Optimize your virtual class experience!

How can you ensure you have the best online class experience? I’ll give you some technical tips and some equipment substitutions so you can focus on the movements in class and not what’s going on with your computer!

First, be sure that you have registered for your virtual class. Second, be sure you have received the link in your inbox (at the email address you used to sign up). If you believe that you have signed up for the online class, but haven’t received the link after checking your spam folder, please contact me ASAP. You’ll need to sign up at least two hours in advance to guarantee your registration for the class.
For a short tutorial on connecting to Google Meet/Hangout, you can check out the video I made.

register for your virtual classes

young woman performing yoga exercise and using laptop at home
Get your device, internet connection, mat, and other props ready!

technical aspects of your online class

First, let’s talk about your device (whether desktop/laptop, tablet, or phone)! For the best performance, close apps you don’t need to have open for the virtual class. Extra applications running in the background can cause your device to slow down. And certainly don’t forget to have your device fully charged or have the power cord ready to go, if needed.

Check your internet connection! My internet provider has an app that can tell me my device’s connection strength and speed, so maybe yours does, too? If not, there are many options online you can use to check. I’ve found it best to be near my WiFi router virtual classes; however, if you can connect directly with an ethernet cable, that’s probably your best bet.

Position your device so I can see you clearly, as I do my best to offer you corrections during class. Ideally, your room’s light source (window or lamp) should be behind your device instead of your device pointing toward it. However, if your space is dark or half your body is missing on screen, I can only do so much.

Mute yourself during class. When I ask if anyone has questions or if you have a pressing question, you can unmute yourself to ask. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to monitor the Google Meet chat during class.

preparing your space for Virtual classes

Ensure that you have a clear space in which to move; be aware of your surroundings for the duration of the class. I would hate for you to pulse your leg into your cat or to battement into your table! Especially for barre and jazz classes, wear appropriate footwear/socks for your floor’s surface.

We will use a mat during Pilates and for the mat portion in Barre. If you don’t have a mat, you can use a towel, blanket, or rug. Instead of a barre, you can use the back of a chair/couch, a high table, or a countertop. Check out these household items you might use for the Pilates and Barre classes.

equipment substitutions

(Move the sliders on the photos to see some examples.)

girl in white shirt and black pants lying on blue exercise ballashtray book cushion decoration

Online Class Equipment Substitution #1
Instead of the Mini Stability Ball, you can use a pillow/cushion from your couch or bed (make sure you don’t mind squishing it!). You can also buy an inexpensive kids’ ball at the dollar store or grocery store (just keep an eye on it. They’re usually pretty durable, but may not be designed to be anti-burst.). You could even roll up a towel or sweater.
crop anonymous woman stretching elastic band near professional chiropractorcrop unrecognizable sportswoman in smart watch using towel after workout

Online Class Equipment Substitution #2
If you don’t have a Flex-Band or Theraband, try a kitchen towel. Folding the towel along the bias and then twisting it can create some stretch. Or you can try an old pair of leggings or tights which may give you more stretch. You can also use a belt (I like mine from my bath robe!) or a yoga strap – less stretch, but those will still give you tension.
woman in red shirt sitting on fitness equipmentblack leather belt

Online Class Equipment Substitution #3
If you don’t have a Fitness Circle, you can try using a belt (or strap that you can buckle or tie closed) for all of the abduction movements (pressing outward). If you’ve already got an elastic band, you can use that!
For all of the adduction movements (squeezing), you can use your Mini Stability Ball (or a substitue for the Mini Stability Ball).
person wearing white apple watch while holding green dumbbellinsulated water bottles

Online Class Equipment Substitution #4
If you haven’t got Toning Balls (I recommend anywhere from 1-3 pounds, depending on your shoulders/arms), you’ve probably got the perfect substitute in your kitchen! That is, unless you’ve already got a set of light hand weights or ankle weights hanging around. You can use two of something that are similar in shape and weight and you can easily hold in your hands: bottles of water, cans of food, or jars of peanut butter. Or maybe you’ve got two books that you can easily hold or a couple of bottles of shampoo you can use (make sure they are firmly closed!).
towels bath towels bathroom

Online Class Equipment Substitution #5
Don’t have gliding/sliding disks? This one’s pretty easy! If you have a hard floor, a couple of wash cloths or cleaning rags will do the trick. Or if you’ve got some slippery socks you could use for under your feet or hands, perfect! If you have a carpeted floor, you could use a couple of paper plates or plastic lids that will easily slide on your rug.

If you’re ready to invest a bit more into your home workout with some small Pilates accessories, then you might also love the following items.

i want to hear from you!

Have you found something different that works better for you online class experience? Do you have a technical setup or equipment substitution that works really well? I would love to hear your suggestions!

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