6 Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners You Can Do At Home

6 Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners You Can Do At Home

Pilates Core Routine: 6 Exercises You Should Do Today | If you’re a beginner to Pilates, this mini Pilates workout is a great way to get started with your practice, strengthen your core, and experience the benefits of Pilates firsthand. Try this workout you can do right at home anytime. | Letsstartpilates.com #pilatesforbeginners #coreworkout #coreexercises #pilatesworkout #pilatesinspiration #pilates

Pilates Core Routine: 6 Exercises You Should Do Today | If you’re a beginner to Pilates, this mini Pilates workout is a great way to get started with your practice, strengthen your core, and experience the benefits of Pilates firsthand. Try this workout you can do right at home anytime. | Letsstartpilates.com #pilatesforbeginners #coreworkout #coreexercises #pilatesworkout #pilatesinspiration #pilates

Trying anything new for the first time can feel…well, a bit intimidating. But, rest assured, It’s a perfectly natural response. Enter: your new favorite endorphin-filled exercise – Pilates. For beginners, Pilates can help you build strength and flexibility in an effective and sustainable way. You can start your Pilates journey at any point in time – being muscular, young, fit, thin, and flexible isn’t a prerequisite here. If anything, all that’s required is keeping an open mind and embracing the numerous benefits you’ll reap from this exercise. 
And the best part? There’s this beautiful invention called the Internet that allows you to stream Pilates workouts online – straight from the convenience and comfort of your home. Battling a busy schedule? Would you rather get a cavity filled than go to the gym? Trust me, I’m completely with you. That was the mindset I had when I first began my own Pilates journey. Forget fancy diets or workout fads; you can attain a lean, toned body (without the Hulk-like bulk) with these at-home Pilates exercises for beginners. 
Ready to give it a try? 

1. The Hundred

Ideal for warming up your body and strengthening your core, the Hundred is a popular Pilates staple. The exercise demonstrates how pairing focused, controlled breathing with precise movements can enhance your mind-body connection
How to Perform:

  1. Lie down with your belly facing upwards. 
  2. Point your toes, squeeze your heels together, and extend your legs outwards at about a 65-degree angle above the floor. 
  3. Using your abdominal muscles, gently lift your head and upper back off the floor. Hold this position throughout the exercise.
  4. Extend your arms straight out by your sides and begin pumping them up and down using your triceps. Inhale through the nose for five pumps and exhale out from the mouth for five pumps. Consider this to be one, complete cycle. 
  5. Perform 8 to 10 cycles. 

Beginner Tip: You can modify this exercise by keeping your knees bent in lieu of straightening your legs. 

2. One-Leg Circle

This movement helps enhance mobility in your hips and hamstrings while also strengthening your pelvic floor. 
How to Perform:

  1. Lying on your back, place your arms flat to the floor alongside your body. 
  2. Exhale and raise your left knee to your chest before inhaling and extending your leg straight up towards the ceiling. Your right ankle should be flexed and the toes of your extended leg should be pointed. 
  3. Holding this position, contract your core muscles, pressing your lower back down into your mat. 
  4. Exhale as you move your left leg clockwise in a controlled, large circle. Pretend you’re tracing circles in the air with your foot as you maintain an engaged core (which ensures your back stays pressed into the mat). Reverse your circles, moving counterclockwise.
  5. Perform 5 reps in each direction before switching legs and repeating the exercise. Aim to complete 3 sets. 

Beginner Tip: Modify this exercise by taking the leg that’s extended flat on the floor and bending it at the knee. Make sure your foot is resting flush against the mat. 

