Set Up Your Home Pilates Workout Space

Tips for Making Your Home Pilates Workout a Reality

A woman’s home Pilates setup.
A woman’s home Pilates setup.. Anthony Mayatt/Getty Images

You don't need at lot of room to do home Pilates workouts. All you really need is a clear place on the floor big enough to put down an exercise mat with enough room around it to extend you arms and legs to the sides, a few extra feet on each side and room at the foot and head. That is very minimal, but it will get you by.

Better Space Equals Stronger Commitment

Now let's talk about making conditions that promote sticking to a home workout program.

Having a nice spot, large or small, that you can count on and enjoy will go a long way toward ensuring the success of your home workout plans.

The first step is to see yourself working out at home. What qualities do you think the spaceneeds to have? Does it need to be private? How should it look? How often will you use it?

As you visualize your home workout space, notice if you find yourself gravitating to a certain area in your home. It might be different from what you first imagined.

Most of us can't fulfill every part of our ideal vision, so use the tips below to help refine and prioritize your choices.

Planning Your Space

As I said above, you don't need very much space for Pilates mat workouts. Of course it depends on your height, but for a medium-size woman, for example, 8' x 8' can be sufficient.

Are you going to add equipment to your workout? Pilates rings and exercise bands take very little space and are excellent choices for adding variety and challenge to the home workout; however an exercise ball will need a place to be stored somewhere out of the way when you are not on it.

And what about the larger pieces of Pilates equipment?

Be very realistic in your planning when you are investing in the larger, more expensive pieces of Pilates equipment. They take up a lot of space. Even if you get a reformer or Pilates chair that is made to be "portable," you might not want to "port" it as much as the manufacturer implies you will.

I own a portable chair and a reformer, and I don't like moving either one. I would not workout much if I had to. So make sure you can set up a big piece and still have room to do your mat work, or at least get around the equipment comfortably. As a reference, the Stamina Aero Pilates Reformer measures 85" L x 20" W, and most are going to go up from there.

Setting Up for Motivation

Your priority when you setting up a home workout space needs to be focused on ensuring that you actually workout. A pleasant space makes a big difference in most people's motivation levels. I can't tell you how many well intentioned workout spaces have been set up in basements and garages, only to sit there unused, exercising only their owner's guilt. Those places tend to be too cold or too hot, strangely lit and sometimes musty. Not very inviting.

"Too cold" is one of the most common excuses I hear for not using a workout space at home. Of course you can put a space heater in a cold room, but are you going to workout if you have to wait half an hour for it to heat up?

Think it out realistically. Can you make a not-so-ideal space consistently comfortable? If so, it might be worth the investment. If the answer is uncertain, you might be better off going for something smaller or less private just to make sure you can get to it.

Think about when you are most likely to workout and choose a place that will truly be available to you at that time. Many a workout has been derailed by comments and distractions from the peanut gallery—kids, hubby, roommates. Though the family room might seem like the obvious location, would you be better off creating a great little spot in your bedroom?

Workout with Pilates DVDs

For many, Pilates DVDs are the cornerstone of the home workout. If you are planning on using them, your permanent workout spot has to have access to a TV and a DVD player. Don't set up your space such that you are constantly avoiding kicking over the TV, and don't think you are going to haul a big DVD player back and forth between the basement and the living room. Portable DVD players are cheap. Go ahead and get one if you need to.

Read more about working with DVDs:

I hope you are feeling motivated to make yourself a perfect spot for home workouts. Setting aside a time and a place will have a very positive effect on your follow-through. But, if you are still on the fence, read: The Joys of the Home Workout.

Find Exercise Instructions for Home Workouts

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