8 easy pilates exercises for beginners
Pilates is a powerful form of exercise that can help you improve balance, flexibility and strength. It's a great way to get started on your fitness journey because it doesn't require any equipment! Below are 8 Pilates exercises for beginners that are easy to do at home or in the gym and can help you live an active lifestyle.
This is a great exercise to start toning your abs. It also helps to improve your balance and coordination. The teaser is a great way to start your Pilates workout.
To do Teaser:
- Lie on your back with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
- Cross your right ankle over your left knee.
- Extend your left arm overhead, and reach for your right ankle with your right hand.
- Hold for five seconds, then switch sides.
Repeat six times on each side.
2. The Hundred
The Hundred is an excellent exercise for beginners because it is simple and easy to follow. To do the Hundred:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands at your sides with your palms down.
- Inhale and lift your head and shoulders off the floor.
Exhale as you curl up towards your chest, then inhale and extend your arms straight out over your head. Hold for five seconds before exhaling and returning to starting position.
Repeat it six times. This exercise can be made more challenging by increasing the time you hold your arms over your head or adding weights to make it a strength-training exercise.
The Roll-Up is an essential Pilates exercise that helps warm up the spine and prepares it for more challenging activities. It is also great for strengthening the abdominal muscles.
To do the Roll-Up:
- Lie down on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on the floor beside you with your fingers pointing towards your feet.
- Inhale and slowly roll up until your torso is upright and your arms are straightened out above your head.
Hold for a few seconds before exhaling and rolling back down to the starting position. Repeat this movement five times. If you find this exercise too challenging, you can always keep your knees bent instead of extending them fully at the top of the movement.
You can also keep your hands on the floor beside you instead of extending them overhead. As you become more confident, you can try to stretch your legs and arms fully to increase the difficulty level of this exercise. Depending on your ability level, it can be performed with or without extensions and modifications. Give it a try today!
4. The Swan
The Swan is an excellent exercise for beginners as it is easy to execute and provides a good workout. To do the Swan, put on a sports bra, lie on your back with your legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground. Bring your right knee towards your chest, then extend it out to the side.
Keep your left leg straight and point your toe. Hold this position for two seconds before returning to the start position. Repeat on the other side. The Swan is an excellent way to work your abs, glutes, hamstrings and quads. It also helps improve flexibility and balance.
5. Rolling like a ball
Rolling like a ball is an effective Pilates exercise for strengthening the core. It also focuses on your oblique's and lower back, so it's a good one to do if you want more definition in those areas too!
What You'll Need: a mat (preferably) or carpeted floor. Make sure that whatever surface you're rolling around on won't slip out from under you!
How To Perform the Exercise?
Lie down flat on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place hands just underneath glutes/hips with fingers facing forward towards toes (this will help protect your low back).
Roll down onto rib cage exhaling as roll all way down until shoulders are flush against floor/mat; now lift up one vertebra at a time making sure to keep abs engaged, glutes contracted and lower back pressed into floor/mat.
As you roll up, inhale one vertebra at a time until ribs are lifted off of the floor with the spine extended (you should be able to see your toes). This is considered one rep, so repeat for reps. If you cannot feel any movement in your abdomen during this exercise, try placing hands beneath the low belly instead of just under the glutes/hips.
Also, make sure that when rolling down, you exhale completely through pursed lips as if blowing out candles on a birthday before tightening core muscles and lifting back up from shoulders being flush against mat/floor.
You should feel this in your lower back, abs and oblique's. Try not to rest between reps as if performing a cardio exercise - this will make the move more effective!
6. Single-Leg Kick
The single-leg kick is a simple and effective Pilate's exercise for the lower body. This is an easy way to add some basic Pilates moves into your workout routine.
To do the single-leg kick
- Lie down on your back with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
- Keep one leg up in the air while you lower the other leg towards the floor.
- Pause for a second before you lift it back up to the starting position.
Repeat this movement for as many reps as you can before switching legs. Try to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you move from your hips, not from your waist.
The single-leg kick is a great exercise to work on balance and stability and strength, and flexibility. It's also an excellent way to improve core stability and hip mobility. Start by doing a few reps on each side and work your way up to more as you get stronger. Give it a try!
7. Single-Leg Circle
The Single-Leg Circle is a great exercise to improve balance and coordination. It also works the abdominal muscles and hip flexors.
To perform the Single-Leg Circle, stand on one foot with the other leg lifted off the ground. Slowly rotate your elevated leg in a circular motion. Make sure to keep your hips facing forward and your core engaged. Repeat for 12-15 reps, then switch legs. If you're new to Pilates, this is a great exercise to start with! It's simple yet effective. Give it a try today!
8. The saw
The saw is an excellent exercise for beginners as it is low impact and helps to improve flexibility and core strength.
Sitting on the mat with your knees bent, lean back slightly so that you are resting against the heels of your hands. Keep your spine straight and not let it arch or hunch forward as this can place stress on the lower back - instead, focus on keeping a long, tall spine throughout all exercises, especially for beginners!
Lift both legs off of the floor until they form a 90-degree angle at each hip joint (so that only toes touch). Apply pressure evenly throughout feet but avoid locking ankle joints into position by pointing them too much. Ensure hips stay centered over shoulders rather than shifting backward, which will cause an arch in the lower back - always ensure good posture is maintained even when exercising!
Switch legs in a slow, controlled movement with full control of your body. If you do not feel comfortable enough to perform this exercise quite yet, make sure to hold the saw position for at least 30 seconds before moving on! Repeat up to ten times each leg, depending on fitness levels and ability.
Pilates is a great way to get in shape, improve your flexibility and maintain good posture. These eight easy exercises are perfect for beginners.