Pilates was created in the 1920s by the physical trainer Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of the first people treated were soldiers returning from war and dancers who needed to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and pains.
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility. The moves tend to target the core, although the exercises work other areas of your body as well.
It was initially created as a series of exercises executed in a specific order, using nothing other than bodyweight however, you can also add various props which can either intensify or add support to a move, depending on how you use it.
Here are a few of my favourite props to use in a class or at home!
These are one of my favourite pieces because they take up little space and are great to use for stability work. They can level up the most basic core exercises and make your lunges more challenging.
Increasing weight is a great way to challenge yourself. Adding an ankle weight to your leg and booty work will take these moves to another level. Ankle weights can also double as hand weights, so you can get more bang for your buck.
A softball is fantastic for intensifying core exercises. You can use it for deeper core activation by allowing the spine to move through a bigger range of motion, or use it for support and reduce the range of motion. It’s also a perfect addition for stability and balance work.
No matter your preference – prop or no prop, Pilates is a great addition to your workout regime for its many health benefits, including increased muscle strength and tone and rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances.
Molly Gay xx