5 Basic Pilates Exercises

Pilates, an accessible way to build strength in your core muscles for better bearing, balance and flexibility. Here are the 5 basic must try Pilates Exercises:




1. Pelvic Curl

How to do it:

Lie on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are hip-distance apart. 

  • Inhale – prepare
  • Exhale – articulate your spine up into a bridge position one vertebra at a time
  • Inhale – pause at the top and reach your knees over your toes to open up your hip flexors
  • Exhale – soften your chest and articulate your spine down to the ground one vertebra at a time

Repeat 8 to 10 times.




2. Teaser

How to do it:

Lie on your back, knees bent into chest. Lift head and shoulders while extending legs to 45 degrees. Keeping the legs out, lift the arms to parallel the legs. Roll up like you're trying to sit, then roll back down and lower legs. 

Repeat 8 to 10 times.




3. The Hundred

How to do it:

Lie on your mat with your knees in table top position. Softly hold behind your thighs, nod your chin to your chest and lift your head, neck and chest up off of the mat using your abdominals. Flatten your back into the mat, reach your arms forward and extend your legs on a 45-degree angle.

  • Inhale for the count of 5 – pumping your arms as you go
  • Exhale for the count of 5 – continuing to pump your arms

Repeat the breath cycle 10 times.




4. Single Leg Stretch

How to do it:

Curl your head and shoulders off the mat, bend both knees into your chest, and extend one leg straight as you place both hands on the opposite shin. Outside hand places near your ankle, inside hand places near your knee.

Switch your legs, extending your opposite leg straight and pulling the opposite knee into your hands. Continue switching legs.

Perform 8 to 10 reps on each side.




5. Swimming

How to do it:

Lie on your tummy with your arms stretched out in front of you. Lengthen your lower back and pull your belly button off of the mat. Float your arms, legs and head off of the floor, keeping your gaze down toward the mat.

Perform a swimming motion by raising your right arm and left leg, then switching to the other side, maintaining stable trunk the entire time.

As you move the arms and legs quickly, the breath pattern is one inhale per two swims and one exhale per two swimming motions.

Repeat for 8 to 10 breaths.




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