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Technique Thursday: Choosing the Right Mini Ball for Your Pilates Practice

Vibrant plastic balls perfect for enhancing stability and alignment in Pilates.
A colourful assortment of mini balls used in Pilates exercises

As Pilates teachers, we're constantly exploring various equipment to enhance our sessions and support our clients' journeys. One question that popped up in class this week was about the size of mini balls and how to choose the right one. The answer, unsurprisingly, is that it really depends on a few factors. Let’s delve into the details.

The Role of the Mini Ball

Mini balls are incredibly versatile tools in our Pilates toolbox. They can be used to challenge stability, provide support, or assist in achieving proper alignment. The size of the mini ball can significantly influence how it functions in these roles.

Factors to Consider

  1. Purpose of Use

  • Underneath the Pelvis: If you plan to place the mini ball under the pelvis, the size and inflation level are crucial. A ball that is too big or overly inflated can disrupt pelvic alignment, making it difficult to maintain proper posture.

  • For Support: When using the ball to support the body, such as lying on it, a sturdier and slightly larger ball, like a triad ball, can offer better stability and security.

  1. Adjustability

  • The ability to deflate or inflate the mini ball is essential. This flexibility allows you to adjust the ball according to the exercise and the client’s needs, offering more stability when required or making an exercise more challenging.

  1. Client’s Body Size and Height

  • There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The client’s height and body size can dictate the appropriate size of the mini ball. Ensuring the ball is suitable for the individual's dimensions will enhance their comfort and effectiveness during exercises.

Recommended Size

While there is no perfect size for every scenario, an average size of about 21 centimetres is a good starting point. This size provides a balance between support and challenge for a variety of exercises. However, remember that you might need to adjust the inflation to better suit specific exercises or clients.

The Importance of Small Equipment

Small equipment plays a significant role in modern Pilates practice. Historically, the original Pilates studio primarily used a ring, quite different from today’s Pilates ring. Nowadays, tools like mini balls are used not only to challenge clients but also to assist them in achieving proper form and executing movements correctly.

Pilates Mini Ball Summary

As Pilates teachers, selecting the right mini ball involves considering the intended use, the adjustability of the ball, and the individual client’s body size. While an average size of 21 centimetres is a good guideline, be prepared to adjust as necessary to provide the best support and challenge for your clients. Embrace the versatility of small equipment to enrich your Pilates sessions, helping clients achieve better alignment, stability, and overall performance.

Feel free to share your experiences or any other questions that arise in your classes. Together, we can continue to enhance our teaching and support our clients more effectively.

Also, this is a link to the Triad Balls on Amazon


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