Are you looking for a way to trim that stubborn fat around your core? Are you tired of the same old workout routine on the treadmill or elliptical? If you answered yes, then Core10 Pilates may be an excellent workout for you! Practiced by men and women of all ages and shapes, Pilates is a fantastic exercise class that can help you gain muscle, lose weight, and feel great about yourself.

Before you sign up for a reformer class, it may be a good idea to get yourself familiar with some of the basic mat exercises and Pilates techniques, listed in this article so you can practice at home. These are some well-known Pilates moves for beginners so you can be prepared when it comes time to sign up for a class. Tap HERE for an at-home video where Core10 Pilates‘ Chief Inspirational Officer Wendy Erven, will take you through a 5 minute do-anywhere ab and core workout.

When you’re ready to join a reformer class, check out these videos to prepare you for common exercises on the reformer.

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art Pilates studio in Omaha, look no further than Core10 Pilates. We offer a unique array of athletic Pilates classes for men and women of all ages and fitness levels, and we would love to show you the many health benefits of our full body classes. If you’re interested in learning more about our Pilates studio, or sign up to try 3 classes in 14 days for $49 and experience how Core10 classes are game-changing workouts!

Pilates Mat Move #1: The Hundred

The Hundred is a classic Pilates exercise that you will likely be asked to perform in the beginning of your class. It looks like this picture at Core10, except at home, you’re not using a machine. This exercise hones in on the abdominals, lungs, arms, and legs. It can be very challenging to newcomers at first, but your instructor should be able to show you some modified positions (like bending your knees to make it easier). To perform this Pilates move,

  • Lay flat on your mat, drawing both legs into your chest. Slowly stretch your legs out to a tabletop position, which your knees directly positioned above your hips and your shins parallel to the floor. Straighten them forward as soon as you’re ready to make it more challenging.
  • Lift up your arms about three inches off of the ground, just above your abdominal wall, and start to pump your arms up and down while taking deep breaths, as if you’re pounding a hammer on a nail.
  • Inhale for a count of five (through your nose), and exhale through your mouth for a count of five, repeating ten times without taking a break.

Pilates Move #2: Rolling Like A Ball

Another fun Pilates exercise that you will likely try during your first Pilates class is a move called Rolling Like A Ball. While this move may initially feel fun and silly, it is a simple way to simultaneously massage your back muscles while also working your abs and core. This is a great exercise for beginners because the rounded shape of your spine can help to teach you how to properly and effectively engage your core muscles.

To properly come into this Pilates pose:

  • Come to a seated position on your mat with your knees bent and your feet pointed forward.
  • Hold the back of your thighs with each hand and lift your legs up so they are off of the floor.
  • Keep your knees about shoulder-width distance apart, feet together, and lower your head between your knees to tuck into a tight ball, while drawing your naval in and up.
  • Exhale deeply, scooping your naval in and up to engage your abdominals before you start to rock back and forth like a ball.
  • Exhale and slowly roll backward to the shoulder blades, lifting your pelvis upward (slight pause there -s o slight you couldn’t see it but you can feel it).
  • Then inhale and roll back up to the tip of your tailbone, finding your balance for less than a second before rolling back again.
  • Repeat this exercise ten times.

Pilates Move #3: Leg Circles

Leg Circles are another abdominal-engaging exercise you will find in a Pilates class. To perform this exercise, simply lay down on your mat and extend your right leg straight up towards the sky. Keep your left leg bent with your foot placed flat on the floor. Slowly start to circle your right leg across your body to the left of your shoulder, then back around to your right shoulder, and stop at your nose. While you are performing this small movement, try to focus on keeping your abdominals scooped in. Repeat this ten times before you switch your legs.

Pilates Move #4: Criss Cross

The Single-Leg Teaser is an effective exercise to your body prepared for more advanced moves. To perform this exercise:

  • Lay down on your mat and lift your head shoulders as you draw your legs to tabletop (your calves are the imaginary table).
  • Press your lower back into the floor while you stretch 1 leg straight and pull the other toward your chest.
  • Place your hands lightly on the bending knee as it comes toward you, but don’t use the hands to pull. Think of them as decoration instead.
  • Add in a sensation of pressing your bent knee into your inside hand for extra core work.   Repeat this 10-20 times on each leg.

Pilates Move #5: Criss Cross 

This Pilates exercise is very common and is the next step after Single Leg stretch. It is basically Single Leg Stretch with a rotation or twist of the body. To perform this exercise:

  • Follow the Single Leg Stretch above, and add a turn of your shoulders toward the knee as it bends in toward you. Lead with your elbow toward the sky and you shoulder toward the knee (as well as your knee toward your shoulder).
  • While switching to the other side, try to lift your shoulders and roll toward that other side, rather than laying down and up each time.

We offer intro specials for new students at Core10 Pilates in Omaha, Nebraska. Book a class online today or check out our Testimonials to learn more about Core10. Or get your free at-home ab workout HERE.