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Pilates Mat Exercises with Yoga Blocks

at home mat Apr 06, 2020

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 Yoga Blocks. Try them out and let me know in the comments which ones are your favorites!

 

Supine

  • Blocks under feet, knees bent
    • Bridging
  • Squeezing block between your thighs:
    • Bridging
  • Hold block with your hands:
    • Arm arcs

 

Side-Lying + Prone

  • Squeezing block between your thighs:
    • Side Balance
  • Place one block in front of your hip
    • Rest top knee on block, lift bottom leg
  • Prone, hold yoga block between your ankles:
    • Swimming: arms only

 

Seated + Rolling

  • Hold flat block between your ankles:
    • Roll Up
    • Spine Stretch
    • Spine Twist
  • Sit on bocks:
    • Spine Stretch
    • Spine Twist
    • Saw
  • Blocks under your hands:
    • Back Control (or modified with knees bent)
    • Dips
    • Shrugs

 

Kneeling + Quadruped

  • Hold yoga block between your ankles:
    • The Z

 

Standing

  • Stand with one foot on a block:
    • Single Leg Deadlifts
    • Charlie Chaplins
    • Turned out Single Leg Dead Lift
  • Two blocks on the floor in front of you: Standing Figure 4 Stretch (hands on blocks)
  • Squeezing block between your thighs:
    • Heel Raises


 

Buy your yoga blocks here:

Cork blocks come in 3-inch or 4-inch width. I usually prefer the 4-inch ones because they are more stable and have more surface. 

I love the look and feel of cork, so I used those a lot and you'll see them in my videos, but they are heavy. This is a benefit when you use them to hold on to, since they won't fall over so easily, but when you hold them between your legs or hands they can get a bit heavy, and foam would be better.

Ay, there's never the one perfect prop, is there. I guess the middle ground would be to get 4-inch foam blocks, as they are big, but not too heavy. You can always use the wall for more stability if you need help balancing.

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