Pilates workouts are well-known for helping people to increase their core strength, improve their flexibility and posture, and reduce back pain. Pilates exercises can be a great way to improve your health and overall fitness, and they can help you enjoy promising results very quickly. Here are 10 great exercises to help you promote rapid changes in your body.
1. Pilates Push-Up
The push-up is one of the most basic forms of bodyweight work, and it does a great job of targeting your chest, core, and triceps.
- To perform a Pilates push-up, hold your elbows tight against your body throughout the motion, and keep your body in a straight line from your head all the way back to your feet.
- Keep your abs firm, your hips lifted up and your core tight.
- Keep the motion smooth and controlled.
2. The Hundred
- Lie on your back with your legs bent.
- Engage your core and press your belly button down toward the mat.
- Lift your legs upward until your knees are directly above your hips.
- Exhale and stretch your arms out at your side.
- Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your core tight.
- Pump your arms in small, controlled movements while breathing in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts.
- Do this 10 times, making 100 pumping motions in all.
The roll-up is another great addition to your Pilates workout.
- Lying on your back with your core engaged, straighten your legs and flex your feet.
- Lift your arms straight up while you inhale, then exhale as you pull your shoulders and head off the floor and curl upward into a sitting position.
- Come all the way forward until you’re reaching toward your toes.
- Inhale, then on your exhalation, slowly roll back downward toward the mat.
4. Wall Slides
For a Pilates exercise that will really strengthen your quads and glutes, try the wall slide.
- To do this motion, stand by a wall, about one pace away.
- Facing away, lean backward to press your back into the wall.
- Slowly slide down the wall by bending your knees.
- Stop and hold for 20 seconds when you reach a 90-degree angle, then come back up to the top.
5. Toe Dip
- To perform a toe dip, start sitting on the ground on your left hip with your left leg bent and resting on the floor.
- Your left arm should beheld straight under your shoulder and helping to support you.
- Bend your right leg and place the foot just in front of your left foot with your right knee pointing upward.
- Next, tighten your core, press downward with your left hand, and lift your hips upward.
- Your weight will come onto your left knee, your right leg will straighten, and you’ll raise your right arm over your head.
- This position is similar to a side plank, and you should make a straight line from your right toes to your right fingers.
- Hold for about 30 seconds.
- Make sure to repeat on both sides.
6. Side-Lying Leg Press with Pilates Ring 1
All of the former exercises don’t require any props. However, if you have some equipment, you can add new options to your Pilates workouts. For example, the side-lying leg press is a great Pilates ring exercise.
- Lie on your side with your ring held between your ankles with your legs straight and held slightly in front of you.
- Squeeze in on the circle as you exhale, and relax as you inhale.
- Use your core to stabilize you while you use your glute and leg muscles work to keep squeezing the ring.
7. Side-Lying Leg Press with Pilates Ring 2
For a more challenging variation on the last Pilates ring exercise, try raising your legs into the air while you squeeze the ring. This will test your balance and work your muscles even more.
8. V-Sit with Ring
You can use a ring to add extra difficulty to a lot of Pilates exercises. For example, try holding a V-sit (sitting with legs and upper body extended and raised to create a V-like shape) while squeezing a ring between your legs. Your core will be working overtime as in a regular V-sit, and the addition of the ring will help it really hit your glutes, quads and hamstrings.
9. Pilates Ring Arm Toning
Pilates ring exercises aren’t just for your lower body and core, though. If you squeeze the ring with your arms, you can build upper body strength as well.
- Try holding the ring in both hands and squeezing inward.
- Try holding it in low, medium and high positions to work different muscles.
For more information on Pilates ring exercises for your arms, click here.
10. Pilates Reformer Workout
The ring isn’t the only piece of Pilates equipment out there, though. If you have access to a reformer, you can do a lot of great Pilates reformer exercises. It may be easiest to learn to use this piece of equipment in a class with full instruction, but if you want to do some on your own, click here for a full Pilates workout using a reformer. Be careful as you move through the workout, and remember: safety first!
- Pilates for beginners: Explore the core
- 5-Minute Pilates Workout: Firm Up Fast
- Tone Your Core Fast With These 5 Mat Pilates Exercises
- 6 Moves To Shrink Your Belly
- Side-Lying Leg Press with Pilates Magic Circle
- FITNESS INDEX : STRENGTH
- V-Sit with Pilates Ring
- Upper Body Toning Exercises with the Pilates Ring
- Photo Reference for Beginner Pilates Reformer Workout