Pilates exercises are a fantastic way to improve posture, maintain a healthy spine, work your core, and increase strength. If you have never done pilates before, it is always best to try and do a class. Even a single class can be enough to teach you the absolute basics. With that said, you can still do pilates as a beginner. You can even do pilates at home, thanks to the growing number of beginner-friendly videos to be found online.
As a low-impact type of fitness, pilates has many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Which pilates exercises are best for beginners and how do you get started? Keep reading to find out more.
Beginner-Friendly Pilates Exercises
These pilates exercises can be done with a mat and no equipment. What you will need, however, is comfortable clothes, a space where you can easily move around, and a good dose of motivation. If you are new to pilates and you don’t have much of a core, you may find some of the abs work challenging. Basic moves include the following:
Lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, slowly lift your lower body upward, stopping for a minute or two when they are at hip-level or a bit higher. From there, slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat this 8 times. The more slowly and carefully you go, the more you will feel this move in your glutes.
Starting on your back, lift only your shoulders up rather than your entire upper body. Raise one leg a few centimetres off the floor and bend the other leg, bringing your knee towards your chest. Slowly alternate between these two leg positions, extending each leg, one at a time, with your shoulders off the ground. Repeat 8 times on each leg.
Lie on your tummy with your arms bent or at your side. Slowly raise your legs back behind you until they are a few centimetres off the floor. Hold for a minute or two and then slowly lower them again. Make sure that this movement is careful and controlled and be sure not to tense your back. Repeat this move 8 times.
Side leg abduction.
Lying down on your side, propped up on your elbow, bend the lower leg at the knee and keep it on the ground. Straighten your top leg so that it is at a slight angle towards you rather than completely horizontal. Move your leg in gentle movements, forward and back. You can also do small circles. Repeat 8 times on each side.
Pilates crunches are similar to regular crunches, except that the movement is very small and very controlled. Rather than lifting your upper body up and down quickly, you will need to take the time to slowly lift up and down. Start by lying on your back with your legs bent. Slowly move your upper body up, just a little bit from the ground. Slowly lower again. Repeat this movement 8 times.
As I mentioned earlier, going to even one class is highly recommended. You will also find some great beginner pilates videos on YouTube. My favourites include POP Pilates for Beginners – Total Body Workout, Classic Pilates Mat Class | Level 1 (awesome channel, by the way), and Pilates for Beginners – Beginner Pilates Mat Exercises.
If you have any useful experiences or beginner pilates exercises to share, leave a comment below.