of the body including the pelvic floor, legs, thighs, chest, and arms. The Pilates ring allows you to squeeze or push the two padded handles on each side between different parts of your body, enabling you to work different muscle combinations. Plus, you can use this equipment to add variety to your mat Pilates workout, as it helps improve flexibility, muscle strength, and joint mobility.

    Just like the Pilates mat, the Magic Circle is very portable, lightweight, and reasonably priced, allowing you to carry it with you on the go or put it aside after your workout. This yoga and Pilates equipment is a must-have if you are looking to start a home studio, as it helps a great deal with your Pilates routine or any other type of workout.

    Get magic circle class ideas here


    Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands are great for strength and flexibility training, as they allow you to add resistance to your routines without needing a piece of bulky equipment like the Reformer machine. These bands are inexpensive and come in a range of sizes, difficulties, and materials, making them a good addition to your collection. You can do different types of exercises with these resistance bands, and most of them come with colours and different sizes that correspond to their resistance levels. Additionally, some resistance bands may contain latex, which may tear with continuous use, but you can choose the material ones which are stronger and last longer.

    Order our Fitness Pilates Activation bands in bulk for your classes here

    Get activation band class ideas here

    Ankle and Wrist Weights or light weights

    Wearable weights that can be worn on the ankle and wrists are a good way to build your strength during Pilates workouts, as they add resistance to your workouts. This wearable ankle and wrists weights make even the easiest workouts more challenging and intense for you, and they come in different weights, enabling you to go as heavy or light as you want. Most of these wearable weights are sold in pairs and although they look pretty non-intimidating, they pack a punch and are an essential addition to your collection because of how lightweight they are. Besides, bulky weights do more harm than good for you during your Pilates session. You can also use light dumbbells in classes for resistance.

    Get light weight class ideas here

    Pilates Grip Socks

    Even though most Pilates classes require little to no equipment, Pilates grip socks are a must-have because they make it easy for you to carry out specific movements without slipping. A good pair of Pilates socks with non-slip silicone soles will improve your workout regardless of the platform you are using, whether carpet or wood, as they enable you to stay in static positions longer. These socks also help you to transition between different moves without falling or slipping.

    You can find these grip socks in different sizes, styles and patterns, and some even have arch compression features to help make your sessions more comfortable, especially if you have foot pain. Most Pilates socks are made of moisture-wicking materials, ensuring that you don’t have any issue of sweaty feet to distract you during your Pilates class. Besides, these socks are just as lightweight as the average socks, so you should add them to your workout bag before you go for your next Pilates session.

    Pilates Ball

    Pilates balls come in a variety of types and sizes, like the Swiss ball, spiky ball and mini Pilates ball. The Swiss ball, which is usually called the stability or exercise ball, is essential Pilates equipment that you can use to perform different movements that target multiple parts of the body. You can use this Swiss ball to improve your balance, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, activate your core strength, and target small muscle groups.

    The mini Pilates balls help you level up your Pilates workout while activating your muscle groups.

    You can use these balls to target different parts of your body from your arm to your thighs and abdomen.

    Plus, they also help with posture and alignment. You can buy them cheaply on amazon and most gym venues will have these.

    Get spiky ball and mini ball class ideas here

    Glider Discs

    Glider discs, also known as floor gliders or sliders, are small pads that you can use to glide along the floor while exercising. This equipment may look basic but they will have you feeling the burn in seconds and you can use them to increase the intensity of your favourite exercises. Glider discs come in pairs and they help you avoid slipping or falling during exercises. However, not all gliders are suitable for all types of flooring, so you should pick the one that is suitable for your flooring. Also, the lightweight nature of these gliders makes them a perfect addition to your Pilates collection as you can carry them on the go.


    Fitted Top and Leggings

    Even though you can wear looser tops for Pilates, it is best that you opt for fitted tops. With a fitted top, you’ll be able to properly monitor your alignment and form during a class unlike with a sweatshirt that will make it hard to see whether your spine is aligned or your core is engaged effectively. Same reason why you should opt for fitted legging during your Pilates sessions as bulky sweatpants can get in the way of your movements. I love Tikiboo clothing get 10% off with RACHEL10 click here.

    Foam Roller and Yoga block

    Pilates still requires recovery time even though it’s a low-intensity workout and the foam roller does a good job of helping you during your recovery time. You can use this compact and affordable equipment all through your Pilates session, and it is good for physical therapy as well as exercise support.

    Most foam rollers come in different sizes, materials, and densities, with the low-density ones good for easing sore muscles after an intense workout. The firm rollers, on the other hand, have a tough exterior that you can use for deep tissue massage. Also, the textured rollers can be used to target specific knots in different areas of your body.

    Yoga blocks are also made of foam and are great for creating exercise adaptations.

    Get yoga block and foam roller class ideas here

    A camera or smartphone

    Are you teaching your classes online? You will need to set up a device like a smartphone or camera on a tripod to record your classes. You can stream live on Zoom or record and add to a members area or Facebook group for your clients to watch! It is great to also think about sound equipment Check out my set up video here for ideas


    Of course you can teach pilates without equipment when you start out but you will soon find that you will need to add in equipment to keep classes exciting and new. 

    Check out our Fitness Pilates Small Equipment Certification ONLY £40

    4 hour Certification delivered via an online training dashboard including:

    • Mini Ball

    • Stability Ball

    • Circle

    • Activation Band

    • Weights

    CPD Certificate of Attendance included and Notes

    CLICK HERE to learn more


    Join the FREE Fitness Pilates Instructor Newsletter Click here 

    Join The Fitness Pilates VIP club click here

    🧘‍♀️Would you love to teach Fitness Pilates?🧘‍♀️
    Our Fitness Pilates 2 day certification new dates are now up!

    You must be a level 2 or above qualified fitness professional to do this course.
    All of our training dates until the end of 2022 are now available to book:

    🧘‍♀️25/26 June LAST SPACES

    🧘‍♀️17/18 September 

    🧘‍♀️5/6 November 

    🧘‍♀️10/11 December


    The Level 3 Pilates Qualification is one of the most popular qualifications we offer at Choreographytogo Training & Education and here are the course dates right up until the end of the year, this is for anyone to train to teach pilates- no previous qualifications needed:

    🟠1/2/3 July
    🟠23/24/25 September
    🟠28/29/30 October
    🟠16/17/18 December


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