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Interested in trying out Pilates but not sure where to start?

I am going to share 7 basic Pilates Mat Exercises for beginners to help build strength in your core and build a strong foundation in your workouts, and build strength and flexibility that help to create a strong, toned, athletic looking body.

Here they are


This exercise warms up the body, gets the breath and blood pumping, you will starting to feel your stomach muscles working. If you struggle in the beginning to make 10 repetitions, start with 5 and build up.

HOW TO.....

Draw both knees into your chest. Lift your head and shoulders off the mat, reach your arms straight just above your hips and stretch your legs up to the ceiling. Pump your arms up and down vigorously 6-8 inches as you breathe in for 5 pumps and exhale for 5 pumps.

Repeat 10 times.


This Pilates beginner exercise stretches the back and hamstrings and strengthens the abdominals as you roll up and down. This exercises teaches you one of the most fundamentals skills, as my teacher Jay Grimes says......


HOW TO....

Lie flat on the mat legs pressed together, arms to the ceiling. Lift the head and shoulders and roll up reaching towards your toes, pull your abdominals back. Roll back into the mat with control. If you struggle to get up start with the half roll up, knees bent hands behind your knees, roll back as far as you can then come back up again, keeping your back in a round shape.

Repeat 5 times


This exercise challenges the abdominals as your circle the leg. It also strengthens the hip muscles.


After the roll up , roll back into the mat with control. Lie flat on the mat, legs long and straight, arms pressed by your side. Bend one knee into the chest or bring it straight up to the ceiling with the other leg pressed into the floor. Inhale as the reach the leg across the body, then circle it down around and towards the opposite shoulder, then back to the middle. Keep the spine and arms still and pressed into the mat as the leg is moving.

Repeat 5 circles each way


This is a great fundamental Pilates beginner exercise and forms the shape of many of the more advanced exercises. It massages the spine and strengthens the abdominals.

HOW TO.....

From the roll up come up to a seated position, knees bent, feet on the floor, place your hands on your shins, lift your feet off the floor and balance, keep your back round with your abdominals scooped. Inhale as you roll back onto your shoulder blades and head, not on your neck, and exhale as you roll up, keeping the same round shape. If you find it challenging then place your hands behind your thighs.

Repeat 5-8 repetitions


This exercise targets the abdominal muscles while stretching the back, legs and hips.

HOW TO......

After rolling in a ball, roll back into the mat with control. Bring your knees to your chest, lift your head and shoulders off the mat, hold onto the right leg, outside hand on the ankle, inside hand on the knee, reach the other leg away to 45 degrees. Pull the knee towards your chest twice as your breathe out, breathe in as your switch legs.

Repeat 10 repetitions.


Jay Grimes said if you only do one exercise do this one and try and find it in every exercise!

This is a breathing exercise, it challenges the abdominals, the upper body stays curled up and round as the arms and legs reach away from the centre.

HOW TO....

After single stretch pull your knees into your chest. Keep your head and shoulders off the mat, inhale as you reach your legs to 45 degrees, simultaneously reach your arms behind you keeping your body curled up and round, deepening your abdominals. As you exhale circle the arms wide, pull your knees into your chest and press your hands on your shins.

Repeat 5 times.


This Pilates beginner exercise is a great one to do after the stomach exercises to stretch the back and hamstrings whilst keeping the abdominals engaged throughout. It is a breathing exercise, more difficult than it looks.

HOW TO.....

After double leg pull roll up into a seated position. Sit tall with your legs straight and feet to the corners of the mat. Start with the arms out straight shoulder height or on the floor in front of you, Inhale to sit tall, as you exhale round your spine forward, head to the mat. As you are rounding forward pull your abdominals backward in opposition to the stretch.

Practice these exercises at least three times per week to get stronger and build a strong foundation, it should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete all seven exercises.

All you need is a mat to get your started on your Pilates exercises for beginners.

I hope you enjoyed reading and watching the videos!

Sign up to my email list below for more Pilates tips to come.

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