For a video tutorial through the exercises, please click here
If you want to become lean, strong, and toned, but you don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours upon hours at the gym working out, Pilates may well be the answer. Pilates offers an all-over body workout if you have the proper routine and complete the perfect exercises for you and your needs. Your body strength will be improved, your muscles will be tightened and toned, and you’ll become more flexible. Through precise exercises combined with specific breathing techniques, Pilates can do everything a gym routine can, only better – and in a more enjoyable way. If you’re keen to get started, here are some of the best Pilates exercises for beginners.
The Pelvic Curl
The pelvic curl is an ideal exercise to start with since it improves the movement of the spine and allows for much greater flexibility. It also lengthens the hip flexors and activates the abs and hamstrings. To begin, lie on a mat on the floor. Put your feet flat, hip-distance apart, and bend your knees.
Take a deep breath in, and when you exhale, make a bridge with your back. Try to do this slowly so that each vertebra stretches individually. Inhale again and hold your breath as you push your knees forward over your toes. Exhale and slowly set your back down on the mat. Repeat this ten times.
The hundred is a wonderful exercise for improving circulation and increasing the mobility of the spine. Again, for this exercise, you will need to lie on a mat with your needs placed in the tabletop position (this means having your thighs perpendicular to the floor and your shins parallel to the mat). Place your hands behind your thighs and take your chin down to your chest, rolling a little forward so that your head and neck and, if possible, your chest, rise up off the mat – use your abdominals to do this. Keep your back flat on the mat and then reach forward with your arms, extending your legs at 45 degrees.
Next, inhale for five seconds and pump your arms at the same time. Exhale for another five seconds, with your arms still pumping. Repeat this ten times.
With the single leg stretch, you will strengthen your legs and spine, stretching them out to improve muscle tone. Start on the mat on your back with your legs in the tabletop position once more. Again, hold your legs behind the thighs and raise your shoulders so that your neck and head are off the mat and nodding forward towards your chest.
Extend your left leg at a 45-degree angle while you keep your hands on your right knee. Inhale and swap legs, bringing the bent leg towards you. Exhale and change legs again. Repeat this ten times.
The teaser incorporates the entire core, so it is the perfect exercise for improving balance and flexibility, and overall strength. First, lie on your back; put your arms flat by your side and you should stretch your legs out and long.
Take a breath in and lift your arms so they are around your ears. Breathe out and let your shoulder blades drop to your back. Inhale again, lift your legs off the mat, and reach down with your arms towards your toes. Exhale and slowly lower your body in a controlled way so that you are back where you started. Repeat this ten times.
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