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  • Writer's pictureMiriam McCrea

Fitness & Pilates Enthusiasts: Level Up Your Mat Workouts

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

My #1 Go-To Fitness Prop for a stronger core, back, glutes & more


A small but mighty tool that tests your strength, stability & balance all at once!

A Pilates ball can be a simple yet powerful tool for your workouts, whether you're new to mat Pilates and want to expand your repertoire, or if you're an experienced practitioner looking to level up your workouts. A Pilates ball, also known as a soft stability ball, is a small inflatable ball, typically 9" in diameter. It promotes core stability and injury prevention, and many Pilates workouts have been curated with the ball in mind. I love this simple adjunct for a variety of reasons.


Ideal for all skill levels and abilities, Pilates balls challenge your strength, stability and balance all at once, while also offering a supportive element for the lower back, cervical spine (the back of the neck), and more. You can create a strong abdominal connection while using a Pilates ball, which forces you to discover stability throughout the core. Simply by squeezing the ball or holding it in place, it can be used to engage and strengthen the arms, legs, adductors (inner thighs), glutes, and more - it's not just for the midsection. Additionally, by performing movements in a quadruped position (on all fours) with the ball beneath the knee or hand, you are creating an unstable surface that your deep muscles must fight against in order to achieve more core-controlled movement. Trust me, you will be shaking! This is a good thing.


On a practical note, Pilates balls are relatively inexpensive, and are extremely light and portable, making them great for at-home workouts, taking to the gym, or with you on vacation. I’m all for a multi-purpose tool. Efficiency!



Having tried a variety of brands, my favourite Pilates ball is the Sculpt Ball from B Yoga. B Yoga ticks many boxes for me. First and foremost, it is a Canadian, women-founded fitness brand based in Burnaby, BC. Their products are professional quality, attractive, and ergonomic. The eco-geek in me was thrilled to see that my shipment arrived packaged sustainably, without excessive materials. You can learn more about them here.


The Sculpt Ball ships deflated in a compact mesh bag, with a straw for easy inflation. I like to inflate the ball to about ¾ full, but experiment and see what works best for your practice.


Here are some more tips on how to get the most out of your Pilates ball:



Make exercises more challenging:

A Pilates ball can add a stability and balance challenge to your usual exercises just by giving you something to hold in place, or it can add extra resistance when you squeeze it or push against it.


Stretching:

With the help of a Pilates ball, you can get into deeper stretches without putting too much pressure on the spine.


Improve your form:

Holding a Pilates ball in place, whether it’s between your thighs or on your lower back, can provide invaluable feedback on your form and help you maintain a position while you focus on holding the ball.


Pelvic Floor activation:

Pelvic floor dysfunction happens when the muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the bladder, rectum, and pelvic organs weaken or become tight (hypertonic). Just like other muscles in our body, they need to know how to rest and how to work, which which is where the Sculpt Ball comes in.


These are but a few examples that highlight the versatility of the Pilates ball. If you use a Pilates or Sculpt Ball in ways I haven't described, I'd love to hear from you (admittedly I get nerdy about all things fitness). If you’re interested in training with me, have any questions, or would like a promo code for B Yoga’s Sculpt Ball, send me a DM!


Yours in health,

Miriam







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