Beginner Pilates Workout

joseph-pilates-beginner-pilates-workoutIf you are new to exercise, you may want to consider Pilates as a good place to start. Pilates began in 1920 by Joseph Pilates for physical rehabilitation purposes. Some of the first people that used Pilates workouts were those returning from war, and those rehabbing injuries. Beginner Pilates workouts may look a bit different today than they did back in the 1920's.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system that was designed to use a special machine to help improve flexibility, strength, posture and rehabilitate the body. Today, however, most Pilates classes are offered without the utilization of the Pilates machine.

Many of the beginner Pilates done are on the floor, with your weight as the mechanism for resistance. The adaptation, made primarily by fitness studios, who did not have space or funds to get a set of the specialized Pilates machines.old-beginner-pilates-workout

If you want to experience a Pilates class as Joseph Pilates would have taught it to you, then you would need to visit a Pilates studio where you would be able to use the machine that he designed to assist in the workouts.

Pilates Today

Pilates today is a lot different than how it first started. Many beginner pilates workout programs are designed to be done in the comfort of your home and without the use of the Pilates machine developed by Joseph Pilates.

Pilates Breathing

Most of the beginner pilates workout movements are going to involve a particular breathing pattern. The thing is that Joseph Pilates never taught a specific breathing technique.

Most of the breathing techniques taught in a pilates are brought to you by yoga and martial arts.

He did emphasize that it was important to breathe, and breathing through the movements was central to his philosophy. He did not demonstrate exactly how you should do this.

If there is a pilates program that says you must breathe a certain way, it may be a good breathing technique, but it didn't come from the Joseph Pilates.

Beginner Pilates Workout

To start a Pilates program, you need to understand the basics of the body weight program movements.


Standing Roll-Down

Feet are parallel and hips width apart. Extend arms up and reach back. Slowly roll down to the floor and sit back (like sitting in a chair). Then stand up straight and reach up lifting off of your heels.


Dynamic Core Plank Series (Single Leg Down Dog, Knee to Chest)


This is a single leg down dog from yoga, where you bring your raised leg to your chest in a knee tuck. Return your leg to the raised and pointed position for one rep

Thigh Stretch

Start with knees together on the mat. You will lean back as far as you can safely support your body weight. Do not lean back too far; you will fall or destabilize your core.

Double Leg Stretch

Lie face up and extend your arms out above your head at a 45-degree angle. Raise your legs off of the floor. Bring your legs in so that your knees touch your chest and wrap your arms around your calves.


Lay on your back with both legs extended. Alternate each leg pulling your leg up as high as you can to get a good stretch. Your resting leg should still be elevated off of the mat, and your head and shoulders should be off of the mat.

Swan (Superman, Swimmers, Sharks)

Lie flat on the mat with your face down. Elevate your head and shoulders off of the mat and raise your toes off of the mat. Swing your arms forward and-and pull them back then come back down to the mat in the resting position.

The Workout

These basic Pilates movements will make up a very good beginner pilates workout. The thing about pilates is that you won't feel like you are working very hard, and then the next day you will be VERY sore.

When starting with Pilates, it is best to keep the workouts short and sweet at first, and then build up your tolerance.

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