Pilates is a low impact exercise that is known for improving flexibility, strengthening muscles, and increasing balance. Pilates has gained popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in improving core strength and overall well-being. This 20-minute full-body Pilates workout is perfect for those who want to incorporate Pilates into their daily routine and enjoy the benefits that this type of exercise offers.

Workout Overview and Benefits

This Pilates workout targets the entire body and includes exercises that help improve strength and flexibility. Pilates exercises are designed to engage the core muscles, resulting in a flatter and tighter stomach. The workout includes exercises that work the glutes, arms, shoulders, and legs. Doing this workout regularly enhances balance, improves coordination, and promotes overall body awareness.

The Workout

  1. Half Roll-Down(How to do it:)

  • Begin by sitting on a mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
  • Slowly roll your spine down one vertebra at a time until your shoulder blades touch the mat.
  • Roll back up to a seated position, pulling your navel towards your spine.
  • Repeat this exercise ten times.

Half Roll-Down(How to do it:)

  1. Glute Bridge (How to do it:)

  • Begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart on the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds and then lower back down to the mat.
  • Repeat this exercise ten times.

Glute Bridge (How to do it:)

  1. Standing Side-Kick Series (How to do it:)

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Lift your right leg to hip height and kick it out to the side.
  • Bring it back to center and then kick it to the back.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Do ten repetitions on each side.

Standing Side-Kick Series (How to do it:)

  1. Side Plank (How to do it:)

  • Begin in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in a straight line.
  • Rotate your body to one side, lifting your arm towards the ceiling.
  • Lift the top leg and hold for 3 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do ten repetitions on each side.

Side Plank (How to do it:)

 

  1. Lower Lift (How to do it:)

  • Lie on your back with your arms by your side and your legs straight.
  • Lift your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight.
  • Slowly lower your legs towards the ground, stopping just before they touch the mat.
  • Lift them back up and repeat ten times.

Pilates Workout:Lower Lift

 

  1. Criss-Cross(How to do it:)

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off of the mat and extend your right leg out.
  • Twist your body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Do ten repetitions on each side.

Criss-Cross

 

  1. Pilates Pushup (How to do it:)

  • Begin in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists.
  • Lower your body down, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Push back up to the starting position and repeat ten times.

Pilates Workout:Pilates Pushup

Tips

  • Always engage your core muscles during the exercises.
  • Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the workout.
  • Start with a shorter workout and gradually build up to a longer one.
  • Don’t overdo it and listen to your body.

For Beginners

For those who are just starting out with Pilates, it is important to approach the practice with caution and care. Consulting a healthcare provider before beginning a new workout, especially if pregnant or dealing with an injury, is highly recommended.

If you are new to Pilates, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

    • Take it slow and prioritize proper form over speed. Focus on executing each movement correctly rather than rushing through the exercises.
    • Consider attending an in-person class if possible. Learning from a trained instructor in person can provide valuable guidance on mastering the basic techniques and form.
    • Create a dedicated space and schedule for your Pilates practice. You don’t need a lot of room, but setting aside time and a designated area can help you stay consistent and committed.
    • Don’t feel discouraged if you find certain moves challenging. It’s normal for new exercises to be difficult at first. Keep practicing and don’t let initial struggles hinder your progress.
    • Remember to focus on your breathing. Proper breathing technique is essential in Pilates to engage your core muscles effectively during the workout. Stay mindful of your breath as you move through each exercise.

For Pros

To make this exercise more challenging, use a resistance band or ankle weights to add extra resistance to the workout.

There are several advanced modifications to Pilates exercises that can make them more challenging. For instance, a simple Pilates hundred can be made more difficult by extending your legs to a 45-degree angle if you feel confident with the table-top position. These variations can help you push your limits and get the most out of your Pilates workout.

Equipment

This workout requires no equipment, making it ideal for those who want to work out at home.

In some Pilates workouts, a variety of equipment may be utilized, such as:

  • Reformer machines
  • Cadillac or trapeze table machines
  • Ladder barrels
  • Chairs
  • Raised mats
  • Springboards

Using these tools can add more resistance or support to your Pilates exercises, allowing you to challenge your muscles in different ways. While these machines are not essential to Pilates, they can be valuable for people looking to diversify their workout routine and intensify their Pilates practice.

Conclusion

This 20-minute full-body Pilates workout is an effective way to incorporate Pilates into your daily routine. Pilates exercises help improve flexibility, strengthen muscles, and increase balance, making it an ideal workout for individuals of all ages and abilities. By regularly doing this workout, you will notice improvements in your core strength, balance, and overall well-being. So put on some comfortable clothes, grab a mat and get started on your Pilates journey today.

Sources

  1. American Council on Exercise, Pilates: Health Benefits, How to Get Started, and How to Get Better (Everyday Health)
  2. CNN, Daily couch Pilates: Strengthen your core with this 5-minute routine
  3. Harvard Health Publishing, You can get a good workout anyway.