Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Pilates is an incredibly beneficial exercise, both physically and mentally. From increased core strength and improved posture to better body awareness and decreased stress, nearly everyone can get something out of a Pilates class.
Unlike many other forms of exercise, you can do Pilates anywhere you want! Most Pilates moves don’t even require any pieces of equipment. Add that to the availability of virtual Pilates classes, and you can easily do a Pilates class from your own home.
Although equipment isn’t necessary for Pilates exercises, investing in the right Pilates equipment can elevate your at-home workout. You can stick to your routine without the hassle of commuting to the Pilates studio. Plus, you don’t have to compromise on the moves you’re able to do when you have the right equipment on hand.
Virtual classes and at-home exercise equipment make it possible to do Pilates exercises at your own pace and in the privacy of your own home. With the rise of online fitness, Pilates has never been more accessible! I love seeing more people discover Pilates and add it into their health and fitness routine. That’s why I’m excited to be sharing the best at-home Pilates equipment!
12 Best At-Home Pilates Equipment
1. The Magic Circle
The Magic circle is a versatile tool designed to make it easier to find a connection to your powerhouse. Made out of rubber and often featuring ergonomic handles, this piece of equipment is simple yet powerful. By offering different levels of resistance during Pilates moves, you will tone your muscles and get increased body feedback.
You can use the Magic circle for a variety of different exercises. Our Magic Circle Standing Arm Series will give you a good idea!
2. Bala Bangles
Bala Bangles are versatile, wearable weights that can intensify any workout! Slip these chic 1 pound weights onto your wrists or ankles to find a deeper connection to your core. Plus, the extra resistance will help tone your arms and legs during your Pilates workout. The bangles come in a variety of cute colors and with a carrying case, making them a piece of Pilates equipment you won’t mind displaying.
3. Spine Corrector
This spine corrector from Gratz is our favorite piece of Pilates equipment. Designed with curves to complement those of your spine, this equipment is the perfect addition to any home studio. Use this accessory to lengthen your spine and open your chest, while strengthening your powerhouse.
The Gratz Spine Corrector features the same curve as in the ladder barrel and half barrel, with a steep and shallow curve. Made of wood with a plush upholstered exterior, this Pilates equipment is lightweight. Plus, metal handles make it easy to move. The spine corrector does take up a fair amount of space, so it’s better suited if you have a dedicated Pilates or fitness area of your home.
4. Small Arm Chair
The arm chair is exactly as it sounds. This Pilates chair features two handles attached to springs to target the muscles in your arms. Use the small arm chair to strengthen your upper body and improve your posture. The maple wood base provides solid support while upholstered cushions offer additional comfort. Choose between aluminum and wood or leather and wood handles and a variety of upholstery colors to customize your arm chair.
Not sure how to use your arm chair or if it’s right for you? Check out some Pilates moves using the arm chair in our Concentration series!
5. Wunda Chair
If I could only have one piece of Pilates equipment, it would be the Wunda Chair. The Wunda Chair was designed by Joseph Pilates to take up only a small amount of space while offering maximum benefit. It certainly delivers. This pilates accessory is hardcore!
The top of the chair functions as the “mat” for Pilates moves. With such a small portion of your body in contact with the chair, you’ll experience a dramatic increase in strength, balance, and control. In addition to the chair top itself, the Wunda Chair also has a resistance pedal under the seat, attached to springs you can customize for high, medium, or low resistance.
You can use the Wunda Chair for a variety of different exercises targeting the core, lower body, and upper body! Some of the exercises you can do include Footwork, Press Down, Pull Up and Spine Stretch Forward. Watch a demonstration here!
6. Foam Roller
You might be familiar with using foam rollers after your workouts, but what about during them? I love the versatility of foam rollers. You can use them in between sets to release tension and pain from your muscles.
During your Pilates class, you can incorporate a foam roller to increase the intensity of your exercise. By balancing your body on the roller, your core muscles will activate even more! Foam rollers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but a basic cylindrical foam roller is perfect. In your home, it’ll take up less space than a yoga mat!
7. Pilates Ball
Similar to the foam roller, you can use this small Pilates ball to challenge your balance and engage your core. This 9-inch ball has a surface that improves grip and is anti-burst. In addition to laying on the ball itself, you can grip it between your legs or in your hands to work on controlled movement.
8. Pilates Reformer
Take your home gym to the next level by adding a Pilates Reformer! These Pilates machines feature a sliding carriage with springs, handles and straps to work every part of your body. Reformer Pilates exercises are challenging and help you find your powerhouse while supporting your body.
Purchasing a reformer is definitely an investment, both in money as well as floor space, so be sure to take a class before you go all in! If you do decide to buy a Pilates reformer for your own home, choose one that will last.
At the top of the list is The Universal Reformer by Gratz. If you are looking for the real thing, this is the one. The Universal Reformer considered to be the "OG" of all reformers because of it's unique pedigree. The Gratz Reformer is built from the specific measurements and materials that Joseph Pilates built his very own equipment with.
Alternatively, the Contrology Reformer from Balanced Body is very similar to the Gratz apparatus. Endorsed by Jay Grimes (one of Joe Pilates original students and Master Instructor), it is also a great choice for the serious practitioner, or for those with deep pockets.
9. Reformer Box
Once you have a reformer, there are a variety of accessories you can purchase to customize your Pilates experience, including platform extenders and a Reformer box. Also called a sitting box or a Pilates box, this supportive box provides extra cushion and support during reformer Pilates exercises. A Reformer box may help you get more out of your reformer, opening up new abdominal and prone exercises.
10. Resistance Bands
If you don’t want to purchase your own reformer (or don’t have the space), you can get many of the same benefits by using resistance bands! Adding a resistance band to any Pilates move will make your muscles work harder to control the movement.
There are many different kinds of resistance bands, from flat loops to open ended bands. What kind of Pilates moves you want to use bands on may determine the kind you should get. You can find sets of resistance bands in different resistance levels at fairly inexpensive prices. Because they’re so versatile and fold up so small, they’re great pieces of Pilates equipment, (especially for traveling)!
11. Pilates Mat
A Pilates mat is probably the most essential piece of equipment you need for at-home Pilates! Unlike your typical yoga mat, Pilates mats are thicker and often have a more slick surface for easier movement. The additional thickness provides the support and cushion necessary to protect your spine during the majority of mat Pilates moves.
There are plenty of different styles of Pilates mats. You can find our favorites here!
12. Sliding Discs
These unassuming discs can actually provide a killer workout. Add these sliding discs into your favorite Pilates moves to add an element of challenge. These discs have two sides – one foam, one plastic – to glide easily over any surface.
Place your feet or hands on the discs to deepen your core connection and strength. The sliding motion provided by the discs even mimics some of the reformer Pilates moves, at a much more accessible price and size.
Your at-home Pilates routine can be as simple or as detailed as you like!
Pilates is a wonderfully flexible workout option. Getting in a good Pilates workout can be as simple as working through a few moves on your floor or as complicated as working with a variety of Pilates machines. Whatever your budget or home gym space, these recommendations for at-home Pilates equipment will help you feel your best in your Pilates class.