We recruited our resident Pilates expert Steph Prem to show us some simple beginner Pilates moves. Repeat this routine every day or every second day for two weeks to build a strong Pilates foundation.

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We recruited our resident Pilates expert Steph Prem to show us some simple beginner Pilates moves. Repeat this routine every day or every second day for two weeks to build a strong Pilates foundation.

Pilates roll ups:
It has been said that one Pilates roll up is equal to six regular sit ups and is much better than crunches for creating a flat stomach (YAAS!). Pull your abs in and deepen the curve of your spine as you exhale and roll back towards the mat (vertebrae by vertebrae) keeping the head tucked, the abdominals deep, and the back rounded. Ideally, the legs are kept straight throughout this exercise with energy reaching out through the toes (however, a modification would be to bend the knees). As you come up, keep the chin tucked, the abdominals pulled in tight and exhale as you reach back up toward the toes and into a seated position.

Toe taps and heel taps:
Lie on your back with your arms alongside your hips. Lift your legs up and bend your knees so they are right over your hips and your shins are parallel to the floor (90 degrees).

Pull your bellybutton to your spine. Slowly lower your right foot and leg to ‘tap’ the floor as you exhale. Keep the 90-degree bend in the knee as you lower. Return the right leg to the start and repeat with the left leg. Do 10 toe taps then 10 heel taps each side.

Pilates 100’s
Lie on your back with your knees bent and up in the air, your knees and hips forming 90-degree angles. Your back should be in Neutral Spine. Reach your arms forward, lift your head and roll up to the Pilates Ab curl position with your shoulder blades just off the mat. Start to pulse the hands hard and fast with this breath pattern.

Inhale: Inhale deeply for 5 beats (keep the rhythm with your arms), using accordion breathing. Exhale: Using percussive breathing, exhale for 5 beats. Hold the position and continue pulsing your arms for 10 breaths. Build you way up to 100!!

Cat cow to extension:
Start on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.

Cow: Tilt your pelvis back so that your tail sticks up. Let this movement ripple from your tailbone up your spine so that your neck is the last thing to move. Your belly drops down, but keep your abdominal muscles hugging your spine by drawing your navel in. Take your gaze up gently up toward the ceiling/sky without jamming your neck.

Cat: Tip your pelvis forward, tucking your tailbone. Again, let this action move up your spine. Your spine will naturally round. Draw your navel toward your spine. Drop your head. Take your gaze to your navel. Repeat the cat-cow stretch on each inhale and exhale, matching the movement to your own breath.

Extension:
From a 4-point kneeling position, maintain a neutral spine and abdominal activation throughout. Combining both right arm and left leg extension. As limbs are lifted from the floor, the body becomes less stable and the stabilising muscles must work harder to maintain correct alignment and balance. Alternate each side.

Mermaid stretch:
Get legs into a ‘mermaid tail’ position as above. Inhale into the side bend, reaching one arm overhead. Side bend further until you feel an ideal stretch along the top side of the body. Exhale and hold. Take one more deep inhale and exhale. Repeat opposite side and opposite legs.

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