- Sometimes we use props to make an exercise more effective. Placing a foam roller under your shoulders for example, can help your body maintain a C curve when doing exercises like Single Leg Stretch or Criss Cross. Or maybe we want to put a small ball under your hips to lessen the recruitment of the hip flexors and recruit the deep abdominals better. Sometimes we use props to help keep your attention and focus, a very important principle in Pilates. Props can be very helpful in stretching too. We use a long pole to help stretch the chest and shoulders during the Saturday Stretch class last week. There were a lot of “oohs and aahs” as we felt those deep chest and shoulder muscles releasing.
- Props are always used for a specific purpose. In a group class there are times when only some people need a prop and others do not. There are some group classes where the prop is used throughout the entire class like “On the Small Ball”. If you really want to recruit the deep core muscles try “On the Small Ball” sometime.
- We don’t use props just to add variety, but the slight change does keep things fresh and new. It’s good to stimulate your body in a slightly different way from time to time.
Some of our favorite Pilates classes that use props are: On the Small Ball. Pilates Arc, Foam Roller: fun, fitness and fascia, and Saturday Stretch for Stiff Bodies. If you haven’t tried one of these classes lately, we suggest checking out the online scheduler and giving one a try.