28 Days of Pilates: day #13 + purchasing a Pilates mat

Yesterday I received a question on Instagram about what to look for in a Pilates mat.

This is  a great question so I figured I’d answer it in a blog post in case you may be wondering the same thing.


What to look for in a Pilates mat:

While any mat will do, one thing you want to keep in mind if you’re looking to purchase one for your Pilates practice is thickness.

Pilates mats are generally thicker than yoga mats to provide cushion for your spine during rolling exercises.

Look for mats that are 3/8″ (or 10 mm) thick. Most mats will state this in the description.

Here are a few of my favorites:




Stott Pilates Express Mat

This mat has convenient velcro straps to keep it nicely rolled between workouts and comes in a variety of colors.

Go Fit Pilates Mat

An affordable option that still provides ample cushion for your spine and wrists.



Ecowise Pilates Mat from Balanced Body

This mat is environmentally friendly; free of phthalates, latex, PVC and chloride.


Aeromat from Balanced Body

I have this mat and use it with my clients. It’s extra thick which is nice if you exercise on hard floors.


And with that, let’s get down on our mats and workout shall we?

Today we’re challenging the abs with some of my favorite exercises. We’ll be targeting the obliques to improve your balance and cinch your waist.






PS – you may also enjoy Happy Exercise vs. Stressed Exercise.


disclaimer: these videos were created for individuals in good health. Robin recommends that you speak with your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise routine. By doing this video you do so at your own risk and agree to release Robin Long and The Balanced Life of any and all liability.

  1. Stacey 8 years ago

    Today’s workout was challenging! My favorite new to me move was the thread the needle–took my side planks to a whole new level!

  2. Liz S. 8 years ago

    That’s one of the best things about Pilates – the core is always engaged and almost every move involves the whole body.

    That “thread the needle” move is one of my favorites! Strong ending for today’s video.

    Happy Thursday! Thanks for yet another awesome video 🙂

  3. Nicola 8 years ago

    Loved this workout! I haven’t really been feeling like I’ve been getting stronger, because these workouts are still challenging, but today was the first time I’ve ever managed that thread-the-needle move! 😀

  4. Mary 8 years ago

    Yes! I did it! I had fallen away for a few days, but I promised myself I would get a workout in before work – and I did, all while waiting for my tea to boil and brew. Thanks Robin!

  5. Karen 8 years ago

    Oops! Skipped yesterday’s session for no good reason other than I just didn’t feel like it. However, I redeemed myself today by doing yesterdays and todays and that felt good. It so easy to just quit after a little while but I love this challenge of 28 days. Thanks for all the reminders about our form (especially for the abs, small versus thick waist), they help me a lot! By the way Robin, at least you had a baby! what’s my excuse for not having strong abs, loll!

  6. Kim 8 years ago

    I love that all Pilates is centered around a strong core. I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger every day! 🙂

  7. sky 8 years ago

    Hey Robin, any tips for someone who finds side planks to be…impossible? I can’t seem to get up into the plank position, or even close to it. Any tips would be great, thanks.

    • Administrator
      Robin Long 8 years ago

      Hi Sky, you are not alone in that! They are hard and take time to work up to. I recommend placing your bottom knee on the ground (kind of like a kickstand). Eventually you will be able to lighten the amount of weight you’re putting on the knee and straighten it out. Give it time 🙂

  8. Jennifer m 8 years ago

    Is it “normal” to have one side stronger?? I find the side planks easier to do when I am on my left arm than when on the right side. I struggle when on the right??? Thanks for the link about happy exercise vs stressed exercise and an outraging us to find our why. By the way, you’re beautiful and don’t need to exercise to be pretty!!!

    • Administrator
      Robin Long 8 years ago

      Yes VERY normal! That’s what’s great about Pilates – it helps you determine where your body is out of balance and helps you correct those imbalances. Keep working at it and you will see improvements 🙂

  9. Courtney Carter 7 years ago

    You’re hair looks great! Love the bun. Today’s workout was challenging and empowering!

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