Solo or ball pilates: which is better? How to choose?

The pilates is able to work coordination, strength, endurance and body flexibility. Its practice also improves breathing, posture and relaxation, resulting in a series of changes in well-being.

But doubt is common: ground or ball: which one to choose? Want to know if you have a better option? Check it out in the text:

Solo or ball pilates: how do they work and what are the differences?

Pilates can be done on the ground or on the ball, and both bring benefits to the body

Solo pilates, which is also known as Mat Pilates, uses the practitioner’s own body to perform the exercises. In some cases, accessories such as rugs, rubber bands and the ball are required.

Generally, solo pilates exercises aim to improve breathing and muscle strength. In addition, they contribute to stretching, balance and body awareness.

With solo pilates, the muscles are worked twice as it stretches and tones at the same time. The exercises work on abdominal strength and stability and require a lot of concentration, since the body and mind need to be connected to perform the movements.

Pilates ball (or Swiss ball) is an additional equipment or tool that helps to carry out the movements of pilates solo. This modality contributes to the rehabilitation and strengthening of the muscles. It can also help with body balance.

Balls of different sizes can be used, according to the purpose of the exercise: the smaller ones are generally used for more localized activities, while the larger ones are used for more comprehensive exercises with the body.

Which is better: solo or ball pilates?

There is not necessarily a better type. It depends on the affinity of each person, since the exercises can be adapted according to each objective. Thus, both solo pilates and ball pilates bring benefits to the body and mind, and can be practiced together, since they are complementary methods.

It is important to talk extensively with the instructor or pilates instructor and explain the objectives of the practice. There are basic, intermediate and advanced classes, as well as individual or group options.

For this reason, both solo and ball pilates are beneficial for the body.

What are the benefits and how to choose?

One of the advantages of solo pilates is that, in general, it is more economical and can be done without any apparatus or tool. This is because it uses only the body to perform the exercises.

Ball pilates can be used as a complementary activity to solo pilates and require more strength and concentration when performing movements.

But both work different muscles and help connect the body and the mind. Therefore, they guarantee several benefits. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Improved mobility;
  • Increases body awareness;
  • Improved posture and flexibility;
  • Increases strength and endurance;
  • Aid to balance and motor coordination;
  • Stress control;
  • Assist in weight loss and weight maintenance;
  • Improved breathing;
  • Muscle toning;
  • Work on the pelvic floor of pregnant women, which facilitates normal delivery;
  • Improvement of mood and well-being;
  • Increased flexibility;
  • Pain relief.

Solo pilates exercises: what are they?

Pilates can use accessories, such as rubber bands, for stretching and resistance work

Pilates solo can count on auxiliary accessories such as foam roller, ball, elastic, among others. And because you don’t need devices, just the body, it can be done even at home.

The repetitions of the exercises vary from 5 to 15, according to the person’s level and objective.

Among the classic solo pilates exercises are:

  • The Hundred: it is also called the breathing exercise, since it alters circulatory patterns by heating the body. It is used to prepare the body for exercise and encourages correct and conscious breathing by focusing attention on the moving body’s power center;
  • Roll over: it is a roll-back type with open legs;
  • Roll up: rolling the body forward;
  • The one leg circle: circular movements with one leg;
  • Rolling back: roll the body back;
  • The one leg stretch: stretching of one leg;
  • The double leg stretch: stretching of both legs;
  • The spine stretch: elongation of the spine;
  • Rocker with open legs: rolling with legs apart.

Pilates exercises with ball: what are they?

Among the classic exercises of pilates with ball, the following stand out:

  • Bridge: elevation of the trunk with the feet resting on the ball;
  • Abdominal on the ball: foot support on the balls to perform the exercise;
  • Squat: with the ball on the wall, the person pulls over, presses the accessory and goes down slowly;
  • Short spine: sitting on a ball and with another in front, the person stretches the spine as long as possible;
  • Leg elevation: when holding the ball with your feet, both legs are raised at the same time and an angle of 90 degrees is formed;
  • Flexion on the ball: the feet are supported on the ball and the body is tilted towards the ground. Then, the flexion of arms begins.
  • Spine stretch: sitting on the floor, the person places the ball in front and stretches the spine.

Price: how much does a pilates class cost?

The values ​​of the pilates classes usually vary according to the location. Generally, when it is held twice a week (eight classes), the investment can vary from R $ 300 to R $ 500 monthly. It is possible to find lower values ​​when classes are held in groups, for example.

Pilates is usually a more expensive modality than the others because the studios need to invest in equipment, in addition, the service of the instructor needs to be more focused on the movement and breathing of the student.

Therefore, it is necessary to have few people in class to select the appropriate exercises and correct posture errors, for example.

An option for those who want to save money is to look for gyms that offer pilates solo or with the ball in groups. Classes are usually in the aerobic activity package.

Tips to start practicing pilates

Who is planning to start or is in the first classes, some tips for practicing pilates can help:

Search pilates professionals

The first step for those who want to start doing pilates is to look for a specialized studio, an academy or a private teacher.

It is also possible to do the exercises at home , but it is important to have professional guidance on posture and how to perform breathing properly.

Pilates is a technique developed for physical rehabilitation, in addition to working on physical conditioning and muscle definition. Therefore, it can be practiced by people of all ages, since it offers low impact movements.

Test before signing a contract

It is worth taking an experimental class to learn more about the infrastructure of the chosen place. On that day, pay attention to the professionals who will be responsible for the activity. Generally, those who can teach pilates are physical educators and physiotherapists, who know the physiology of the human body well and are qualified for this practice.

Make physical assessment

It is very important that before starting to practice solo pilates, with the ball or equipment, the person performs a postural and conditioning assessment so that the exercises can be adapted to the body and the needs of each individual.

It is necessary to report if there are histories of trauma, pain and if the person is sedentary or has previously practiced physical activity.

Focus on the moment and perfect your movements

When starting the exercises, it is important to pay attention to the movements of the body and how to perform the breathing. The practice should not cause any pain and the exercises should be performed slowly. The ideal is to respect the breathing time and control the movements to gain more strength and muscular endurance.

Have frequency and patience

To obtain the expected results, it is essential to maintain the frequency of classes: the ideal is to practice at least twice a week. However, it is necessary to respect the limits and time of evolution of the body itself.


Pilates is a practice that has won fans all over the world. There are ground and ball options, which can be adjusted to suit different goals.

Do you want to know more about exercise and well-being? The Healthy Minute helps you!

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