We all know that we have plenty of options when it comes to fitness, but Pilates is an option that many people overlook! I hate it when I hear that someone hasn’t given Pilates a chance, because it is an excellent fitness option for those who are looking to improve their overall body strength. It will also allow you to tone your entire body while teaching you to breathe a specific way. Imagine inhaling through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth and continuing to do that as you perform each exercise.
Before you begin with the exercises, I want to encourage you to sit down and keep your back straight. Perform the breathing exercise mentioned above before placing your hands on your ribs to feel your breath, as your chest expands and relaxes.
After you have done that for a few minutes sitting, I recommend also laying on your back and doing it with your knees bent and having your hands relaxing by your side. The feeling that you will experience will be much different in this position, but the results are the same. Once you are finished practicing your breathing, you are ready to begin Pilates!
I am excited to share this amazing Pilates workout that you can easily do at home and still walk away stronger and better than ever! Once you finish these, you will want to download this Pilates workout for beginners so you can continue on your journey to happiness and strength!
The 15 Pilates Exercises You Must Start Doing at Home Now
1.) Hip Rolls
Lay down on your back with your knees bent and your legs close to your body. As you inhale, lift your tailbone up, and place it back down each time you exhale. It is very important that you do not arch your back while doing this and that you keep your abs tight, so that your glutes and hamstrings get tightened and strengthened.
When you do a plank, you need to lay down in a prone position and place your hands and elbows close to your chest. As you inhale, you will want to lift your shoulders up without moving your neck. As you exhale, go down and press your abdomen.
For this exercise, I want you to lie on your back with your legs in a position where they are parallel to each other. Your knees will be folded and your hands will be up over the floor. As you move your hands up and down, you need to inhale and exhale for a count of five while holding your position.
4. Shoulder Exercise
If you have been trying to find a way to increase the strength and flexibility of your arms, you need to start this exercise immediately! SImply sit on your knees and stretch your arms in front of you. As you stretch your arms forward, you will want to inhale, and as your arms go back, you will find yourself exhaling. It is important that you do not bend your elbows while doing this! I recommend repeating this ten times before retreating to child pose.
5. Cat Position
This position is just as it sounds, so get down onto the floor on your hands and knees just like a cat. Your shoulders and hips should be aligned prior to starting this exercise. You will begin by inhaling in the neutral position that you are in and then exhaling as you curl your spine and scrunch your lower abdomen at the same time.
6. Roll Over
The roll over begins with you sitting with a straight back and your knees folded in front of you comfortably. Once you are in position, you will need to place your arms in front of you and then lengthen your spine every time you inhale. As you are exhaling, you will roll back and tighten, but you cannot curve your spine or move your knees in the process.
7. Double Leg Stretches
When you are doing double leg stretches, you need to lay on your back with your knees folded up. Once you pull your shoulders up, you need to move your legs back and forth, while moving your arms in circles at the same time.
8. Curling Down
This wonderful Pilates exercise will have you starting in a sitting position with your legs folded comfortably. Your hands will be behind your head, so as you exhale, you can turn from your ribs to one side and the other. You should be able to do this five times on both sides, but if you can’t, then start with one or two and work your way up! You can also change things up a little with this one and place your arms underneath your ribs before doing the twists.
9. Scissors Hold
As you lay flat on your back, raise one of your legs up to ninety degrees and bring the other leg up a little too. At the same time, you should lift your shoulders, so that your hands are no more than a few inches up off of the floor. I recommend staying in this position for ten seconds before switching legs.
10. Balancing Cat
This cat pose will have you in the cat position once again before lifting your right leg back and reaching your left hand forward. You will inhale while doing that and then exhale as you bring your leg and arm back to your original pose. Switch sides and lift your left leg back while reaching your right arm forward. You can also try to twist your legs to the ceiling if you want to take this Pilates exercise up a notch.
11. Leg Raises
As you lay on your back, you are going to need to fold your knees up. Once you are comfortable, you should inhale while raising your legs until they are perpendicular to your body. As you exhale, you need to lower your legs until they are at a twenty degree angle. This is another one that should be done for ten counts, but if you can’t, don’t stress at first! Just work your way up over the course of a couple of days!
12. The Step-Up
The step-up is a little different than it sounds, because it starts with you laying down on the floor. However, you will still find yourself climbing steps, as you cross one leg over the other. It is going to be tricky to keep your Pilates breathing going the entire time that you are doing this, but I know that you can do it!
13. Fold Push
This fold push exercise will have you starting flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent towards your chest. As you bring your legs towards your stomach, you should inhale, and then exhale as you stretch your legs in front of you. This exercise needs to be repeated twenty times!
14. Needle Point
The needle point begins in the cat position and you start by lifting one of your arms towards the ceiling. When it is time for you to exhale, your elbow will bend and bring it towards your other arm. Afterwards, you will repeat with the other arm. You should do ten counts for each arm.
15. The Knee Circle
You will also be in the cat position for this Pilates exercise and while you are in that position, you will want to use your knees to create circles. You will do those circles, both clockwise and counterclockwise, with each knee. This is an excellent exercise if you are looking for a workout for your legs and thighs.
I can definitely understand if you do not want to do all of these Pilates exercises all at once, as you are starting out! However, I encourage you to choose one or two to begin with. Remember to breathe when you are doing each individual exercise and see how much better you feel when you are done. Oh, and don’t forget to download the Pilates for beginner’s workout! It’s a game-changer!