Pilates Exercises

Top 10 Pilates Exercises

If you want to boost your balance, improve your strength levels, and more, Pilates is a fantastic fitness tool. This article will help you get started with Pilates by providing you with 10 of the best Pilates exercises.

1 – Criss Cross

The Criss Cross is a mat-based Pilates exercise that targets your oblique muscles and involves twisting from side to side. To perform the Criss Cross, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on the mat with your knees bent, your feet off the mat, your neck bent forward, your hands behind your head and your elbows pointing outward.
  2. Slowly twist your right elbow toward your knees and straighten your right leg, making sure you lift your shoulder blades off the mat as you perform the exercise.
  3. Slowly twist your left elbow toward your knees, straighten your left leg and bend your right leg, making sure that you lift your shoulder blades off the mat as you perform the exercise.
  4. Slowly twist your right elbow toward your knees, straighten your right leg and bend your left leg, making sure that you lift your shoulder blades off the mat as you perform the exercise.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Criss Cross

2 – Front & Back Side Kick

The Front & Back Side Kick is a brilliant mat-based exercise for your legs, hips, and core. To perform the Front & Back Side Kick, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on your left side on the mat, place your left hand on your head and place your right hand in front of your hips on the mat.
  2. Bring your legs forward and then lift your right leg up to hip height.
  3. Kick your right leg forward as far as it will go.
  4. Kick your right leg backward as far as it will go.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  6. Lie flat on your right side on the mat, place your right hand on your head and place your left hand in front of your hips on the mat.
  7. Bring your legs forward and then lift your left leg up to hip height.
  8. Kick your left leg forward as far as it will go.
  9. Kick your left leg back as far as it will go.
  10. Repeat steps 8-9 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Front & Back Side Kick

3 – Mermaid

The Mermaid is another mat-based exercise that flexes out your spine. To perform the Mermaid, follow the instructions below:

  1. Sit with your knees bent and your legs folded to the right-hand side of your butt.
  2. Raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  3. Lean over to your left side by bending with your hips, place your left forearm on the mat and straighten your right arm above your head.
  4. Lean back up, straighten your body and raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  5. Lean over to your right side by bending with your hips, place your right hand on your right knee and straighten your left arm above your head.
  6. Lean back up, straighten your body and raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  8. Sit with your knees bent and your legs folded to the left hand side of your butt.
  9. Raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  10. Lean over to your right side by bending with your hips, place your right forearm on the mat and straighten your left arm above your head.
  11. Lean back up, straighten your body and raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  12. Lean over to your left side by bending with your hips, place your left hand on your left knee and straighten your right arm above your head.
  13. Lean back up, straighten your body and raise your arms straight out to the side until your hands are parallel with your shoulders.
  14. Repeat steps 10-13 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Mermaid

4 – Roll-Up

The Roll Up is a simple but effective Pilates exercise which soothes your spine and strengthens your core muscles. To perform the Roll Up, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on the mat with your arms straight by your side and your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Slowly lift your arms up off the mat while keeping them straight until your hands are pointing toward the ceiling and parallel with your shoulders.
  3. Slowly roll up off the mat by bending at the waist and tightening your core muscles while holding your arms in the same position, stopping once your lower body is upright and your shoulders are slightly rounded.
  4. Slowly roll back down to the mat while holding your arms in the same position, stopping when your body is flat against the mat and your arms are pointing toward the ceiling and parallel with your shoulders.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Roll Up

5 – Single Leg Circles

Single Leg Circles are a top exercise for your legs and core. To perform Single Leg circles, follow the instructions below:

  1. Bend your right knee in toward your chest and then straighten your right leg so that it’s pointing toward the ceiling.
  2. Slowly circle your right thigh into your left thigh, straight down, and then back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat step 2 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  4. Slowly lower your right thigh down, circle it into your left thigh, and then bring it back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat step 4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  6. Slowly circle your left thigh into your right thigh, straight down, and then back up to the starting position.
  7. Repeat step 6 for as many repetitions as you can manage.
  8. Slowly lower your left thigh down, circle it into your right thigh, and then bring it back up to the starting position.
  9. Repeat step 8 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Single Leg Circles

6 – Single Leg Stretch

The Single Leg Stretch is an excellent exercise for loosening up your lower body. To perform the single leg stretch, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on the mat with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your legs off the ground, bring your knees in line with your hips and then place your hands on your right knee.
  3. Stretch your left leg out while keeping your right leg bent and your hands on your right knee.
  4. Bend your left leg, stretch your right leg out and put your hands on your left knee.
  5. Bend your right leg, stretch your left leg out and put your hands on your right knee.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Single Leg Stretch

7 – Spine Stretch

The Spine Stretch is a top exercise for boosting the flexibility of your spine. To perform the Spine Stretch, follow the instructions below:

  1. Sit up straight on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you and then widen them so that they’re a mat width apart.
  2. Lift your arms up so that they’re parallel with your shoulders, making sure that you keep them straight.
  3. Curl your chin forward into your chest, curl your spine forward and hold this position for 5 seconds.
  4. After 5 seconds, lift up your chin and straighten your spine.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Spine Stretch

8 – The Hundred

The Hundred strengthens and tones lower abdominal muscles and also works your arms. To perform the Hundred, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on the mat with your arms straight by your side and then bend your knees toward your chest.
  2. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat, and then lift your hands a couple of inches above the mat.
  3. Straighten your legs out and point them up in the air at a 45-degree angle, making sure that your ankles are together and your toes are apart.
  4. Vigorously wave your arms up and down 100 times, making sure that they remain straight and don’t touch the floor.
  5. After the 100th arm wave, hold the position for 5 seconds.
  6. After 5 seconds, bring your knees toward your chest and lower your head, neck, shoulders, and feet back onto the mat.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Hundred

9 – Toe Taps

Toe Taps are a brilliant exercise for strengthening the stabilizing of your abdominal muscles and your lower back. To perform Toe Taps, follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie flat on the mat with your arms straight by your side, your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your left foot off the mat while keeping your left knee bent, stopping when your left shin is parallel with the mat.
  3. Lift your right foot off the mat while keeping your right knee bent, stopping when your right shin is parallel with the mat.
  4. Lower your right foot down toward the mat while keeping your right knee bent, stopping when your right toe touches the mat.
  5. Lift your right foot off the mat while keeping your right knee bent, stopping when your right shin is parallel with the mat.
  6. Lower your left foot down toward the mat while keeping your left knee bent, stopping when your left toe touches the mat.
  7. Lift your left foot off the mat while keeping your left knee bent, stopping when your left shin is parallel with the mat.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Toe Taps

10 – Spine Twist

The Spine Twist boosts the flexibility of both your hips, spine, and upper back. To perform the Spine Twist, follow the instructions below:

  1. Sit up straight on the mat with your legs straight out in front of you and your arms pointed straight out to the side.
  2. Slowly twist as far as you can go to the right using your waist.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Slowly twist as far as you can go to the left using your waist.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage.

Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of The Spine Twist

Summary

With these 10 Pilates exercises, you can begin your Pilates journey and enhance multiple aspects of your health and fitness. So give them a try, then keep practicing until you can perform them perfectly.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *