At-Home Practice

5 Tips to Get Started with a Mat

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The fifth blog in our series: Free Yourself from the Myths of the Perfect At-Home Practice

Myth #5: To practice Pilates at home, I need a big house, a Reformer, and a candlelit workout room.

Reality: A Mat in the corner of a teeny tiny apartment is room enough.

It doesn’t take much to get in a good Pilates session. One of my best-ever Pilates Mat workouts was on a towel in a hotel room in Dubai. We have over 1,400 Mat videos on Pilates Anytime. And you can do them just about anywhere.

Here are 5 tips for practicing Pilates when space is an issue:

It Doesn’t Have to Be Pretty.

No candles? No beautifully uncluttered room with all neutral-colored furniture? Toys all over the room? No problem. Collect the toys in a corner, roll up the rug, and get to work. You’re getting a workout, not an Instagram award. Do your thing.

Modify Bigger Movements.

I used to teach a Mat class with room enough for only seven clients, and even then, it was a tight fit. When it comes to doing Pilates in tight spaces, the biggest challenge is reaching your arms wide. Instead of outstretched arms, place your arms across your chest or put them palm over palm behind your head (bonus if you have a ball – you can hold your ball behind your head and lean your head into the ball). With a few simple modifications, you’re not going to knock over that pretty glass vase.

Stand Up.

We’ve all been there. We thought we booked a pretty nice hotel room...and we didn’t. Keep your shoes on, and do a standing workout instead.

Be Mobile.

You can take your device anywhere. Find a local park or beach and take your Pilates outside. Vitamin D bonus!

Look Inward.

We know tight or imperfect space isn’t really a barrier to movement. So what’s the real reason for hesitating? Write about it or talk it out with a friend. Is there fear? Start with something short and sweet. If that’s enough for today, great, but sometimes just getting moving is the hardest part.

It’s extremely rare that we regret moving. If we find a way to get that movement in, we’ll be so much happier. And happiness is contagious. Let’s turn the tables on our excuses...and move those tables to make space for our practice.

About the Author

Chanda Hinman

Chanda is a Pilates teacher, certified on all apparatus by the Equinox Pilates Institute, and is PMA Certified. She currently teaches at Westwood Pilates in Los Angeles. She has been an employee of Pilates Anytime since 2016, fully immersed in the fascinating world of marketing.
*Photo courtesy of Don Bodin


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