Online Pilates: The Ultimate Guide

In this guide I’ll explain what online Pilates is, the different types of class available and what you need to know to prepare for your first online Pilates workout so that you have the best experience.

What is online Pilates?

Online Pilates allows you to exercise from the comfort of your own home using a phone, tablet or laptop. The key difference between online and face-to-face Pilates is that the workout options and number of classes available to you are far greater when you choose online.

What types of online Pilates classes are there?

Pilates video classes — workouts are already recorded and you can perform them whenever you want to.

  • Pros: cheapest option; you can workout at a time that suits you
  • Cons: no accountability or interaction so it can be difficult to stay motivated, especially if you are a beginner

1-way live stream Pilates classes — workouts are taught in real-time but there is no interaction. You can see and hear the teacher but they can’t see and hear you, YouTube Live is a good example.

  • Pros: mid-range price option; some accountability because you are working out in a live environment
  • Cons: no corrections given from the teacher so you might find it difficult to know if you are performing an exercise correctly, especially if you are a beginner

2-way live stream Pilates classes — workouts are taught in real-time with interaction from everyone. You can see and hear the teacher and they can see and hear you — for example, my Zoom Pilates classes.

  • Pros: 100% interactive; the teacher can provide feedback, motivation and adaptations to exercises; students can ask questions
  • Cons: most expensive option; fixed class time

Online Pilates Comparison

How much do online Pilates classes cost?

Classes are usually offered on either a pay-as-you-go basis or monthly subscription plan.

Pay-as-you-go is good if you want to try out some different options before choosing a class that works for you. It’s also good if you don’t want to have a fixed monthly commitment. Prices start from around £5 per class.

A monthly subscription will generally work out better value than pay-as-you-go. It also means you don’t have the hassle of making a payment for each session, leaving you to focus on your Pilates. Prices start from around £15 per month for pre-recorded classes.

What tech do I need?

You’ll need one of the following:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Laptop

A phone is ok, but a tablet or laptop is better because the screen is bigger so you will be able to see the teacher a lot more easily.

What equipment do I need?

This will vary, depending on the class. Some teachers use small pieces of equipment e.g. resistance bands, while others (like me) use no small equipment.

However, to get you started the basic equipment you’ll need is:

  • Pilates mat (or even a thick towel) — to lie on and keep you comfy
  • Towel — to place under your head
  • A bottle of water — to keep you hydrated
  • Your phone, tablet or laptop — so you can join your Pilates session

What should I wear?

A T-shirt and leggings are ideal. Trainers are not worn during a Pilates workout but you will probably want to leave your socks on to keep you warm.

How much space do I need?

You need a space big enough to stand up in with your arms spread out wide. When you lie on your mat you need enough space to have your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms behind your head.

Tip: use a warm and quiet room where you won’t be disturbed.

How should I arrange my device and mat?

Whatever type of online workout you are doing you need to make sure you can see and hear your teacher clearly, so try to have your device somewhere close to you where you can easily see them from a standing or lying down position.

Pre-recorded / livestream — if you are doing a pre-recorded / livestream Pilates workout the teacher won’t be able to see you so you don’t need to worry about where your camera faces.

Live and interactive — if you are doing a live and interactive Pilates workout then you need to make sure the teacher can see you otherwise they won’t be to check you are performing the exercises correctly and give you feedback. When you’re standing up your teacher will need to be able to see you from top to bottom. When you lie on your mat your teacher will need to be able to see you sideways on from top to bottom.

How do I try my first online Pilates class?

Explore my online Pilates classes.

About Kat


I'm a Pilates teacher and writer based in the UK.

Want me to write for you?

I write a regular personal development blog for Professional Academy and I’ve also written for T3 magazine.

If you need content that’s focused on Pilates / health / wellbeing then drop me a line.