How to Build Your Home Pilates Studio (for everyone, not just teachers)

What do you need to have a Pilates space at home? How do you build your home Pilates studio? How much space do you need? What are the essentials? Let's dive into what the best strategies are for creating your own personal Pilates space.
How to build your home Pilates Studio

Ready to build your home pilates studio?

A year after the start of the pandemic and many of us have learned to eat, sleep, work and workout under one roof. Our own roof. And in this time most of our favorite trainers, teachers, and instructors have gone online. Even as things reopen the convenience of being able to ditch the commute to and from our favorite workouts is often the reason we can get more workout time in! But, what do you need to have a Pilates space at home? How do you build your home Pilates studio? How much space do you need? What are the essentials? Let’s dive into what the best strategies are for creating your own personal Pilates space.

The good news is you can create a Pilates space on almost any size. Truthfully if you can lay down on the floor, reach your arms overhead while pointing your toes and you don’t touch anything that’s enough space top to bottom. If you can open your arms and legs like a snow angel and you don’t hit anything you’ve just found your Mat Pilates space! If you can open them partway but now all the way you can still use the space. When I am in a hotel room often the only space is between the wall and the bed. I still use the space you just need to consider a couple of modifications.

Equipment For Your Home Pilates Studio

Here’s what should you buy to make this space the most useful and effective for your practice:

Props: Magic Circle, Thera-band, Triad Ball, and 1-2 lb weights. You don’t need all or any of these to get started. But they will be the most useful for most Pilates classes you’ll take.

Mat: Ideally you will someday have a mat like the Contrology Mat. The handles and straps really up-level your practice. However, an 8-10mm like the OPC mat is ideal. Your yoga mat is going to be too thin. A gymnastics mat is too thick.

In the same size space you can also invest in the following equipment: Spine Corrector or Small Barrel, Foot Corrector, 2×4, Push Up Handles. Again, you don’t have to have all of these to practice Pilates. But, these items do not need more space than what you created for doing your Mat practice. You will need a place to store them. I use hooks on my wall and a bin.

Wunda Chair: While I find that Wunda Chair workouts are often the most challenging I’m talking about it now because the amount of extra space you need for this piece of equipment is not usually a problem. If you have room to lay down and do your Mat practice you can easily slide your Wunda Chair into the same spot. Then slide it to a corner when not in use. And depending on the type of Wunda Chair you get it can easily become a chair for people to sit in like this one.

Reformer: Depending on the brand and model these come in all different sizes. I personally have a room that is 10×12 and fits my Cadillac and Reformer + everything I’ve listed and will list in the room. So, if you have a spare room you’ve got more options. But, ideally, you want to have space on all 4 sides of the Reformer. My 80″ Reformer is perfect for a small room. I needed enough space behind it to place the Short Box. Enough space on either side to stretch my arms out to a ‘T.’ And about 6-8 inches in the front so that my legs can rest long on the footbar. This may sound like a space hog of a piece. But, it is something that can be pushed to the side of the room when not in use. Make sure if you’re not on carpet that you have some felt stickies on the bottom of the feet so it is easy to slide your Reformer around on your wood floor without scratching. Plus this makes it easier to move when you’re alone.

My favorite Reformer is the Contrology 80“. If it helps I’m 5’9” and I have put people 6t + on it. And if you’re looking for them, check out my Reformer tutorials.

Now let’s talk about the other pieces of equipment. Cadillacs are not always the easiest for a home workout space. You def need to measure the height of your ceilings. You want to at the very least be able to stand on your Cadillac without your head hitting the ceiling. Even better if you could stand on the Cadillac with your arms overhead without touching the ceiling. You also need space on all 4 sides. My old space and my current home studio I have felt on the bottom of my Cadillac making it easier for me to move around a room. So I can push or pull it to create the space I need on any of the sides. This way I don’t need to have a big room that always has space on all the sides. Many people use a Tower instead of a Cadillac for their home workout rooms. As of right now, I prefer this Tower. But soon a Contrology one should be coming out.

Side note: I am often asked about the Tower/Reformer combos. I personally prefer people get them separate whenever possible. It’s not always easy to switch them from one to the other. And, you lose the ability to do certain exercises because the dimensions and stability have been changed to help put the two pieces together. If you have a combo you love amazing! But, if you have the ability to keep them separate that’s going to be better for you in the long run. Plus you can always have more than one person working out with you then! And, the mat for the Tower can be lifted up and propped against the Tower giving you space to do other things. Or, you can use the Tower mat as your Pilates mat saving you space.

Pedi Pole: This is something if you’re tight on space but want the feel of the springs I want you to have! You do need a room with standard ceiling height. Every manufacturer is slightly different. This is my favorite Pedi Pole.

If space allows here are some extra goodies. Not necessary for you to have to enhance your Pilates room: High Chair aka Electric Chair, Ladder Barrel, Arm Chair.

Balanced Body has an excellent resource that anyone can use. It allows you to design your space online before you buy. You can put the doors and windows where they are. And, another thing I liked to do because I am so visual is grabbing painter’s tape and put the outline of the equipment on the floor so I can see where each thing could live. How much space it takes up. Every piece of equipment online has its dimensions so you can measure it based on the equipment you want.

What Equipment Should You Get First?

I’m often asked, “what should I get first?” The truth is if all you can do is the Mat you’re doing Pilates and you will get its benefits. If you want more then go off the space you have. If all you have room for is what can move from a closet to the floor by your bed then a Mat, Spine Corrector, and C-shaper with some props are going to give you an epic home studio. Got a bit more room, add in that Wunda Chair and/or Pedi Pole. From there add in what you love.

My hope for you is that you do more Pilates. And remember we have tons of free tutorials on every single one of these pieces mentioned. So you do not need to become a teacher to use these. You can become your own teacher.

Which pieces are you going to start with?

I’ve created a free How to Build Your Home Pilates Studio Guide. Just fill out this form and I’ll email it to you (don’t forget to check your spam.)


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Comments (1)

Hello!!! I am finding Lesley and her site SO helpful and welcoming 🙂

Anyone know if there is a discount code or folding mats or reformers?

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