Indulge In A Good Pilates Session With These 5 Pilates Exercises

Published on 17th May 2021 by BlogBuster Editorial Team

Physical trainer Joseph Pilates introduced Pilates workout to Americans back in the 1920s. Pilates exercises were then practised by injured athletes and dancers to safely resume their exercise routine and maintain their fitness. An aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise, a Pilates workout requires concentration and focus because you exercise through precise ranges of motion. It requires concentration by finding a centre point to balance the movements of your body. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern. The Pilates workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to ten times, over a session duration of 45 to 90 minutes.

Before we look at the different Pilates exercises to do at home, let us understand what a Pilates workout is all about with the benefits of Pilates.

What is a Pilates Workout?

Pilates is a compilation of about 500 exercises influenced by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. A Pilates workout is low-impact and focuses on strengthening, lengthening, and toning your muscles through controlled, repetitive movements. Indulging regularly in Pilates exercises improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness. Pilates exercises can be practised by everyone, from beginner to advanced.

Benefits Of Pilates

Apart from enhancing strength, balance and flexibility of the body, Pilates exercises provide many other benefits as well. Below listed are some of the benefits of Pilates workout-

  • Pilates exercises provide a whole body workout.
  • It enhances lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • Pilates workout enhances core strength and posture.
  • It integrates the mind, body and spirit with complete concentration and discipline.
  • Pilates workout at home can promote weight loss.
  • One of the benefits of Pilates workout is that it helps develop toned muscles and enhances functional fitness.
  • Pilates exercises can boost your energy levels.
  • It provides safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • A Pilates workout can help relax your shoulders, neck and upper back.
  • It helps tackle stress effectively.
  • Pilates exercises provide rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances.

Types Of Pilates Workout

Pilates exercises can be divided into the below five categories-

Classic Pilates:
Classic Pilates includes the traditional Pilates exercises devised by Joseph Pilates. Classic Pilates follows the same sequence of exercises each time.

Mat Pilates:
Mat Pilates is a series of Pilates exercises performed on the floor using your own body weight to provide resistance. The main objective of Mat Pilates is to adapt the supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination. Mat Pilates includes 34 mat-based exercises by Joseph Pilates and also some other mat exercises.

Contemporary Pilates:
Contemporary Pilates is a mix of traditional and new Pilates exercises, performed in varying sequences using a range of small pieces of equipment.

Reformer Pilates:
Reformer Pilates is a dynamic form of Pilates workout that uses a 'Reformer' to add resistance and challenge stability.

Clinical Pilates:
Clinical Pilates are Injury and rehabilitation-specific exercises prescribed by physiotherapists.

Pilates Workout At Home

The current situation has restricted us at home. Thus, it seems difficult to be able to personally attend Pilates classes in the near future. However, we can always indulge in a Pilates workout from the comfort of our home! We have listed below some of the best Pilates exercises to do at home and what’s even better is that all these are Pilates exercises for beginners-

The 100

The 100 is the foundation of every Pilates workout at home. It is the best pilates exercises for beginners and we suggest you start your Pilates workout at home with the 100.

How to do this pilates exercise at home-

  1. Move both legs towards your chest, hold on to this position of your legs, move your head and chest towards your legs.
  2. Set your legs out in a tabletop position with your knees directly above your hip and the lower part of your legs parallel to the floor. Hold on behind your thighs and move your chest inwards, deepening and hollowing out your abs.
  3. Hover your arms right above your abdominal wall and start to pump your arms 6 to 8 inches up and down, taking deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling 5 times each.
  4. Repeat 10 times, followed by a break. Rest your head flat on the floor, rather than curling it up, if the move feels too difficult.
The 100
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The Pilates bridge is one of the most beneficial Pilates exercises for beginners and a great addition to your Pilates workout at home. It strengthens, stabilises and mobilises the body all at the same time!

How to do this pilates exercise at home-

  1. Start by lying on your back with the legs bent, feet flat on the floor and arms on the sides.
  2. Tuck your tailbone and lift your back off the floor one vertebra at a time until the torso, shoulders and knees are aligned.
  3. Hold on to this position for a few seconds to squeeze your glutes.
  4. Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Complete two sets of 10 reps.
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Single-Leg Circles

One of the simplest Pilates exercises for beginners, you’ll learn how to keep your abs engaged, even when you’re moving your legs. Include this exercise in your Pilates workout at home to develop strong core strength.

How to do this pilates exercise at home-

  1. Lie faceup with your arms by your sides and palms down.
  2. Bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor. Extend your right leg up so that it's perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Circle your right leg out to the side, down toward the ground and return to the starting position. Extend the circle as much as you can while still keeping your lower back pressed on the floor.
  4. Move your leg anti-clockwise as well.
  5. Complete all reps one at a time with one leg. This should be followed by completing the reps with the other leg too.
Single-Leg Circles
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Work your entire midsection with one of the easiest Pilates exercises for beginners, Criss-Cross. Add this exercise to your Pilates workout at home to enhance your core strength.

How to do this pilates exercise at home-

  1. Lie face up and bring both knees upwards towards your chest.
  2. Place your hands on the back of your head, keeping your elbows wide. Curl your head up.
  3. Bring your left shoulder toward your right knee as you extend your left leg. Then bring your right shoulder toward your left knee as you extend your right leg.
  4. Continue alternating sides.
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Lunge With Hip Hinge

Amongst the best Pilates exercises for beginners, Lunge with Hip Hinge is designed to primarily target the muscles in your back. Include this exercise in your Pilates workout at home to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

How to do this pilates exercise at home-

  1. Begin in a lunge position with your left leg extended straight behind your body. Keep your toes tucked, heel high and right leg extended forward and knee bent
  2. Keep your arms clasped in front of your chest, and your torso leaned slightly forward over your right leg.
  3. Tip your upper body forward over your left thigh, hinging at the hip, then lift your chest back up.
  4. This completes one rep. Complete two sets of 10 reps on each side.
Lunge With Hip Hinge
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