3. The Roll-Up

Beneficial for building abdominal strength and articulating the spine, it’s been said that one Pilates roll-up equates to six regular sit-ups. It’s also said to be more effective than crunches in creating a lean, toned stomach. 
How to Perform:

  1. Lying on your back, extend your arms overhead with your palms facing up. 
  2. Point your toes and make a conscious effort to press your lower back into the floor. 
  3. On your inhale, lift your arms so your fingers are pointed up towards the ceiling. 
  4. Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly begin curling your spine off your mat, keeping your spine curved as you move through the seated position and reach towards your toes. 
  5. On the reverse, inhale and gently roll your spine back down towards the ground vertebrae by vertebrae. 
  6. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. 

Beginner Tip: Need to modify this exercise? Instead of having your legs extended outwards, simply bend your knees, keeping both feet flat against the floor as you curl your spine up. 

4. Side Lying Leg Lower/Lift

This exercise effectively works your abs, including hard-to-reach obliques. By lifting your legs in a controlled manner, you’ll engage your buttocks and inner thighs while simultaneously developing core strength and improving balance.
How to Perform:

  1. Begin lying on your side, legs down on the mat, feet in line with your hips. Both hip bones and the shoulders should be facing forward. Imagine creating one long line from the center of your head down towards the center of your feet. 
  2. Inhale to lift your top leg up, pointing the toes. Keep your hips square and facing forward. Pull the belly in to stabilize your torso.
  3. Exhale and return the leg down towards the mat. Complete 9 more reps without resting the leg down fully. 
  4. Finish by returning your leg down. Repeat with the other leg.

Beginner Tip: Focus on lengthening and intentionally activating all your leg muscles when lifting it up and down with control. By the end of this exercise, your top leg should feel longer than the other one.

5. Single-Leg Kick

The single-leg kick is ideal for stretching your hip flexors and quadriceps, while also building strength in your hamstrings and glutes. 
How to Perform:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your fingers stacked on top of each other. This position helps broaden your collarbone.
  2. Keeping your legs parallel, point your toes while lengthening your spine. 
  3. Prop yourself up on your forearms, as you would for a modified plank, keeping your legs flat against the floor and your shoulders aligned over your elbows. 
  4. Exhale and contract your abdominals.
  5. On the inhale, bend your right knee and bring your heel towards your buttocks using two quick pulses before lowering your leg back to the ground. 
  6. Perform 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each leg. 

Beginner Tip: You can modify your single-leg kicks by keeping your upper body pressed against the mat, folding your arms, and resting your forehead atop the backside of your hands. 

6. Breast Stroke Prep

Highly efficient for stabilizing the scapula – a.k.a. your shoulder blades – this exercise strengthens your upper back muscles, increases flexibility, and improves posture. 
How to Perform:

  1. Begin lying on your belly with your legs parallel and inner thighs pressing together. Rest your forehand on your hands, palms down on the mat. Gently press your pubic bone down to the mat. Inhale to prepare and pull your belly button to your spine.
  2. Exhale to lift your head and upper back off the mat, coming into a low hover position with the upper back. Keep your ribcage, pelvis and feet pressing into the mat. Keep your neck long, gazing down on your mat.

    1. Inhale to hold this position, roll your shoulders down on your back.
  3. Exhale to slowly release your upper back down onto the mat.

Beginner Tip: Focus on actively engaging the upper back muscles without putting any tension on the lower back. Keep the abs flat and engaged.

At Home Pilates Exercises for Beginners

​This beginner Pilates workout is crafted to help you develop a strong foundation – one which you can continue building upon. As the founder of the Pilates exercise, Joseph Pilates, once said, “A few well-designed movements properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortions.” 

I carefully selected these 6 exercises as they encompass the fundamental principles of Pilates, showing you how to move using control, concentration, breath, and fluid motions. The impact? A full-body workout that’ll improve both your physical and mental health. Pilates completely transformed my mind and body – and that’s why I’m incredibly passionate about helping others reap all the benefits this workout system has to offer. Once your endorphins are flowing, you’ll feel a renewed sense of energy, motivation, and self-love. 

Ready to live a lifestyle rooted in wellness, self-acceptance, and true happiness? Discover the power of Pilates with my easy-to-maintain online Pilates program.