5 Great Pilates Workouts For At Home
Top 5 Pilates exercisefor at home
With only 5 Pilates exercises you can train your whole body. These exercises are one of the most basic and effective total body exercises mixed into one Pilates workout. You can do this on a daily basis or do it once a week and mix it with the other workouts. Doing Pilates workouts and routines once or twice a week already does wonders for the body.
Tips and pointers
A. Extend the spine in all exercises except for the shoulderbridge.
Especially in the ab exercises this works very well for finding the right abdominal tension and preventing lower back pain and neck pain. It is quite a natural feeling to kind of collapse the spine during ab exercises. It’s great to feel that extending the spine can actually help you stay up easier during ab exercises. Lengthening the spine creates body unity and makes your core stronger. It’s a Handy trick and it prevents injuries to the neck and back.
B. Don’t hold your breath.
It does not matter how you breathe as long as you don’t hold your breath. If you really want to use your breath, exhale when you extend the legs during the ab exercises. It’s also a general rule that it’s best to exhale when you are using force. The point here is that by exhaling, you trigger the core muscles and therefore are creating a stable connection between the upper body and legs/pelvis. There are some exceptions, but those will be pointed out in the video’s.
Check all the tips and pointers on the single exercises in the full article on this routine.
Pilates workout full body 15 min.
You only need 15 minutes to train the whole body! With this Pilates total body workout you have a great exercise serie to do on a weekly basis. All sorts of Pilates exercises are being done in this video. They are mixed together, so while you work the legs you loosen the shoulder for example. Or while you work on your balance in the first exercise, you strengthen the glutes and legs. Especially in the beginning you just need to go with the flow. Later on when we do a ground workout, the exercises are a bit easier.
Tips and pointers
You need to feel for yourself what is working for you in all those different Pilates exercises. It’s impossible to focus on everything. A great trick and important tip is to feel. Regardless of what is being done and said in the video, you need to feel what is happening to you. This is important for a couple of reasons. Here a summary of what feeling can do for you while working out, especially online.
- Feeling what happens protects against injury.
- Feeling what happens makes you adjust automatically.
- Feeling what happens helps to target the right muscle groups
- Feeling what happens trains body unity
- Feeling what happens helps softening the body
On the first point, if you feel what’s going on in your body, your body won’t let you go to positions and moves it does not want to. Trust this own awareness! Don’t think you have to be able to do everything, especially not at once. For the body te learn new things, it takes time and it should be done precise and calmly. In this Pilates workout there is no time for that. So, just don’t do what does not feel right, it prevents injury!
On the second point, it’s impossible to adjust your body in a rational manner. There are so many details that you can’t possibly take them all into account. Just focus on a couple of points and let the body awareness do the rest by itself (feel). It will lead you in the right way, even if you’re not doing the exercise correctly.
Relaxing the lower back, for example, trigger abdominal support. It’s a handy trick for muscle targetting. Being aware of how something should feel, helps you doing the exercise more natural, without thinking to much.
Bringing together 10 exercise cue’s is difficult to do and fragments the body. Feeling the body, restores this in an instance. So, whenever you feel lost, just feel and you will move as one again.
A soft body works great for strengtening it. Of course it should not be weak, but a soft feeling is great for reducing tensions in the muscles and joints. Therefore, they can work as they should and provide the muscles with the right way of strengthening. So in general, keep a soft body (not weak) and you’ll easily gain strength in a safe and healthy manner.
11 Pilates exercises for a weak lower back
This is a great Pilates workout. It targets the lower back, but because Pilates works with total body principles, it’s great for the whole body. It’s also good practice to relax the lower back during exercises in general, something you can really take away from this exercise serie. It’s a nice workout to do once a month if you are just curious. Another way of looking at this workout would be to take single exercises from it and mix them in into the other workouts and routines on this page. If you want to work on the lower back alone, then twice a weak would be great for this exercise serie.
Tips and pointers
A. Relax the lower back.
Relaxing the lower back is one of the main pointers that really helps you to do these exercises. A couple of ab exercises in this serie are very much focusses on this. You don’t have to suffer from lower back pain to do these exercises, they are great for restoring a natural spine and pelvis. You will train your body to use ab support while having a slightly tilted pelvis and thus a natural slightly arched lower back.
