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Pilates for Beginners

When it comes to listing the benefits of pilates, its hard to know where to start because there are so many to choose from.  First of all, when doing pilates movements, you have to learn to breath properly.  This can help reduce stress in your life. 

The pilates movements you perform help develop a strong core, back and abdominals.  They also create long, lean muscles that increase your flexibility.  These same movements work to condition your body evenly so no muscle group is over or under developed. 

Having your muscles evenly toned helps prevent injuries.  Last but not least, because pilates movements are so gentle on your body, almost anyone can do them.  Do as many of these as you can 3-5 times a week for best results. 

 
  • 1 The Hundred
    • Lie on your back with arms at your side and legs pointed straight out. Use your core muscles to raise your head, shoulders and legs off the ground.
    • Keep your legs straight and about 6 inches off the ground while you pump your arms up and down. Breathe in and out as you do so.
    • Count until youve pumped your arms 100 times, lower your arms and legs back to the floor, then rest your core muscles.
    2 Single Leg Circles
    • Lie on your back with legs extended and arms at your side. Extend one leg toward the ceiling, keeping your hips on the ground.
    • Move the raised leg around in a circle slowly, keeping the rest of your body still. Do five circles one way, then five the other way.
    • Lower the leg down, then repeat with the other leg. Do this twice with each leg.
    3 Lying Leg Kicks
    • Lie on your side, resting your upper body weight on your forearm. Keep your lower leg extended on the ground, your upper leg extended on top.
    • Kick your upper leg out, then back behind you, keeping it parallel to the ground. Do this 10 times on each leg, then resume starting position.
    • While keeping your lower leg extended on the ground, raise the upper leg towards the ceiling, keeping it straight. Do this 10 times, then repeat on the other leg.
    • Resume starting position, then raise both leggs towards the ceiling. Keep the legs straight and touching throughout the movement. Do this 10 times on one side, swing your legs around, then repeat on the other side.
    • From starting position, bend your top leg at the knee and place it over your front leg the foot planted on the ground.
    • While keeping it fully extended, raise the lower leg up, then lower back to the ground. Do this 10 times, switch legs and repeat.
    4 Reach Across
    • Sit on the ground with your legs extended and in the shape of V. Have arms stretched out straight from your shoulders, making a T with your upper body.
    • Touch your right hand to your left foot, sit back up, then touch your left hand to your right foot. Exhale as your reach to increase how far you can go.
    • Complete this three times on each side.
    5 Plank
    • Get on your hands and knees, then extend your legs back until you are resting on your toes.
    • Bend at the elbow and lower your arms until you are resting on your forearms.
    • While keeping your body straight from your shoulders to your ankles, hold this position for 30 seconds.
    • Lower down, rest for one minute, then repeat again.

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