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.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • June 7, 2021
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How to build your home Pilates Studio - Online Pilates Classes

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 CircleThera-bandTriad 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 BarrelFoot 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 ChairLadder BarrelArm 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 MatSpine 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.)

xx~LL

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links”, a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support. By watching this video, you agree to our Terms and Conditions, which you can read here:https://opc.me/tc

2 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?

    1. Hey Lauren, yes! We have affiliate links for everything Balanced Body and Contrology offers. Feel free to contact my support team to get the links. xx~LL

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eb 3 online pilates classes

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SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

GATHER ROUND

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

We gather good things in circles…friends, flowers, pie! So let’s get our circles on! In this week’s Mat and Reformer classes we’ll be focusing on how the size and shape of circular work changes how we feel an exercise. We’ll even be adding some circular movements along the way! You won’t need any extra props and please, have your box for the Reformer class.

See you in class,
Tami

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week we will focus on all things Rowing! How do the other exercises help our rowing series and how does rowing influence the others! Finding the arm/back connection throughout the class is how we will Row Row Row Our Boat to the finish line!

Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,
Mindi

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light hand weights and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    STAND BY ME

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

    On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

    The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    FRENEMIES

    Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Hello, it's OPC Teacher Christine here! I used to get commended for my form and flexibility in any type of movement class I went to, even if it was my very first class. But what I struggled with was always hitting a plateau where I couldn't make progress or improvement. For me, that changed when I discovered the strength and control I found in practicing Pilates.

    Getting on the apparatuses puts your body in a position where you find strength, stretch, and control through your center. I was unable to fold my body like origami anymore. One of the mat exercises - double leg stretch - is great for finding a strong center regardless of what the arms and legs are doing.

    For this month, we'll explore using the concept of finding an inner lift of the belly away from the thighs to find a strength in our center, the two-way stretch of the limbs, while controlling the movement of the arms and legs whether they move away from center, or come back to center.

    Mat class: Magic Circle and squishy ball

    See you in class,

    Christine

    HANG 10

    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

    I LOVE ROCK & ROLL UP

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.