At-home mat workouts are a hot topic right now and if you haven’t added them to your lockdown routine yet, Dynamic Pilates TV’s selection of best mat accessories will make you want to get on board.
By incorporating the floor mat into your exercise routine you can simply build on major areas of fitness such as flexibility, core strength and muscular endurance. You can achieve this by using both compound and isolation exercises.
Compound movements rely on the coordinated actions of several muscle groups – using two or more joints. A great example of this is the squat, which works the core, hamstrings, calves, glutes and lower back all at the same time. We all want our exercises to be effective and by including a small number of compound exercises you can achieve a full body work out efficiently.
What are the benefits of compound movements?
- Balance and Coordination are improved.
- More calories are burned.
- The risk of injury during classes, sport and other activities is reduced.
- You improve your cardiovascular performance as your heart rate is increased.
- Muscular endurance and strength is increased, allowing you to exercise for longer.
Isolation exercises work one muscle or one muscle group at any one time. Through this type of exercise you are able to select which area you would like to focus on, and move through different muscle groups accordingly.
What are the benefits of isolation exercises?
- Muscle strengthening.
- You can increase both size and endurance of a specific muscle type.
- Able to measure and monitor how much each muscle group is being worked.
We suggest planning your exercises weekly, writing down reps and timings so you can create some healthy competition with yourself – improve and achieve your goals! Use the Dynamic Pilates TV app where you can easily categorise and browse classes. This is a great way to make your workout routine more fun so you will stick to it long-term.
Four fun props and accessories to help you to mix up your mat workout:
1. BOSU BALL
This incredible tool is a favorite for DPTV, it will help you build core strength, add the extra challenge of balance training. It essentially takes many of your favorite bodyweight and dumbbell strength moves and dials them up a notch by adding an unstable surface.
Our go to Bosu Ball is the Pro Balance Trainer.
Here are our top classes using a bosu ball:
- Full Body Bosu Sculpt – A 20 minute full body sculpt with the option to use lightweight dumbbells.
- Bring it on Bosu – A 30 minute to work your entire body in every direction and leave you sweaty and invigorated. With the option to use lightweight dumbbells.
- Bosu Bliss with Hope. – All you need is a bosu ball!
2. A CHAIR OR STOOL
We’ve all had to get creative while exercising at home under quarantine, and since not everyone has a fully-stocked home gym, it means finding new ways to stay fit. You should only try these movements if your chair is able to handle your bodyweight. If you have a pilates mat, you might want to also place that on the floor to keep the chair from slipping.
Our three top DPTV classes using the a chair or stool:
In DPTV classes we prefer to use lighter weights, sets of 5lbs/2KG and a set of 10lbs/4KG. We also stay clear from neoprene coated weights as they don’t easily wipe clean and in the COVID world, that’s a pretty big deal. We use Papababe Dumbbells Free Weights.
Our favorite free weight sculpt classes are:
- Full Body Box Sculpt. We use these featured sequences often, designed to work the entire body in just 35 minutes.
- Dynamic Circuit Just Move – Grab your mat and dumbbells for this 30 minute workout.
Perfect for sculpting your body, TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercises – and it compliments Pilates perfectly, with the same principles taught in Pilates carrying over to the TRX. Many TRX exercises target the shoulder girdle as a core connection. These exercises work your upper and lower body from multiple angles, targeting every muscle and replicating how you should be moving in everyday life. Ideal if you’re feeling ‘stuck’ and not moving as much during lockdown. The TRX doesn’t just sculpt your body, you will get stronger all over, you’ll also perform better and be less prone to injury. Plus, because you’ll need to maintain balance (the straps are wobbly), each move works your core and even your smaller stabilising muscles.
The portable, suspension trainer can be used almost anywhere, at any time. We see a lot of people using park trees to anchor or hang the TRX. Trust us, it won’t be long before you’re obsessed with the TRX too!
Our favorite exercises to do with the TRX are below:
- Flying Squirrel by Tiffany – This class performed as shown is pretty advanced however, with simple modifications this class would be appropriate for beginner clients.
- Let’s Take Flight by Amanda – designed to help you find length and strength all while challenging your balance, this has a great Yoga spin on TRX.
Mat exercises that require zero equipment:
- Mix n Match Bodyweight legs – This Mix n Match series is a circuit based workout, where you can repeat the circuit as many times as you like, or you can mix them up with other circuit classes to add more variety.
- Mix n Match Arms and Legs – This class requires just your mat and focuses on those deep abs as well as a good upper body burn.
- Wake up flow with Emma – The perfect dynamic workout to wake up to.