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 hand weights. 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!
- Snow Angels
- Single Side Arm
- Arm raise at shoulder height (90-degree shoulder flexion)
- Arm circles
- Prone Arm Clock
- Spine Twist
- Spine Stretch
Kneeling + Quadruped
- The Z: hold weights at shoulder height or overhead
- Small Arm Circles with arms low
- Small Arm Circles at chest height
- Full Arm Circles
- Biceps curls with elbows at shoulder height
- Overhead press
Purchase Your Hand Weights
I personally prefer hand weights over toning balls, but that's really a matter of taste. They do the same thing, obviously. Just your grip changes.
- Neoprene Dumbbells 1-20 lbs. at Dick's
- 1.1 or 2.2 lbs. Dumbbells by Stott Merrithew
- Toning Balls 1-3 lbs. by Stott Merrithew
- Weighted Balls by Balanced Body
Do you have any other favorites I didn't mention here? Let me know in the comments!