For a long time, pilates was the group exercise that we all wished we could do at home. But, because most classes revolved around the use of the reformer, a huge multi-use piece of equipment that only studios and gyms could afford, most of us had to invest in a gym membership or private classes if we wanted that full-body workout.
Lucky for us, we live in a world filled with online revolutions, and the switch to at-home pilates exercises has made this great workout accessible anywhere. With nothing more than a quality pilates mat, a few weights, comfy activewear and maybe a resistance band, you can workout your entire body without having to conquer the reformer.
Here are our best pilates exercises you can do at home or pretty much anywhere!
Snake and twist (back and arms)
- What we like about this exercise is that it hits the entire upper body: you’ll feel your arms and your shoulders strengthening, in particular, but be prepared for a hint of a core workout, as well
- To start, get yourself into a straight-arm plank position with one leg crossed under the other. From here the general idea is to curl your chin and lift your hips and then undulate through until your hips are parallel to the ground and your face is lifted. Through the entire movement, your arms are straight
- The clam looks easy but you’ll feel it working after just a few seconds. It’s awesome for strengthening your hips and thighs, and is really simply to learn
- Lie on your left side with your knees bent and then lift your upper body onto your bent left elbow. With your feet together and lifted a few inches off the ground, begin opening and closing your knees with control
- There’s a reason why this one is such a popular pilates move: it can be done anywhere and really hits your core muscles!
- Set yourself up by lying flat on your back and then raising your straight legs to a 45 degree angle. Peel your upper body off of the mat and flap those arms (quickly and with control!) up and down as quickly as you can to a count of 100. Remember to breath in and out for five arm movements, each
Pilates push up (full body)
- This one may be tough, but we think it’s a pretty fun one, too
- Start by standing straight up on your mat before diving into a forward fold that will take you all the way to the floor. Once your hands have made contact with the mat, walk yourself forward all the way to a straight-arm plank and then do a quick, but strong, push-up. On your way back up, walk your hands back to your feet, reverse the forward fold and stand up straight
Sure, flowing through a class on a reformer looks pretty cool, but the workouts you can get on a mat at home are equally effective.
We hope you liked our top tips and let us know your best pilates exercises to do at home :)