Bring the bespoke studio to your living room with our edit of the best tools and kit for your home.
Dynamic Pilates TV’s practice keeps your body and mind guessing with the innovative use of Pilates accessories. Mix up your current home practice; build a leaner and stronger body with some of these props chosen by Korin and Tiffany.
1. Magic Circle
The Magic Circle is a small but effective tool, created by founder Joseph Pilates, that’s intended to help practitioners find their center. It’s also known as a fitness circle, Pilates ring, or fitness ring, but “magic circle” is the preferred name within Pilates.
Korin says, “the Magic Circle is a great tool to challenge your regular Reformer workout, we use it in fun variations, such as the Rock n Ring class, Magic Circle Flow, Jumping Magic and Bikini Body Bliss. Old favorites feel brand new with the addition of the circle which represents your Powerhouse so that whenever you squeeze it, you feel your center.”
A magic circle provides muscular feedback and gentle to moderate resistance during a Pilates exercise. It is not intended to provide a heavy strength workout.
Which Magic Circle should I buy?
DPTV’s Magic Circle of choice is the Ultra-Fit Circle. It’s specifically designed for home use and is made of flexible plastic with a soft, rubberised shell. Padded handles on both the inside and the outside of the ring offer superior comfort. Resistance is approximately equivalent to a 3-band Spring Circle. 15″ (38 cm) outside diameter.
Available in two sizes:
Ultra-Fit Circle® Regular
- Good for larger body types and broad shoulders.
- More resistance provides more challenge.
Ultra-Fit Circle® Mini
- Perfect for smaller body types and narrow shoulders.
- Easier lower body work due to smaller size.
- Achieve better leg alignment with feet directly under hips.
- Light resistance is great for beginners.
2. Small Pilates Ball/soft ball
“This is the number one prop I believe everyone should have.” Says Tiffany, “a small exercise ball can help you improve your abdominal, upper body, and lower back strength and flexibility.” When shopping for an exercise ball, look for ones made with strong, burst-resistant material.
The Togu from Balance Body is DPTV’s choice of prop, the perfect size, shape and texture for improving your Pilates technique. Soft and flexible, it conforms to the body and provides excellent feedback for core exercises including abdominals, oblique abdominals, back extension and lateral flexion. Durable and strong enough to kneel on, it can also be used as an unstable surface under the torso, foot, or knee. Quickly inflates (up to 12 inches/ 30cm) and handily deflates, to desired level of inflation.
3. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are a simple and versatile tool, since they use constant tension to stimulate muscle growth – without putting strain on your joints. They can improve mobility, flexibility, and strength, and have been proven to be a “feasible alternative” to lifting weights when it comes to activating your muscles, according to research published in the Journal of Human Kinetics. The study compared muscle activation during upper-body strength exercises with resistance bands vs. weights, and found the results to be very similar. They believe that the instability created by the bands is what causes muscle fibers to work harder, in some cases, than with free weights.
What resistance band should I buy?
We recommend the Hip & Booty Resistance bands available on DPTV’s website. We regularly use resistance bands within our Reformer classes, find great examples of them being used in the Loopy Legs, Booty Band Delight and Barre Sculpt Two videos.
Lightweight dumbbells will add some extra muscle toning potential to your practice. Depending on the exercise, we use dumbbells to target muscles in your arms, back, shoulders, chest and down into your core. Tiffany adds, “in true Pilates style, we practice resistance on both the exertion and release. That way we use eccentric contractions that build long, strong muscles.” One of the reasons DPTV uses lighter weights is to control the challenge level and not invite muscle use that is out of balance with the exercise. Also, even if the weight is light, hand weights will create extra stability work for your shoulders, core, and pelvis. Watch Korin and Tiffany demonstrate this in the DPTV Bring the Bounce, HIIT HOP and No Springs No Problem Flow.
These Reebok soft grip dumbbells are ideal for Pilates, as they are covered in a comfortable EVA foam and have an adjustable hand strap to personalise them to the correct fit. Available in three light weights, 0.5 kg, 1 kg and 2 kg.
5. Swiss Ball
Also known as a pilates ball, a Swiss ball can be made part of your Reformer Pilates routine, in fact, many Pilates routines will already advise the use of a swiss ball. Check out Korin using her Swiss ball to build core strength in the Double Ball Whammy Workout video.
What is the best Swiss Ball to buy?
We recommend the eco-friendly Trideer Exercise Ball which is made from extra thick, hypo-allergenic material.
There’s no better workout method than Reformer Pilates, together with these props, Dynamic Pilates TV will provide you with a killer mix of strength, mobility, balance, coordination, flexibility and breathwork.
- J Hum Kinet, 23 March 2018 NCBI, Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5873332/