If you’re not an exercise person, starting any new fitness program, including Pilates, can feel a little overwhelming. Well actually, even if you do exercise a lot, practicing Pilates can still feel a little nerve wracking. As a Pilates instructor and Yoga teacher, we both remember this feeling when we started Pilates. Feeling embarrassed, feeling inadequate… like we did not fit in.
We found, when entering the world of Pilates, there was a feeling of superiority. We think this is because Classic Pilates (invented by Joseph Pilates) has a fairly rigid way of teaching so it probably flows on from this. We don’t teach in this way, it might not be the traditional style of Pilates, however, it’s more functional, more accessible and a whole lot more fun (we reckon!). The classical style definitely is preferred by many, not us.
Our goal is to help you feel excited to begin your Pilates practice. This is why we add the principles of joy and self-acceptance to the more traditional Pilates principles that include concentration, centre, breath, precision, fluidity and control.
This is also why we love teaching online Yoga and Pilates classes. We want to remove the friction and stress that stops you walking into Pilates Studios. We want you to feel empowered and confident to roll out your mat and press play on a Pilates workout class, even without an in person teacher or personal trainer! Really, the best part about a home practice is there is no one else around you, you don’t need to worry about what you’re wearing, how you look or how fit you are.
The best part about our MerryBody Online Pilates classes is that we are always available, for any questions about moves, for motivation or any kind of help you might need. You will feel supported.
Feeling inspired to try out Pilates? Here’s a class!
5 Pilates Exercises For Beginners
Pilates is a form of exercise that will increase your strength and flexibility. It’s a practice where you can use many pieces of equipment like the reformer or Pilates ring, however, mat Pilates allows you to practise anywhere and anytime. All you need is your body, an online class and a Yoga mat.
This move works your booty, thighs and even your core. You’ll also feel your heart rate increase and might even work a bit of a sweat up!
Begin by laying on your back, feet flat on the earth with the knees bent. Arms are down by your side. Ensure the head and neck feel stable on the mat, gaze up towards the ceiling.
Inhale to prepare, exhale and press the feet into the mat, lift the booty towards the sky. Ensure you maintain a rib-to-hip connection, this creates stability. Inhale to lower and repeat 20 times.
Lying Leg Extensions
We love this move so much. Not only will you strengthen your booty and hamstrings you’ll also work your back.
To set this move up, lay flat on your tummy and place your hands in front of your face, palms down and stacked on top of one another. Place your forehead on top of your hands.
Extend your legs long behind you, inhale to prepare and exhale lift your right leg. Point your toes and lengthen the leg, it’s not about height, it’s about control. Aim to lift the whole single leg without bending the knee. While you are lifting the right leg, press the top of the left foot into the earth. Continue for 10, then swap to the left side, then do 10 alternating sides.
All 4s Arm and Leg Reach
Ahhh, we love all 4s mat work. It’s a total body workout. Not only working the arms and the legs, you’ll work the core, the booty and the back! Boom. Talk about effective movement.
Let’s set it up! Start on your hands and knees. Make sure the knees are under the hips, the wrists are under the shoulders. The neck is long. The core is strong with a rib-to-hip connection.
Extend your right arm out in front and your left leg out behind touching the Earth. Inhale to prepare and exhale lift both the leg and the arm to shoulder height. Not too high, maintain the stability and integrity of your spine. Repeat 20 times. Then switch to the other side!
A perfect option is split up the legs and arms. Do 20 lifts of each leg and then do the same with the arms. This really is the perfect place to start for a Pilates newbie!
Ahhh we love planking! We truly believe it’s the best way to increase your core strength, plus you also work your arms, legs and back. Whole body Pilates workout, tick!
Place hands down on the mat, shoulders above wrists, step your feet back behind you and tuck the toes. Option, lower knees down to the earth, this is the perfect place to start!
Hold and breathe for 10 counts. Drop to child’s pose and repeat 3 times.
The simple and effective squat will work your booty, thighs and core. It’s one of those moves where you can literally do anywhere. Have a spare few minutes? Try a set of squats now!
Start standing, hands on the hips, feet parallel about hip-width apart. Inhale to lower the booty, making sure your booty goes back behind you (like you’re sitting in a chair). Exhale to lift back to standing. Repeat 20 times. Then stay nice and low and pulse for 20. Hello, booty burn!
Alright, it’s time to do some Pilates. Sign up over HERE and we’ll send you the perfect Pilates for beginners class. If you have any questions, let us know!
Emma + Carla