A simple basic workout to try at home

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An effective, low-impact workout, Pilates has been around for nearly 100 years, but has grown in popularity in recent decades. Unique strength training exercises work deep muscles and can improve everything from flexibility and balance to circulation and muscle control. Whether you’re just starting an exercise program or returning to your workouts after an injury, Pilates is great for all fitness levels, but it’s an especially good routine for beginners. Here’s everything you need to know about pilates for beginnersincluding the equipment you need to get started and a comprehensive workout plan, designed by fitness experts.

What is Pilates?

“Pilates is a mind-body exercise that challenges your core and sculpts lean muscle,” says Cassey Ho, fitness instructor, founder of Blogilates, and author of protein-based cookbook Sculpt. Developed by Joseph Pilates, the exercise combines core stabilization, strength, flexibility, balance and proper alignment with concepts such as mindfulness, breathing techniques and fluidity of movement.

The workout was originally designed to help injured athletes and dancers return to exercise safely and maintain fitness in the future. “All of this pulsation coupled with a deep mind-muscle connection is what makes Pilates extremely effective,” Ho says.

Benefits of Pilates

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Ho says one of the main benefits of Pilates comes from the fact that the workout strengthens your deepest muscles, which are much harder to target with other types of workouts. One of the biggest positives is intense core engagement, which Ho says hits the deepest parts of your abs. “A stronger core also helps with better posture, which ultimately makes you look taller and more confident!” Here are some of the health benefits you can get from practicing Pilates:

  • Improved posture, coordination and balance
  • Improved flexibility and stabilization
  • Increased muscle strength and control
  • Improved stress management and mind-body connection
  • Improved circulation and lung capacity through deep breathing
  • Balanced strength on both sides of the body

    Pilates tips for beginners

    “Pilates is great for beginners, or even someone getting back into shape after some downtime,” Ho says. “Literally, every move has a modification, so you can take what you need and then level up as you get stronger.” She adds that since Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, it’s also gentle on the joints.

    Mat Pilates is also a great entry into fitness for beginners as it requires nothing more than a yoga mat, which means it’s easy to get started. “All you need to get started is a little space to move around,” says Ho. “If you don’t have a mat, just find a soft, sturdy surface to lie on, like a mat. When you’re ready, you can add intensity with resistance bands, light weights, blocks or a Pilates ring.”

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    As for specific Pilates terms and jargon, Ho says that as you practice, you’ll quickly learn the names of the moves you love. Some common terms you may hear used frequently in a Pilates workout include:

    • Pilates posture: This movement involves heels together and toes apart.
    • Median line : An imaginary line from your head to your toes that your instructor will ask you to “hug” to help you keep your balance and engage your core.
    • Table top: You start some basic exercises on the table, lying on your back with your legs at a 90° angle.
    • Tuck: It simply means a slight rounding in the lower back to encourage good alignment and core engagement. Loot in, committed core.

      10 Minute Home Pilates Workout For Beginners

      This short but effective workout is a great introduction to Pilates and targets the abs. You can try this 10-minute Pilates workout at home right now – no special equipment required. Follow the video and read Ho’s specific instructions on how to perform each exercise correctly.

      This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

      1. The 100

      • Lie on your back, bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor, stacking your knees on your hips and keeping your shins parallel to the floor.
      • Raise your head and shoulders off the floor making sure to lift using the abdominal muscles pushing your ribs up and moving them towards your hips to maintain pressure on your head and neck and to keep the abs engaged.
      • Extend your arms out to your sides and pump them up and down, inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of four.

        2. Single Leg Stretch

        • Lie on your back, bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor, stacking your knees on your hips and keeping your shins parallel to the floor.
        • Raise your head and shoulders off the floor, making sure to lift using your core muscles, pushing your ribs up and moving them towards your hips to maintain pressure on your head and neck, keeping the abs engaged .
        • Extend one leg and pull your opposite leg toward your chest, then alternate positions.

          3. Roll-Ups

          • Lie on your back with your legs straight, inhale lifting one vertebra at a time, rolling your body to a seated position.
          • Then, with control, exhale, descending one vertebra at a time. To modify this movement to be less strenuous, bend your knees and grab the backs of your legs for support as you roll up.

            4. Fall on one leg

            • Lie on your back, bend your knees, and lift your feet off the floor, stacking your knees over your hips, keeping your shins parallel to the floor.
            • Place one foot on the ground, lightly tapping your toes, then alternate with the other leg.

              5. Two Leg Lift

              • Lying on your back, extend both legs in the air and exhale, dropping both legs towards the floor (but be sure to stop when your legs are in line with your hips). To modify, bend your legs.

                6. Plank

                • Start on all fours with knees directly under your hips and hands directly under your shoulders (to slightly increase the intensity, move forward).
                • Lift your knees off the floor, keeping your hips aligned with your shoulders and not lifting them too high.
                • Prepare your belly and breathe.

                  How to continue your Pilates journey

                  In addition to in-person workouts at your local Pilates studio, there are a variety of on-demand and live Pilates classes available through workout apps and Youtube workout channels.

                  Our sister brand Prevention even offers a 10-minute Pilates workout DVD ($27.95) which includes six Pilates workouts that focus on breathing, stretching, and lengthening your muscles, plus a bonus guide that includes a daily workout plan. If you’re looking for a complete Pilates workout plan for beginners, Ho offers a 28-day Beginner Workout Calendar program through its Body by Blogilates app ($3.99/month for a premium subscription) which is designed to help anyone who is new to or just starting to exercise.

                  The essential

                  Whether you’re committing to a full-body program or just starting to incorporate Pilates into your exercise routine once or twice a week, Pilates is an amazing body workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment or experience to perform. begin.

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