Thinking about starting Pilates but find it all a bit intimidating? We’re here to tell you that it isn’t! And to back this up, listed below are 7 easy going Pilates exercises for beginners…

1. THE 100

At the heart of every session is ‘The 100’ which is designed to warm you up and get your blood pumping!

HOW TO DO IT: Start on your back. Bring one bent leg to coffee table top position and hold so foot stays level with the knee and don’t touch the floor. Then, hover your arms either side of your abdomen and pump them up and down, inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. Repeat 10 times without taking a break. Repeat on the other leg.

2. ROLLING LIKE A BALL

Pretty much what it says on the tin. We all did something along these lines in P.E! or on our beds at home if this does not feel good or you have any injury come to seated and clasps hands gently around the backs of the thighs and make a gentle C Curve.


HOW TO DO IT: Begin in the seated position with your knees bent and your feet pointed so only your toes touch the floor. Grab the back of each thigh with each hand, and lift your legs up. Keep your knees shoulder-distance apart and lower your head towards your knees. Inhale, exhale, deepening your abdominals, for two breaths. Roll back to your shoulder tips then back up. Modify by placing the hands on the floor and use like a rocking chair Repeat five times.

3. SINGLE LEG CIRCLES

This simple exercise is not as simple as it looks it takes lots of concentration and focus which will teach you to keep your abs engaged and pelvis fixed even when you’re moving your legs.

 


HOW TO DO IT: Lay down on the mat and extend your right bent leg up to the sky, with your left leg bent, foot flat on the floor. Circle your right leg across your body to your left shoulder, than back around to your right shoulder, stop at your centre. Repeat five times, then reverse and switch legs.

4. SINGLE LEG TEASER

The single-leg teaser is an easy way to get your body prepared for the more advanced ‘regular’ Pilates teaser (where you use both legs!)


HOW TO DO IT: Lay on your back and bend your knees at around 45 degrees, feet touch the floor. Extend one leg with pointed toe, stretch out your arms and hands and slowly crunch your abs, trying to touch our outstretched toe with your fingertips (but don’t go all the way if you can’t!)

 

5. CRISS CROSS

Pilates is not a complex science! This exercise will help you work your entire mid-section in one move! But it takes time and you need a instructor to guide you!


HOW TO DO IT: Lay on your back. Extend your right leg straight in front of you, keeping the left bent and foot on the floor. Twist towards your left leg, holding for three counts repeat 5 times. Switch, extending your left leg straight, pulling your right knee into your body. Spiral your chest towards the right knee, holding for three counts. Repeat twice.

6. SAW

If traditional ab workouts aren’t for you, then this exercise will suit you down to the ground.

HOW TO DO IT: Sit up use a sponge under your butt with your legs spread as wide as the mat legs straight or bent. With your arms straight out to your sides, twist to your left. Stretch your right hand towards your left foot, pulsing three times. Return to middle and repeat on the opposite side.

7. MERMAID

This exercise pays your sides some much needed attention.


HOW TO DO IT: Rest on your right hip in a seated position, with your legs folded together to the left side (like a mermaid!). Place your left hand around your ankles and hold your right arm straight up in the air. Keeping your abs clenched, reach your right arm towards the ceiling and then out and over to the left, making sure your arm stays straight. You should feel a stretch along the right side of your body. Repeat twice.

There you go! It doesn’t seem that intimidating now, does it?!

Written for ZH Pilates by Sam Dennis.