5 Pilates Exercises for Beginners - To Get You Started - The Pilates Shop

5 Pilates Exercises for Beginners - To Get You Started

Breathing Exercises

It’s easy to get confused about breathing exercises when you first start doing pilates. Some people think that pilates and yoga are the same, but they actually have different techniques for breathing. Pilates uses a more intense breath technique than yoga does, for example—the inhale is longer than the exhale because it’s timed with each movement of your core muscles as you do crunches and other exercises.

If you’re feeling confused about how to breathe effectively during your pilates workout, follow these easy instructions:

  • Inhale through your nose while lifting up off the mat or floor; pause briefly before exhaling through pursed lips (as if whistling). Do this slowly at first until it becomes more comfortable over time under regular practice; then try speeding up after some practice sessions so that both sides of your body are used equally effectively throughout all movements performed during class time!

The Hundred

Begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and place your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor as you reach both arms toward your shins. This pose is also known as 'Yoga Dog.' Hold for 5 breaths before lowering down again to rest in 'Child's Pose.' Repeat six times or until complete exhaustion has set in (whichever comes first).

Roll Up

The roll-up is a simple, classic Pilates exercise that stretches your spine and strengthens your core. It's perfect for beginners as it's easy to master and can be done anywhere—no equipment necessary! Just follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor (or mat). Place hands next to ears with palms facing down, then inhale while lifting hips off of the floor; exhale as you "roll up" one vertebra at a time until the back is completely straight; breathe normally through this movement.
  • Inhale again as you lower your pelvis toward the floor until it makes contact with a mat or carpeted surface (you should feel some tension in your hamstrings); exhale slowly through your nose as you push up from the pelvis one vertebra at a time until the back is once again arched into its full spinal stretch position; repeat this motion 10 times before switching sides but keep going if needed!

Single Leg Circle

Lie down on the mat and stretch both of your arms out to the sides, extending your legs straight and engaging your core. Lift your legs up, keeping them straight and engage your abdominal muscles as you keep lifting up your head and shoulders.

Repeat this exercise several times before lowering it back down to the ground.


The teaser is one of the advanced exercises in Pilates. If you’re new to Pilates and want to get started, this exercise might not be for you. However, if you’re already a pro, it can be a fun addition to your routine.

The teaser requires a lot of core strength because it involves lifting your legs up and over your head as far as possible while keeping them straight (rather than bending at the knee). To make it easier on yourself if necessary, use a towel or pillow behind your head so that your neck doesn’t have to be fully extended during the exercise. Another modification option is to lift one leg at a time instead of both at once—this reduces some pressure on the lower back but still keeps most of its benefits intact.

Start slow and build up your skills, and you'll be a pilates pro in no time!

To get started, it's important to remember that the exercises are all about building strength and improving flexibility. It's also important to know what you're doing, so take your time and make sure you understand how to do the exercises properly before beginning.

Before you start any kind of exercise program, it is good practice to consult your doctor or healthcare professional. If there are any issues with your health or physical fitness level, they will be able to tell you what adjustments need to be made for pilates to work well for you.

As a beginner, it may feel like too much effort at first (and sometimes even later on), but be sure not to overdo things—it's better not to push yourself too hard than risk injury! You might also consider a Pilates Reformer Machine for beginners that provides you with the support and resistance you need. At the Pilates Shop, our reformers also come with a video program so you’re never left guessing what to do next.


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