November 16

Get a Great Pilates Workout In Without Using Props

  • Min. Read

Have you ever been in a Pilates workout groove?

pilates workout

Everything is lining up - your work schedule, your social schedule, your kids’ schedule and even your Pilates workout schedule.

You’re in it and your body (and mind) feel awesome! 

And then one day Ted from corporate sends you an email telling you your presence is required at the main offices. 

Suddenly your perfectly-worked schedule is falling off the track.

But you handle it and before you know it, a babysitter has been called, time with friends has been rescheduled and your plane ticket has been booked.

pilates workout

This has been Barbara’s experience more often than not. She travels for work and spends more nights than one might like in hotels. She has always managed to get the rest of her work/life schedule in order when she leaves, but after a while she realized how disruptive work travel was to her Pilates workout. 

pilates workout

Pilates has always been Barbara’s favorite exercise - it keeps her strong, flexible and mindful of her posture all day long. The problem is, she doesn’t want to schlep the props that she uses in class with her on business trips.

Then one day, Barbara was talking to the gentleman seated next to her on one of her flights. They started talking about their exercise routines and discovered they are both big, big fans of Pilates. 

 Barbara mentioned that her Pilates always falls off track when she travels and how she never wants to deal with bringing the props. Little did she know that her seatmate held the secret to a Pilates workout on the road.  

pilates workout

He told her that Joseph Pilates did not include exercises props in his original mat sequence. No balls, bands or blocks. You were lucky if he allowed you to use a cushy mat!  And then he told her about a website, Fitstreams, that he’d stumbled upon when looking for online Pilates workouts.  One of his favorite classes is - you guessed it - Mat With No Props. 

Mat With No Props

There's no question that props can add variety and challenge to a class, but sometimes a mat workout with no accessories can be the most challenging one of all.  This came as great news to Barbara, who realized that with Fitstreams, her Pilates workout could be done anywhere, anytime, even when on the road for work!

pilates workout

On the mat, you have to control all your own body weight and you can’t rely on the springs, bands, balls or other props to help you. Navigating the movements while figuring out what to use where is not only challenging for muscles and joints, but for the brain as well. Mat work forces you to stay focused on your body, and on your movement in a different way than exercise with props or machines do.

As an added bonus, this development of overall body organization translates to activities off the mat as well! Once your body learns how to move, stabilize and function correctly, you will notice improvements in all of your movements; whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, getting on the ground to play with your kids or running a 5k.

pilates workout

This of course came as great news to Barbara, who realized that with Fitstreams, her Pilates workout could be done anywhere, anytime, even when on the road for work!

Mat With No Props

pilates workout

You don’t even need a mat for this class, but it will feel better if you do. Pilates mats tend to be thicker and have more cushion than yoga mats do. This protects sensitive body parts like your spine, hip bones and knees. If you’re at a hotel, grab one or two bath towels to throw down on the ground underneath you. You’ll find Mat with No Props in the Pilates Mat Program under Level 2.


About the author

Laurie Johnson

Laurie’s clear and candid cueing makes classes easy to follow without looking at the screen. Her wit and good nature create an enjoyable class that challenges your limits and celebrates your successes.  

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