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3 simple Pilates movements for beginners

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Pilates is a great way to strengthen the whole body, as it focuses on improving your core strength. Anyone can try Pilates, you don’t have to already be flexible, as the movements are adaptable to meet you where you’re at.

Let’s take a look at the 3 simple beginner’s movements you can try.

Please note: All exercises are completed at your own risk. If you have other health problems, please seek medical advice from your GP prior to participating. If you are using the information provided in this article, please read the terms & conditions.

Starting position:

Lady lying down with both legs bent

Think about trying to find a neutral spine position and gently recruiting your core muscles. Try and hold for 3-4 breaths in and out, then relax.

Place your hands on your lower tummy muscles, you should feel a gentle pull underneath where your hands are. Try and keep breathing normally while you do this, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

1. Single Leg Stretch

If you feel comfortable that you’ve engaged your deep core, you can try the first level of the ‘Single Leg Stretch’ movement.

Try and hold your core muscles in whilst pushing your leg out straight onto your mat (see the image below). Bring your leg back into the rest position. Breathe out as you push your leg away, and breathe in as your leg comes back in to rest.

Lady lying down with one leg bent

2. Scissors

Next you can try bringing your leg into a single table top position for the first level of the ‘Scissors’ movement. Both your hip and knee should be at a 90 degrees flexion, like below.

Hold your leg at the top and slowly lower it back down into the rest position. Repeat with the other leg.

Lady lying down with one leg raised at 90 degree angle

3. Hip Twist

Finally, you can give the first stage of the ‘Hip Twist’ movement a try. Keeping one leg still, try and drop the other leg out to the side.

Keep your core engaged and your hands and pelvis as still as possible. Breathe out as the leg drops away, and breathe in as it comes back. Again, you can then alternate the legs here.

Lady lying down with one leg leaning to one side

Once you’re happy with the technique of each of the exercises, try 5-10 repetitions of each exercise on each leg. Keep the movements as slow and controlled as you can and repeat the circuit 3 times.


Cheryl Culliford-Whyte

Cheryl Culliford-Whyte Content Contributor, Warwick Sport

Cheryl has interests in all kinds of fitness, keeping healthy and looking after your wellbeing. She enjoys hiking, lifting and healthy baking.


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