Beginners Pilates Exercises

Here we demonstrate some beginners introductory pilates exercises which are suitable for all levels and promote core stability and strength in the spine and shoulders.

The breaststroke exercise works on promoting stability of the thoracic spine and shoulders.

  • Lying on the front, place a rolled up towel between the forehead and floor to maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Contract the pelvic floor and aim to pull the belly button up off the floor.
  • Start with the arms by the sides and the legs straight.
  • Breathe in and as you then exhale, pull the shoulders back and arms up off the floor.
  • Hold this position before returning to the starting position and repeating.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

The arm stretch exercise is a beginners level exercise which challenges the core muscles by moving both arms.

  • Start by lying on your back with the feet flat on the floor and the knees bent.
  • Find your neutral lumbar spine position and contract your core muscles.
  • Raise the arms so that they are pointing up to the ceiling.
  • Take a deep breath in and as you exhale slowly take the arms over your head towards the floor.
  • Stop just above the floor, pause and then return to the starting position.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

The knee drop is an exercise which promotes pelvic stability and hip joint range of motion.

  • Lay on your back, maintaining the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Gently pull the belly button in towards the floor to activate the core.
  • Breath in and as you breathe out, slowly lower the leg out to the side, maintaining control throughout.
  • Maintain a stable, neutral pelvic position.
  • Slowly return the leg back to the starting position.
  • Aim to perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

The clam which is an exercise to promote pelvic stability and hip joint range of motion.

The clam exercise should be performed for 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions. This is performed on the side and try to maintain the natural position of the spine. It is important the neutral position is maintained and the exercise is done in a slow and controlled manner.

Place a towel under the head to maintain the straight neck and bend the knees, feet together. Tilt the pelvis and pull the belly button in towards the spine. breath in, breath out and then raise the top knee, maintaining control and ensuring you don't roll backwards. Slowly lower and repeat.