How to do Pilates

How to do Pilates

Pilates is an exercise that helps with your physical strength, balance, and limberness. It can be compared to yoga, but they are not the same. While yoga helps with flexibility, pilates mainly focuses on training both your inner and outer muscles. Here are a few basic moves that you can start with when learning to do pilates.




First, find an area that is large enough for you to move around comfortably in. You don't want to be bumping into things when you're exercising.




It is very important to be wearing comfortable clothes when doing pilates. You'll want something that’s stretchy and ‘sweatproof’. You don’t want your shirt and pants to stick uncomfortably on you like a second skin after finishing.




While there are machines that are specifically made for pilates, you won’t need to get these expensive machines to do these basic moves. You’ll only need a yoga mat, the bigger and thicker, the better. It'll be more comfortable this way when you lay on it. There are also squishy balls, magic circles, and other tools that you can use for pilates, but they are not needed to perform these simple mat movements.




It is extremely important to watch your breathing while doing pilates. It helps you time your movements and make sure that you’re doing each move correctly. If you are breathing the wrong way, it can exhaust your body and may cause cramping in certain areas.


Move: The Hundred


To start this move, you’ll need to lie flat on your back. Lift your head, neck and upper back up slowly. Your arms should be stretched out beside your body facing the floor. Hold them up in midair, you don’t need to lift them up too high, just move them up and down, coordinating each movement with your breathing. The Hundred is a great movement for those of you that want to tighten up your abs. It’s also great for your legs and arms because you’ll need to hold them steady in midair.


Move: Rolling Like a Ball


Rolling like a ball is a really fun move. Not only does it train your abdominal muscles, it also helps you with your balance. First, sit down on your mat, take you hands and put them at the back of each thigh, clamping them down with your calves lightly. Lift your knees up until shoulder height. Slowly rock your body back and forth until you are rolling from your butt to your upper back. Have fun with this move, you don’t have to concentrate really hard.


Move: Single-Leg Stretch


Lie down on your mat. Lift your head, neck, upper back and both legs off the floor. Extend your left foot forward while bending your right leg, bringing it towards your face. Use yours hands to support the bending knee. Switch legs a couple of times every 1-2 seconds. It will kind of be like running in mid air.


These are a few basic pilate moves that you can add to your routine. Of course, if you are looking for a move that can train a specific part of your body, you’ll have to do a bit more research. You can slowly add a new move to your daily routine. Each of these moves takes around 30 - 60 seconds depending on how many sets you plan on doing. Don't go over your body’s limit!


Related articles