Effective Pilates Reformer Exercises to Try in 20 Minutes - The Pilates Shop

Effective Pilates Reformer Exercises to Try in 20 Minutes

Prone Leg Lifts

Prone Leg Lifts are a great place to start if you’re just getting started with Pilates Reformer exercises. This is an exercise that works your hamstrings, core and back, but also requires balance and flexibility to do it right. In terms of the benefits, Prone Leg Lifts help improve your strength, balance and flexibility as well as posture.

If you have any knee issues or back problems, this may not be the best exercise for you since it puts pressure on both areas which could cause further damage. However, if you don't have any injuries that would prevent you from doing this exercise then go ahead! It's a fantastic way for beginners to work up their core strength without having too much strain on their joints or other parts of their body such as knees (if they're prone).

Spine Twist

With the spine twist, you'll be focusing on posture and breathing. The goal is to keep your back straight and as neutral as possible while bringing fluidity into each movement. The key here is to engage your core muscles throughout the exercise so that you can strengthen them over time. As you exhale, slowly rotate at the waist with control until both hips are facing forward again (foot position doesn't change). Then inhale and slowly rotate back up until you reach a neutral standing position again.


A hundred is a classic Pilates exercise that can build up strength in your core, arms and legs. It can also be used as a cardio workout to increase your heart rate.

The Hundred is simple to learn, but hard to master. It begins with lying face up on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the mat and arms resting at your sides. Inhale deeply as you raise both legs straight up so they are parallel with the floor (as if sitting down in a chair). Exhale as you slowly lower one leg down towards the floor while keeping it fully extended (keep it straight). Repeat this movement using each arm for 100 times or more before switching arms/legs back into starting position; repeat for the other side of the body.

Single-Leg Pull (Arms)

The Single-Leg Pull (Arms) is an excellent exercise for developing the abdominal muscles and supporting the core.

  • While lying on your back with the straps at waist height, grab each strap with one hand.
  • Extend one leg out straight in front of you, keeping the other bent at 90 degrees. Lift both arms overhead so that they're parallel to the floor and can be seen from above.
  • Keeping both legs straight and softening through the belly button region, pull one arm down toward your ribcage while raising your other arm up as far as possible without arching or flattening out your lower back (which would cause strain). Keep breathing deeply throughout this movement.
  • Repeat on the other side by switching arms so that each is performing half of this motion (i.e., when one arm is pulling down toward its respective hip bone while simultaneously raising its opposite counterpart).

Bridging Push-Up

The Bridging Push-Up is a Pilates exercise that uses the Reformer springs to support your body weight. It’s a great way to build strength in your triceps, shoulders, and lower back.

The key to doing the exercise correctly is going slowly and focusing on your breathing. You should always keep your elbows tucked in at about 45 degrees from the ground, so you’re pushing away from the Reformer rather than pushing up. Your hips and legs should be high in the air as well—and make sure they stay straight throughout!

Side Leg Series

This simple move is a great way to get your heart rate up. First, lie on your right side and stack your right leg on top of your left. Keeping both legs straight and slightly bent at the knee, lift them up and down as if you were marching in place. Repeat this movement 20 times before switching sides. Hold on to the sides of the reformer for stability as needed.

Try these pilates exercises in your home!

You can do pilates exercises from the comfort of your own home. Pilates is a great way to stay fit and flexible, even if you have little time or money to spare.

Pilates exercises are effective for all age groups and ability levels. If you've never tried pilates before, it's a great place to start because there are no high-impact moves involved (so if you're not used to exercising, that'll be easy on the joints). And experts can find unique challenges in each exercise—for example, advanced practitioners might use resistance bands and weight vests during their workouts.


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