Health

Level up your Pilates form with these game-changing accessories

The exercise is taking Australia by storm.

If you’re on the hunt for a new form of exercise that gets you in shape, is enjoyable, and challenges your body but isn’t too high an impact on joints and muscles – then Pilates is the answer!

Pilates has absolutely taken the world, and particularly Australia, by storm. It’s a favourite of celebrities, models and athletes alike and now it has never been easier to try for yourself.

“Pilates is not the new kid on the block, but has definitely surged in popularity the last few years,” says Brianna Law, product manager for Rebalance Pilates & Yoga.

“Since the global pandemic, many people have been searching for at-home workouts that don’t necessarily require equipment, and Pilates is a solution, offering a versatile workout that can be taken anywhere.”

In fact, Pilates has been around since the early 1920s, introduced by German trainer Joseph Pilates, and was created by combining aspects of Yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, and dance.

Image: Getty

But if you want to try your hand at Pilates, you may want to invest in a pair of special grip socks to prevent slipping and injuries.

“When purchasing grip socks, find a pair that fits well. If they are too tight they can be uncomfortable, but too loose and they won’t provide appropriate traction. I’d also recommend materials such as cotton or bamboo which are moisture-wicking and breathable.

“Aside from that, find a pair that you find aesthetically pleasing to encourage you to wear them every time you step into the studio,” says Brianna.

The best grip socks for Pilates and Yoga in 2024

We’ve found the best grip socks for workouts like Pilates, Yoga or Barre, so you can stay safe, and clean and workout to the best of your ability. Read on to find our top picks.

01

Performance Studio Sock

$9.99 at Cotton On Body

Keep it simple with these classic grip socks that are designed for studio classes and will prevent slippages.

Key features:

  • Anti-odour
  • Non-slip
  • Arch support

02

Mid Tube Socks

$5.35 at Amazon

If you prefer longer styles then these grip tube socks are a good pick. They’re lightweight and breathable so you won’t leave class feeling too sweaty which is a major plus.

Key features:

  • Lightweight, breathable
  • Anti-friction
  • Sweat-absorbent

03

Pilates Grip Sock

$25 at Aje Athletica

These socks are loved by reviewers for being “great quality” and “the best grip socks” they’ve ever had, with a rating of 4.9.

Key features:

  • Grip Pilates socks
  • Ankle rise
  • Rubber grip soles

04

Grip Ankle Sock

$24 at Paire

With sole grips that promise unbeatable traction, these socks are made from Aussie Merino wool and organic cotton for extra softness.

Key features:

  • Anti-bacterial fabric
  • Cloud Cushion, with wool insulation
  • Smart 90-degree shape

05

Ell/Voo Pilates Socks

$14.99 at Rebel

The cutout design of the socks allows airflow through your class whilst still providing the grip you need.

Key features:

  • Non-slip grip bottom provides increased stability
  • Perfect for Pilates
  • Available in a pack of two

06

Gaiam Grippy Yoga Socks

$32.37 at Amazon

If you want ultimate control and stability, these socks offer grip on the soles whilst also leaving your toes free to use.

Key features:

  • Created for Yoga and Pilates practice
  • Open-toe design
  • Enhances balance and stability

What is Reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is a form of exercise that uses a machine called the ‘reformer’ that essentially looks like a bed frame but with a series of straps and pulleys to create resistance in your movements, thus allowing the use of different muscles whilst you exercise.

We spoke to Emma Stallworthy, the founder of Your Reformer – a platform that allows you to rent or buy your very own reformer machine for home – to discuss the benefits of Reformer Pilates.

“Reformer Pilates has traditionally been known for rehabilitation or for elite dancers. In the past few years as more studios have opened with mainstream fitness style classes, its popularity has grown exponentially,” she says.

“If you’ve tried a class, it’s easy to see why – so much variety in the movements and repertoire, so adaptable for different bodies, ages and fitness levels, it’s low impact so can be used as a daily movement, and it changes our body shapes like no other exercise I’ve known. The self-confidence and empowerment are second to none.”

Image: Pexels

What are the benefits of Pilates?

There are endless benefits to Pilates, both physical and mental.

  • Core strength and stability: Pilates has a major focus on core strength, and many of the movements in classes and workouts target the abdominal muscles and strengthen the area. This leads to improvements in posture and general stability.
  • Increased flexibility: as much of Pilates includes stretching of the muscles, practisers will notice better flexibility as a result and general improvement of movement.
  • Stress relief: Pilates incorporates deep breathing and mindful focus and can help to destress and relax the mind.

Pilates is also a great workout for mature age women, as it is low impact it doesn’t put as much pressure on joints which can cause injuries.

“Pilates offers an incredible low-impact approach to strengthening the body, with a particular focus on balance and stability. Pilates apparatus such as the reformer or Cadillac, are phenomenal tools to help adapt exercises seen in the mat Pilates repertoire by offering a plethora of exercises to decrease load and offer support for the body,” says Brianna Law.

The great thing about Pilates is that there are many ways to adapt exercises to better suit the participants’ needs and strengths, as well as focusing on movements that can strengthen weaker areas and reduce everyday strain or pain.

“Pilates is just as much about lengthening as it is strengthening, and this is what the spine in particular craves as we age. The box is a great option for arm exercises that others may do kneeling but that position can be more difficult as we age, so it’s inclusive in that way,” adds Emma.

“Weight-bearing can also be challenging with weakened wrists so there are plenty of alternatives for body strength that don’t require the same amount of weight, simply by using springs to be more supportive for example.”

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