This year, maybe you’re thinking of trying something new for your fitness routine. Perhaps you should try Pilates, a form of exercise that uses precise movements to target your core. With Pilates, the idea is that everything flows from the core to stabilize and control your arms, legs, and the rest of your body. It’s an excellent way to build strength and confidence. While there are many Pilates exercises, these ten Pilates exercises for beginners are the perfect place to jump right in and get started.
1. The Hundred
Warm and engage your core with the Hundred, which has you start by lying on your back. With knees bent, lift them, so your calves are parallel to the floor. Curl your head up off the floor and lift your arms up, keeping them next to your torso. Then pulse your arms while taking five breaths through the nose, then five breaths out.
Stretch your back and legs while challenging those ab muscles. You’ll stay on your back, legs, and arms extended from your body. Exhale and bring your arms up to the ceiling while curling your head, shoulders, and back off the floor one vertebrae at a time. Exhale and slowly lower back down, vertebrae by vertebrae, back to the starting position.
3. Rolling Like a Ball
Another type of roll, checks your balance and ab muscles while caring for your spine. Sit up with your knees to your chest and feet off the floor. Then roll back onto your spine in a controlled motion while inhaling. Roll back to a seated position while exhaling.
4. Leg Circles
Strengthen your quadriceps and core while stretching your hamstrings and hips. Start on your back and extend your legs along the floor. Lift one leg straight up while keeping your arms at your sides. Inhale deeply, then draw small circles with your pointed toes. Finish the set by switching to the other leg.
5. Single Leg Stretch
Build endurance with this Pilates move! Start on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Keep your head curled off the floor and straighten one leg away from you as you grab your shin on the other while breathing in. Switch legs and inhale, then continue this rhythmic pattern.
6. Straight-Leg Stretch
For a variation on the last exercise, keep your legs straight on the floor. Then lift one up at a time using the same breathing pattern while keeping them straight as you lift.
7. Spine Stretch Forward
This exercise is amazing for relieving tightness in your back and shoulders. Sit so your back is upright and your legs are spread wider than your shoulders. Reach your arms in front of you while exhaling, curling your back forward slowly, and inhale in the deepest part of the stretch. You’ll exhale as you return to the starting position.
8. Single Leg Kick
Give your hips and quadriceps a good stretch while you improve strength all over. You’ll lie on your stomach, propping yourself up on your elbows. Inhale deeply and lift your spine and hip bones from the floor. Then bend one leg toward your buttocks and pulse before returning it to the floor and switching legs.
9. Side Leg Kicks
Carve out a stronger core with this move! Stack your legs one on top of the other while lying on your side. Support your head with your hand and then kick your top leg forward before bringing it back. Engage your abs while keeping your torso still, and remember to switch sides for the other leg.
10. Side Leg Circles
From the same position as the Side Leg Kicks, draw small circles using your leg while keeping the rest of your upper body in place. This will provide more core strength while shaping your backside.
Read more Eva Marie Berry blogs for tips that can kickstart your new fitness routine!