Favorite Gear & Useful Tools

Often in sessions or classes, we use the below tools.   I don’t officially endorse any of these products or take responsibility for any of their claims or dangers.

Over the years, I’ve made a note of a lot of products and the list is getting long.

Here are some short links to get you there quicker:

Separate Pages:

Props for Virtual Classes | Vision/Balance

Sections below:

Therabands | Hand & Ankle Weights | 9″ Gertie Balls Foam Rollers | Sliders | Yoga Mats & Yoga Balls | Small Balls (foot balls) | Recovery & Soreness | Massage Tools

Therabands

Virginia uses bands made by Theraband and a few others. Make sure to take care of them and keep them out of the sun. Replace when they show wear.

Heavy Therabands for home pilates and barre workouts
Pilates Therbands light to medium

Band Accessories:

Pilates at home workouts

From Amazon:

Heavy Resistance 3 pack of 5′ theraband set from Amazon
bands are only about 5 feet each
Low to Medium Resistance 3 pack of 5′ Theraband set from Amazon

Special 8′ bands cut by Virginia

Great for her classes to do all the roll down and leg work. Normal Amazon bands are too short.

Medium 9’ Green Band Heavy 9’ Blue Band

Circular Band Options

Virginia uses these in most leg oriented workouts. They are also fantastic for shoulder girdle work.

Perform Better Exercise bands
Versatile 5 band set Heaviest band set by Perform Better Versatile 3 band set

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White Standard Foam RollerFoam Rollers

White Models: Just a good ole standard foam roller for most people to lie on head to tail.
1/2 circle of the white density
Blue Models: much quite softer: all length’s, full circular rollers, & 1/2 rollers

Blacks Models: much firmer foam rollers. Not for the faint of heart.

Either model, I recommend the 30-36″ lengths so you can lay on them with the foam roller supporting you from your head to tail bone.

White Standard Firmness

White Firm Half Roller

36″ Full size

 White Firm Half Roller

Softer Blue Rollers by OPTP

Blue soft foam roller for exercise
36″ Full Circle
36″ Half circle roller

Black Roller: High Density/Firm

Foam Rollers: Hard foam

Hyperice’s Massaging Roller, the “Viper” 2.0

Yoga Bolsters
A softer alternative to Foam Rollers

This is a great alternative to foam rollers as we can’t all tolerate them: the bolster pillow that is lonog and thing we use in the studio.
(25 x 6 x 3 inches)
Non-amazon pillow at a good price

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Dumbells & Ankle Weights

Free Weights from Amazon
They come in every variety…

 

Amazon’s set with a stand: sets of 2lb, 3lb, 5lb
With the above link you can also access neoprene pairs of weights from 1lbs through 20lbs.

 

Nice C Weights: Adjustable Dumbbells, Neoprene 10-in-1 Options

2.3 to 4.5 lbs each weight.
The ratings are good but I’ve not tried them.  I like the concept and saving space.

 

Hand weights from amazonJFIT Dumbbell Hand Weight Pairs and Sets

Neoprene and Vinyl Dumbbell Pairs Options or 7 Neoprene Dumbbell Rack Set Options – Premium Non-Slip, Color Coded Hex Shaped Hand Weights

Virginia’s Favorite and also sold at the Sports Basement:
JFIT Neoprene D Grip Dumbbells – Premium Non-Slip, Hand Weights, Ergonomic Design

Sold as single weights, 1 – 5LBs.
 
 
 

Ankle Weights

Sportneer Adjustable Weights

Adjustable Ankle Weights Ankle/Wrist Weights (1 Pair) with Adjustable Strap (2lbs, 3lbs, 4lbs, 6lbs, 8lbs & 10lbs).  You can change the weight of each between 2lbs to 10lbs.

Bala

The designer brand that is really quite lovely and quite pricey.
1lb set
2lb set
 

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Sliders

Great for a home gym or travel. They enable you to mimic many Reformer and Core Align movements. Buy at Amazon.

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Brain Speed BallBrain Speed Ball

Developed by Trent McEntire, McEntire Pilates. See Home Workouts for speed ball games.
Brain speed ball work is appropriate for every person, any level, athlete or seniors as well as kids.
Purchase from Begin Again:

Purchase
Buy the Brain Speed Ball

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Calf Stretching Foam Wedges

Using a wedge is much better for your feet than standing off a step or stair. A wedge will support your whole foot while stretching.

My own mentor’s recommendation is to put one in your bathroom and use it while brushing your teeth. It’s a great way to get the stretch twice a day. I have the twins doing this. You could also put it by the kitchen sink and stand on it while you do dishes.

calf stretch wedgeEconomical Calf Wedge from Amazon

  • Stretch the calf, plantar side of the feet, ankle, and Achilles tendon
  • Comes as a set of 2
  • Each wedge measures 12″L x 12″W x 3. 5″H at the tallest
  • Wedges can be stacked for more incline

 

OPTP Calf wedgeMiddle of the road and excellent quality:

OTPT Wedges

  • 100% Foam
  • Ideal for stretching, strengthening and rehabilitation at home or in the clinic, these foam incline boards are easier-to-use and more affordable than wooden, metal or plastic alternatives.
  • OPTP Slant boards are integral in the prevention and treatment of common lower-leg and foot problems such as Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs, shin splints, calf strains, plantar fasciitis, overuse syndromes and post-surgery contraction.
  • They’re perfectly suited for stretching and weight-bearing exercise at home or in a clinic. Can also be used to improve the sitting posture of children.
  • These lightweight, but sturdy, slant boards are constructed of special weight-bearing foam, making them easier-to-handle and more cost-effective compared to wooden, metal or plastic boards. 18° incline.
  • Measure 11¾” L x 11¾” W x 3¾” H with an 18° incline.

 

The  BEST: Balanced Body Pilates Arc Pilates Arc and Wedge by Balanced Body

My favorite tool for calf stretching.

  • 3-IN-1 TOOL: This 3-in-1 Pilates Arc can be used as a Pilates barrel to open up your back or as a spine corrector to stretch your spinal muscles. You can also use it as a wedge by sliding it onto the shoulder rests of your Reformer to challenge your strength and mobility.
  • VERSATILE TRAINER: This foam back exercise equipment is an excellent tool for practitioners who are just getting started with Pilates as well as those who want to challenge themselves. It stretches the muscles, corrects the posture, conditions the whole body, and promotes stability.
  • TARGETS THE WHOLE BODY: This arc trainer has a unique patented shape. It features steep but gently curving sides to help practitioners exercise their arms and shoulders, spine and lower back, and legs and feet. With its ergonomic design, it comfortably fits small to large body types.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & VERSATILE: Our Pilates Arc weighs only 4 lbs., making it very easy to move around. It is fitted with a detachable wedge that you can flip over to use for core strengthening and balance training. This tool can be used as stand-alone equipment or combined with your Reformer.

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Gertie Balls: Mini Exercise Ball

A great prop for any Pilates workout and barre.  Virginia often refers to these as the 9″ balls.

Pro Body

Pilates Prop Ball
With the Pump
Without the Pump

Franklin Brand Balls

Back up brands:


If other brands are sold out:

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Recovery & Soreness

Balls & Spikey Balls

You’ll find that you want to start with a bigger softer ball (tennis ball).  As your muscles and fascia loosen up, you’ll find you can tolerate and like the spiker and stiffer balls.  Also, your feet might want one consistency but say your back or IT Band needs another consistency.  So having a variety ends up being what most clients want for long-term maintenance. Tennis balls and lacrosse balls also can work quite well.

Pinky Balls by Balanced Body

  • SMALL MASSAGE BALL: Our small rubber ball measures 2.5″ (7 cm). It is often used as a massage ball for feet, but it can also be used for other target areas, such as the shoulders, neck, hips, and hands. It can help improve standing posture and gait.
  • DURABLE & COMFORTABLE: Our strong ball massager is made out of hard rubber, making it extremely durable. Plus, the hard natural rubber helps to provide intense pressure to those extra-stubborn spots that hold lots of tension.
  • DESIGNED FOR ACTIVE LIFESTYLES: Our mini massager ball is well suited for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who have sore or tense muscles. Spice up your home-gym equipment and daily routine with this hard rubber ball.
  • TRAVEL MASSAGE BALL: Due to its small and lightweight design, this self-massaging tool can easily be moved. No matter where you go, your Pilates exercise routine won’t get off track because you can take this ball with you when you travel.
  • BALANCED BODY: Balanced Body is dedicated to providing Pilates-based education and equipment that empowers users to be mindful of movement, make healthy lifestyle changes, and ultimately find balance.

FitNext Massage Balls

Feet, Back, Neck, Hands – Spiky Body Massager Rollers for Plantar Fasciitis, Deep Tissue, Muscle Relief, Trigger Point Therapy.

  • SPIKY MASSAGE BALL SET – includes 3 balls with hard, medium and soft spikes of varying length for different exercises and therapy
  • RELIEVES PAIN AND TENSION – exercise roller balls massage your body, reach deep tissue, target trigger points and relax sore muscles
  • UNIVERSAL MASSAGE TOOLS – with more than 200 pressure points they can be used as foot balls, back rollers, neck, shoulder and hand massagers
  • DURABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT – 3.15 inch exercise roller balls are extremely portable and can be carried anywhere you need them
  • RELATED – foam roller, plantar fasciitis ball, therapy ball for hands, vibrating massager, rolling spike ball, spiked fascia roller, stiff neck relief, lacrosse therapy ball

 

“Gumball” bouncy balls

  • Just ask Virginia for one.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Wakers

  • Stimulates the feet and improves circulation
  • Versatile, convenient and easy to use
  • Compact, portable and perfect for travel
  • Used for people with fallen arches, plantar fascitis, sore feet, reflexology, bunions and hammertoes
  • Kit contains 2 Yamuna Foot Wakers and instructional DVD

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Books

Breath Exercised Sports Gene
Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding The Sports Gene Book

Massage & Recovery Tools

Gaiam Restore Pressure Point Muscle Roller Massage Stick

It looks painful but it feels wonderful.  Releases and massage muscles.  Keep one under your desk to rejuvenated your feet.

