As much as we love Pilates mat work on its own, adding props can be a fun way to add some variety. Depending on how you use them, they can make an exercise more challenging or they can assist you through challenging movements.
The exercises below use a Stability Ball. Try them out and let me know in the comments which ones are your favorites!
You'll find videos and detailed descriptions of each of these exercises inside the Pilates Encyclopedia membership!
- Incline (like Breathing on the Trapeze Table) > single leg lift: Calves on the ball, legs straight
- Double leg stretch: Feet on the ball, legs in 90/90
- Teaser: Feet on the ball, legs straight
- Bridging: Feet on the ball
- Chest Lift: Legs resting on the ball
- Hundred: Legs resting on the ball
- Roll Down: Sitting on the ball, (walk feet forward until shoulders are on the ball)
- Chest Lift: Lean with your back against the ball, hold your head in your hands
- Hip Lift > single leg lift: Shoulders resting on the ball
Kneeling + Quadruped
- Kneeling Side Kicks: Hugging the ball under one arm
- Swimming Ball under the pelvis, feet pressed against a wall
- Swan: Ball under the pelvis, feet pressed against a wall
- Plank (Front Control)
- Leg Pull
- Double Leg Lifts
- Pike (lift hips high to the ceiling)
- Knee Stretch: Ball under your pelvis, hands on the floor, pull knees under your belly
- Thigh Stretch > single leg: Ball behind your back (lean back against it), legs straddling ball
- Elbow Plank: Elbows on the ball
- Lift and lower (arm raises): Hold ball with hands
Buying Your Stability Ball
- Stability Balls come in different sizes:
- 55cm - for people shorter than 5'6
- 65cm - for people taller than 5'6
- I recommend this Stability Ball
Do you have any other favorites I didn't mention here? Let me know in the comments!