Pilates props are your ticket .......
Magic circles, resistance bands, balls big and small, foam rollers .....so many choices with endless variations. Would Joe Pilates approve of all these additions to his original mat work repertoire? Ah, we think so......after all he invented the 'Magic Circle' or otherwise referred to as the fitness ring which was cleverly inspired by the metal rim on a beer keg. Cheers Joe!
So what are the benefits of using these varied small props?
Pilates on the mat is arguably much more challenging than exercises on the equipment. The body is working against gravity for resistance which often calls for deeper stabilizers of the joints to fire up. Using small equipment helps to support the body's weight while adding resistance and opportunity to target tone specific areas.
Take for example, using a resistance band while executing 'double leg stretch'. This exercise is known for deep core activation as legs and arms reach in opposite directions from the center of the body. When a resistance band is added the hips receive added support allowing more energy to directed to abdominal recruitment. The resistance of the band overhead is an added bonus for shoulder toning and strengthening.
A sense of play, balance and stability can be added to mat work when balls and foam rollers join the party. The unstable surface of these props are ideal for deep core strengthening, neuromuscular control and balance. They are also excellent for sharpening proprioception, where your body is in space, awareness which we can all use some extra exploration into.
Out of all the small equipment players the original Magic Circle is probably your best bet for versatility and resistance. It's magical powers target those hard to tone inner and outer thighs. It is an excellent tool for stretching by adding resistance to strengthen while lengthening your muscles. There are endless variations to tone abs, arms and butt. The Magic Circle is your 'go to' for effectiveness and adaptability for home or travel.
Pilates is known for its ability to form long, strong, sleek muscles. Adding these affordable, powerful small props to your mat work will supercharge your body shaping goals.