Pilates At Home For Beginners: How to Get Started

Pilates is a great way to get in shape and improve your flexibility and strength. But if you’re new to the workout, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to Pilates at home, complete with everything you need to know to get started.

Did you know that you can do Pilates at home with little to no equipment? All you really need is a mat and some comfortable clothing. If you want to add a few challenging props, we recommend a Pilates ring and some resistance bands. But don’t worry, we’ll get into all of that later.

Barre vs Pilates vs Yoga: What’s the Difference?

Before we jump into the how-to of Pilates at home, let’s quickly chat about the difference between pilates, barre and yoga. All three workout styles have their own unique benefits, so it’s important to know which one is right for you.

Pilates:

Pilates is a low-impact workout that focuses on building strength and flexibility through controlled movements. Because it’s such a gentle form of exercise, Pilates is perfect for beginners or those with injuries or chronic pain.

Barre:

Barre is a hybrid workout that combines aspects of ballet, Pilates and yoga. It’s a great workout for toning your entire body, and you don’t need any equipment other than a sturdy chair or countertop.

Yoga:

Yoga is an ancient practice that emphasizes connecting the mind and body through breathwork and movement. While there are many different types of yoga, most classes will focus on improving flexibility and relaxation.

With that out of the way, here are 10 beginner-friendly Pilates exercises you can do at home:

1. The Hundred

This classic Pilates move is a great way to warm up your body and get your blood flowing. To do the hundred, lie down on your back with your legs in the air and your arms by your sides. Use your abs to lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then pump your arms up and down while you count to 100. Be sure to breathe deeply throughout the exercise.

2. The Roll Up

The roll up is a great way to lengthen your spine and improve flexibility. To do this exercise, start by lying on your back with your legs extended in front of you and your arms by your sides. Slowly roll up to a seated position, keeping your abs engaged the entire time. Once you’re seated, reach your arms overhead and then roll back down to the starting position.

3. The Saw

This move is great for toning your obliques (the muscles on the sides of your core). To do the saw, start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you and your arms by your sides. Lean back slightly and engage your abs, then twist your torso to the right and reach your left hand to touch the outside of your right foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

4. The Pilates Scissor

The scissor is another great move for toning your obliques. To do this exercise, lie on your back with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground. Hold your right ankle as you lower your left leg toward the floor. Keep your abs engaged and be sure not to drop your head or shoulders as you lower your leg. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

5. The Single-Leg Kick

This move targets your glutes and hamstrings (the muscles on the back of your thighs). To do the single-leg kick, start by lying on your back with both legs in the air and your arms by your sides. Engage your abs and kick your right leg up and down, keeping your left leg stationary. After a few reps, switch legs and repeat with your left leg.

6. The Double-Leg Kick

The double-leg kick is similar to the single-leg kick, but as the name suggests, you’ll be kicking both legs at the same time. To do this exercise, lie on your back with both legs in the air and place your hands on the floor beside you. Engage your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then kick both legs up and down.

7. The Pilates V

This move targets your obliques, glutes and hamstrings. To do the Pilates V, start by lying on your back with both legs in the air and your arms by your sides. Engage your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then open your legs into a V shape. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.

8. The Reverse Pilates V

The reverse Pilates V is similar to the regular Pilates V, but you’ll be starting in the reverse position. To do this exercise, lie on your back with your legs in the air and your arms by your sides. Engage your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then open your legs into a V shape with your feet pointing toward the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.

9. The Pilates Side Bend

This move targets your obliques and is a great way to improve flexibility. To do the Pilates side bend, start by lying on your right side with your legs extended in front of you and your head resting on your right arm. Place your left hand on the floor in front of you for support. Use your abs to lift your hips off the ground, then reach your left hand overhead and bend toward the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

10. The Pilates Jackknife

The jackknife is a great all-over exercise that targets your abs, obliques, glutes and hamstrings. To do this move, start by lying on your back with both legs in the air and your arms by your sides. Engage your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then bring your knees toward your chest as you reach your arms forward. Return to the starting position and repeat.

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