10 Easy Pilates Exercises That Feel Great

If you think Pilates sounds too difficult to try or you just don’t like the idea of ​​flopping around on the reformer, no worries. There are tons of easy Pilates exercises you can do at home on a mat to build your strength.

Simple, gentle Pilates moves come in handy whether you’re a beginner, having an off day, or just don’t feel like running, jumping, or hitting the gym. “The beauty of Pilates is that it was designed as a method of rehabilitation and conditioning for the entire body,” says Stale-certified Pilates instructor Samantha Price. sweathb, that means it’s stretchy, low-impact, And It comes in varying degrees of difficulty, so you can increase it as you go along. “If you’re recovering from an injury or want to work out on a low-energy day, Pilates is a great option,” she tells Bustle.

Some Pilates moves are inherently simple and gentle, while difficult ones can be modified using props, bands, or other equipment like a Pilates circle, Price says. There are also different class levels to choose from, so if you’re going to hit one up IRL or stream a workout on YouTube, make sure you go easy. “For a lazy day workout, a class labeled Foundation, Restorative, or Beginner would be perfect,” she says. But don’t discount the class just because it’s on the gentler side: “Working at a lower level and slower pace allows you to focus on the mechanics of each movement to ensure you’re getting the most out of the workout.” Picking up.”

Keep scrolling for 10 easy Pilates exercises that will help you get fit in some gentle motion.


pelvic curl to bridge

According to Price, this exercise is a great way to work on spinal articulation while sharpening your core and hamstrings. His tip? “Focusing on control and isolation will help improve range of motion and power.”

Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet hip-width apart, and arms at your sides.

Exhale and pull your belly button toward your spine to engage your abs.

Allow your pelvis to tilt upward from the floor.

– Continue that slow motion, lifting the spine one at a time, until you’re in a high bridge position.

Make a long line from your knees to your shoulders.

– Inhale at the top and pause.

– With your next inhale do that movement back down one vertebra at a time.

While walking with the breath, repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times.


spine twist

This move is easy because you can control how much you challenge yourself, says Price. The further you turn, the more difficult it will be. “Start with a small range, and as you become more comfortable with the movement and able to keep the upper body stable, add more,” she says.

Lie on your back with your arms outstretched and rest on the floor in a T position, palms facing up.

– Bend your knees at 90 degrees.

– Keep your knees pressed together.

Inhaling, lower your leg to one side as far as you can without lifting your opposite shoulder off the ground.

Exhale, use your abs to raise your legs back to the starting position.

With the next breath, drop your knees to the other side and exhale to return.

Move both the legs on both sides 5-5 times.


roll like a ball

Rolling like a ball on your mat is a great way to massage your spine and hug yourself, says Pilates instructor leslie logan, It’s easy, and it happens to work your thighs, glutes, abs and upper back muscles as an added bonus.

Sit down and bring your knees towards your chest.

Join your ankles together and keep your knees slightly apart.

Place one hand on each ankle or the back of each thigh.

– Pull your shoulders down your back.

– Round your head and look down at your stomach.

– Inhale and roll back onto your shoulders.

– Exhale and roll up to balance at the top.

– Roll back and repeat 5 to 8 times.


goose preparation

This move strengthens your entire backside, which includes your glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae, and lats, says Logan. It also opens up the front of your body, which is great if you’re sitting at a desk all day.

– Lie down on your stomach.

– Place your hands under your forehead.

Extend your legs long and behind you.

– Reach your tailbone long and relax your shoulders down your back.

Leaving the feet down, raise the hands and elbows up along with the head and chest.

– Hold, then lower.

– Repeat 5 to 8 times.


runner’s lunge

A classic runner’s lunge helps loosen tight hip flexors. Tanya Renee, a Certified Personal Trainer and Tonal Coach. “We’re always sitting in front of the computer or TV, so it’s a great movement to do something to open up the hips,” she tells Bustle.

Get into a low lunge position by keeping your front foot planted and your back leg extended behind you.

Keep your back knee on the floor and tuck your toes.

Place your hands on the floor on the inside of the front foot, shoulder-width apart.

Slowly lift your back knee to straighten your back leg.

-Pause, then lower your knee back to the floor.

– Change legs and repeat as needed.


downward dog

“Like the runner’s lunge, downward dog works to counteract the effects of sitting all day—specifically by addressing the back and posterior chain of the body,” says Renee. “You’re getting this extension of the body that helps with posture in the long run.”

Place your hands on the mat, shoulder width apart.

– Extend your legs behind you, tucking the toes.

Raise your hips up towards the ceiling to form a triangle with your body.

– Gently pump your legs and slowly lower your heels to the mat.


standing side bend

This simple move may bring you back to middle school gym class, Renee says, but you get a full extension on the sides of your back and torso.

– stand tall.

– Extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Alternatively, you can place one hand on your hip.

– Bend from the hip as you reach your arms out to the right.

– Use your core to return to center.

– Repeat on the opposite side.


superhero hold

Don’t feel like getting up? Renee suggests the superhero hold, aka an isometric pose that challenges your back muscles.

Lie down on your mat on your face.

Extend your arms overhead and out about 45 degrees from your head.

– Spread your legs hip distance apart.

– As you balance on your pelvis and lower abdomen, imagine wires from the ceiling lifting all four limbs off the floor.

– Engage your back and glutes.

– Hold for 5 seconds and release.


standing roll down

According to Jacqueline HintonA certified Pilates instructor, simple exercises like these can help you feel more energized to do something else with your workout.

– Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Breathe in, then exhale, rolling down one vertebra at a time.

Let your head and arms hang down like a rag doll.

– Take another breath.

Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine and lift one vertebra at a time.

– Repeat 10 times.



Hinton says this easy, seated move opens your sides and is a great stretch for the hips.

Sit on your mat with one leg bent in front of you and your shin parallel to the front of your mat.

Keep the other leg bent backward so that your shin is parallel to your mat.

To modify, sit with your legs crossed or spread out in front of you.

– Reach up and to one side, then the other.

– Repeat 10 times on each side.

Referenced Studies:

Byrnes, K. (2018). Is Pilates an Effective Rehabilitation Tool? A systematic review. J Bodyv Move Ther. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.04.008.


Samantha Price, BASI-Certified Pilates Instructor sweathb

leslie loganonline pilates instructor

Tanya ReneeCertified Personal Trainer, Tonal Coach

Jacqueline Hintoncertified pilates instructor

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