B. Feel the body
As mentioned earlier, feeling helps to trigger the right muscle groups and works well for preventing injuries. Relaxing the lower back, automatically triggers abdominal support, the main issue in Pilates exercises for strengtening the lower back. Feel what the lower back is doing during all exercises and also feel the whole body. It reduces tension and creates effective movement. For detailed descriptions of this exercise serie, check out the lower back blog article (coming soon) or go to the members section for video’s on each exercise > 11 Pilates exercises for strengthening a waek lower back
Pilates Ab and (upper) leg workout
Great Pilates workout for the abs and upper legs! We are working hard on the abs here, but in an intelligent fashion. In many ab workouts there lies a danger of hurting the neck and back. To prevent this, we switch between ab exercises where we hold our head up and ones where we rest our head on the mat. We also mix light exercises with heavier ones and work on different area’s of the abs. The whole abs get a workout; lower abs, transverse abdominals, obliques and the ‘sixpack area’! For the legs we mainly target the inside and the front of the upper legs. Altogether this makes up for a great ‘front of body’ workout. There is a shoulderbridge in there for a warm-up and a bit of a counter balancing exercise.
Tips and pointers
A. Focus on pelvic stability in all exercises.
Pelvic stability is a goal as such in Pilates, but it’s also a handy trick for targeting the abs. In whatever position you are in, just hold the pelvis stable while relaxing the lower back. This will result in a tension shift towards the abs.
B. Stop when you have neck pain or put your head on the mat.
Neck pain, or back pain for that matter, are a common risk in ab workouts. Whenever you’re holding your head up high and you start to feel the back of the neck tensing up to much, just rest your head on the mat and do the same exercise. Usually, this can be done in ab exercises. If your neck or back still hurts, stop right away. It’s the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve in Pilates. Go for the abs!
C. Stop when the upper leg at the front tenses up to much.
This is a well known Pilates injury: psoas muscle pain or stress. It is the muscle which holds up the leg at the front. (together with the quadriceps: the upper leg muscles). In Pilates ab exercises, the psoas get’s trained a lot as well. That’s why relaxing the lower back is an important point during ab exercises.
Pilates shoulder routine
For this last workout you need to have a bit of Pilates and Yoga experience. If you do, you can easily train along with this short routine (1 min). If you are new to Pilates and Yoga, you can learn the whole routine at the members section. Check out the Shoulder Routine video there. This exercise serie is fantastic for the shoulders. It strengthens the shoulders in a light way, it provides support from the spine and chest, it works on shoulder flexibility and on proper alignment. Doing a routine like this on a daily basis does wonders for the shoulders.
Note that all movements are done with a tai chi like awareness and relaxation. Every move is supposed to be as light as possible.
Tips and pointers
A. Keep your shoulder in place as much as possible.
Don’t lift the shoulders! For the upper back stretch (when the arms go forwards and head hangs down), the shoulders go forward. There is also a reverse movement when the shoulder are pulled back. These movements provide a bit of a shoulder stretch. For all other movements, the shoulders should rest on the chest/upper body as much as possible. Don’t lift them!
B. Work from the spine and chest
For creating a decent support structure for the shoulders it is vital that your chest and spine ‘want to move’. This routines triggers a lot of spine and chest movement, so make sure you focus on that.
C. Stay balanced
This whole routine is done while standing. As you move the uppper body, the legs and pelvis need to move as well. This creates a balance from body unity. It connects the shoulders to all other points in the body.
More Pilates Workouts
So that’s it for this 5 Pilates workouts. I hope you can make a great exercise workout mix. You will find much more Pilates Workouts at the Pilates workouts members page. Another way to do Pilates is through the daily routines and the Pilates exercises. You will find Pilates ab exercises, back exercises, neck and shoulder exercises and more. Also check out Pilates for the lower back. Take the Pilates beginners course if you are new to Pilates, you will find Pilates exercises, workouts and classes selected for beginners there.
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