As the UK is stuck in the tier systems and lockdowns, fitness fanatics across the country are once again wondering how to keep up their routines and progress without their beloved gym and frequent fitness classes. Although it may be tiresome, working out from home can still be effective. Plus, you’ve got us and we’ll keep you on your toes and in love with fitness! And this time, we are focussing on pilates at home.
So, whether you’re a regular at our pilates classes or a newbie looking to find a new class, our pilates at home workout is suitable for all abilities. Pilates is a great exercise alternative for busy people as you can do it from the comfort of your living room. Also, you don’t need fancy equipment to reap the benefits, you can do pilates anywhere, with anyone and wear anything!
Before we get down to some of our favourite movements, let's talk pilates. Pilates will help improve your flexibility, mobility and posture through low impact movements. This class is perfect for relaxing your mind and leaving you feeling refreshed, and ready to conquer the world.
Pilates is all about control rather than repetition. We will guide you to use your muscles against gravity, using your body for resistance in order to target different body areas. And there will be plenty of breathing and lots of stretching, so you can look forward to toning the whole body.
Now let’s get stretchy with some brilliant pilates exercises you can master at home.
Lie face up with your knees bent in a comfortable position, feet flat on your mat with your arms at your sides. Exhale, curling your chin to your chest whilst bringing your shoulders completely off the mat. Hold this position for at least 1 breath, then slowly lower your back to lie flat against the floor. Remember to also lift from the chest to engage your abdominal muscles and to avoid straining your neck.
Are you ready to feel the burn? Lie face up and bring the knees in towards your chest. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the mat, stretch your hands by your sides with the palms facing down.
Extend your legs to a 45 degree angle, with your heels together and toes apart - known as the Pilates stance. Pump your arms up and down whilst breathing in and out for up to 10 counts. Remember to use your abs to hold yourself up, don’t let your neck and shoulders do all the work. Repeat 10 times.
The Roll Up
Begin by lying face up with your arms extended towards the ceiling. Breath in, curl your chin in, and roll up to a sitting position with your arms trying to reach / touch your toes. Breathe out and reverse the roll back down to the floor. Always use your abs to roll up and down with control, remember, it’s a slow and smooth movement, no jerking allowed. One last tip, don’t rely on the momentum or let your legs lift off the mat because if you do, you’ll lose the benefits.
Rolling like a Ball
Sit on your mat with your knees tucked into your chest and your arms wrapped around your legs. Rock backwards against your tailbone, with your feet a couple inches off the mat, inhale and roll back onto your shoulder blades. Exhale to roll forward and return to your starting position. Stay in your curved position for the entire exercise. Use your abs to initiate and control the roll back, don’t rely on using momentum.
Lie back on your mat, face up. Lift your head, neck and shoulders and bring the knees to the chest, and hug your shins. Take a deep breath in and then extend the legs to a 45 degree angle whilst simultaneously elongating the arms along the ears.
Breathe out and circle the arms down to hug your shins as you return to the initial pilates position. Always keep your shoulders off the mat and maintain even breathing.
Plank To Push Up
Start by standing straight. As you breathe out, tuck your chin in towards your chest and roll your body down to a ‘rag doll’ position then, walk your hands out into a high plank position. After you’re in the high plank position, tuck your elbows close into your ribs and lower your body down towards the mat - as far as you can. Straighten the arms to push back up into a high plank, repeat for 5 reps. Then, walk your hands back towards your feet and roll back up into your standing position.
Begin this exercise by lying face up with your knees bent, feet flat against the mat and your arms by your sides. Breathe out and lift your hips off the mat towards the ceiling. As you hold this elevated position, extend one of your legs for example, your right leg and kick it towards the ceiling with pointed toes. Flex your right heel and lower your right leg to the level of your left knee. Repeat x3. Then place your right back leg on the mat and repeat on the other side. Remember to keep breathing and alternate sides so you reap the benefits equally!
And that’s you, a full on pilates home workout! As you can see, it’s still possible to enjoy a healthy lifestyle at home whilst your gym is closed but don’t worry, we’ll see you again in the studio! No mat? Get yours here.