Hyperice Products

Hyperice’s Massaging Roller, the “Viper” 2.0

Hyperice's Viper 2.0

Hyperice’s
Hand held devices see all the options.
Hyperice’s Hypersphere Vibrating Therapy Ball

A good Alternative to the Hyperice

RENPHO Massage Gun, Deep Tissue Massager Gun with Adjustable Arm, Upgrade Percussion Muscle Massage Gun for Athletes
RENPHO Massage Gun, Deep Tissue Massager Gun with Adjustable Arm

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Theraworx Relief Fast-Acting Foam for Leg Cramps, Foot Cramps and Muscle Soreness, 7.1oz

Mag Foam from Amazon

Stinky” Stuff

My favorite acupuncturist turned me to this product 15 years ago and it’s been a go-to for sore muscles since.  Warning, it seems so strong of herbs that it might wake up your sleeping spouse in the middle of the night!
Do add a heat pack for extra relief.

Warning: Very fragrant, don’t use if you are sensitive to smells or will be around other sensitive folks.  So do not use it before a fitness class, the gym, an important meeting, or a date!

Po Sum On Medicated Oil from Amazon

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Kinesiology Tape:

Kinesio Kinesiology Tape (Gold)

My clients with sensitive skin like this tape more.  This is my go-to tape for my own use.  It tended to last 3-5 days and was a better value than RockTape, KT Tape, and other brands.

Trick: use baby oil when removing any kinesiology tape.

Kinesio Tex Gold in Bulk from Amazon

RockTape H2O (Extra Sticky/made for swimmers)

As I stretched more and more, Kinesio tape would come loose. So when the h20 variety came out, I switched to this RockTape variation. Some clients get a rash or rug burn when removing this tape. Do be careful if you have sensitive skin.

Kinesiology Tape:

Kinesio Kinesiology Tape (Gold)

My clients with sensitive skin like this tape more.  This was my go-to tape for my own use for years.  It tended to last 3-5 days and was a better value then RockTape, KT Tape and other brands.
Kinesio Tape link?
Kinesio Tex Gold FP – Beige Single Roll
Kinesio Tex Gold in Bulk from Amazon

Trick: use baby oil when removing any kinesiology tape.
RockTapke H20
RockTape h20 Single Roll from Amazon
RockTape h20 in Bulk from Amazon

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Dr Teal's Epsom SaltsDr Teals, favorite brand of Epsom Salts

I’ve found that best price for these is at Ulta.com.  My favorite for soreness is the Detox with Ginger and Clay.  Use 1-2 cups per bath (yes, that’s a lot).

Dr. Teals on Amazon

 

Heat Packs

Usually made of corn kernels or rice.  Just microwave.  Be careful not to warm them and burn yourself.

One I’m curious to try: Happy Wraps® Herbal Neck Wrap w/Free Lavender Eye Pillow & Free Sleep Mask – Microwave or Freeze

Extra Long Heating Sunny Bay from Amazon”Neck & Shoulder Style from Amazon

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Grip Socks: ToeSox & Tavi Noir

When doing Pilates work I highly recommend having socks with grips on the bottom.  Your feet will be less likely too slide and it will increase your proprecieption of your feet.

Below is my favorite brand and I actually carry these at the Begin Again Studio.  I really like the separate toes as it provides more grip and awareness + sensory feedback for “getting into” your feet.

 

Toe Socks by ToeSox

Grip Socks by Tavi Noir Barre Sock
(pad under the ball of the foot)
 

 

 

 

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Magic Circles  by Balanced body

Two size options

  1. 15″ Classic Size
  2. 12″ Smaller and great for women

Yoga Mats

Standard Mat – would be great to use at any conventional studio environment. Buy Yoga Mats from Amazon

Thick Options:

“HemingWeigh” Yoga Mat making outdoor concrete surfaces doable. I think these would be too soft and squishy for use on carpets and some indoor floors. Do use on hard floors if you have an issue with normal mat causing pain.  I’ve gotten frustrated and slid a little when doing lunges and standing work.  The Balanced Body mat below has better grip but is not as portable.

Balanced Body Ecowise Mat

BalancedBody Yoga Mat

 

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Stability Balls

I go with the classic Gaiam brand even though there are so many options out there. The Stability Balls come in many sizes meant to correlate to a person’s height

go with the classic Gaiam brand even though there are so many other brands out there.  The Stability Balls come in many sizes meant to correlate to a person’s height.

45cm Stability Ball (Kids’ size)

55cm Stability Ball (Users between 5’0″ and 5’5″ tall)

65cm Stability Ball (Users between 5’6″ and 5’11  tall)

75cm Stability Ball (Users between 6’0″ and 6’5″ tall)

Joseph Pilates’ Book:

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Miscellaneous

Turmeric
Turmeric Capsules by Pure Encapsulations: CurcumaSorb – with Meriva
Bioavailable Curcumin Phytosome – 180 Capsules

BioSil by Natural Factors, Bone Collagenizer Ultra (60 Servings)
“Collagen”

 

Ginger Chews:

Gin-Gins

Motion sickness relief: Purchase on Amazon

Balanced Body Store on Amazon

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