Why use props?
I use props a lot in my classes, especially in my Postnatal and Prenatal classes… But in all classes really! I expect all my clients to purchase or borrow the props at the beginning of a series of online classes. Not having the props will mean not making the most (sometimes getting very little) out of the exercises performed during classes.
In Postnatal Pilates, it is important to have the right props as they provide support and help with alignment – which is extremely important after birth, as the body is basically out of alignment until the muscles and bones get back to their original place. The props also provide tactile feedback – which helps you sense that you are doing the right movement or placing your body correctly. Props like the small Pilates ball give us flexibility of movement, allowing us to move into positions that wouldn’t be available to us without the props. And they provide resistance and weight – like the elastic band or toning balls, which helps strengthen and tone.
In Prenatal Pilates, the big birth ball is an absolute must-have. We spend a lot of the class time sitting, kneeling or standing next to the ball, using it as support, weight, or as a source of instability, which helps develop core strength. In Prenatal Pilates and especially if there is pain or discomfort, the small Pilates ball is also essential for support and alignment. The elastic band helps stretch and tone gently. In Prenatal Pilates I also use a small spiky ball to release and stimulate the fascia under the feet, which is extremely important for gait and to promote healthy blood circulation.
In my Restorative Pilates classes, the props are used for the reasons described above, but also to allow us to gradually and safely add challenge, increase range of motion, take the exercises one notch further on the way to a stronger and healthier body…
Which props do I recommend?
I have a list of props that I send to my clients when they join my classes. The items I recommend are below as listed in online shop Bodynova. I purchase my equipment from Bodynova rather than other bigger outlets because it is a small, well run, one-man business based in Germany. But please get in touch for alternatives from Amazon and Decathlon.
These props have been selected for their length or size, which is ideal for the purposes of my classes. I ask that you stick to the dimensions provided with the list or indicated in the picture below.
What if I object to buying the props?
I understand, you might think that these are just more plastic objects with very limited use that you’d rather not buy. This is your decision or course, but as explained above, you might not get as much from the classes without the props.
And also, if I may add: if you are a woman, and a mum, as the years go by your body is going to need more and more care, more and more mobility training, toning and stretching; not less.
And you really should keep doing Pilates, and using these props, for as long as your body allows… 🙂