A quick, essential level Pilates mat series to do everyday!

By: Carla Ricalis

This week, we’re sharing 10 exercises that can easily be done in under 20 minutes on your own! What a great way to get Pilates in everyday…check out our quick exercise cues and tips below for each one and try to get at least 8-10 reps of each exercise in – we’ll circle back to these in a later post with more challenging variations – but until then, build up your strength and let us know if you have any questions!!

Cat Stretch
1) Start from the tailbone to round and straighten your spine on an exhale
2) Focus on pressing down through your hands and moving your shoulder blades wide as you round your back

Swimming Prep
1) Keep your hip bones facing the floor and the back of your neck long
2) Focus on the torso side of the arm that stays down & think of pulling up your waist while pressing down through the arm

Leg Pull Front 1/2
1) Keep those ribs in! Use an exhale to hover the knees
2) Don’t worry about lifting the leg too high – just a foot hover is all you need

Half Roll Back
1) Use an exhale to roll back and imagine an umbrella opening up in your torso as you do
2) Reach those arms! Keep them active and long as though someone is gently pulling on them

One Leg Circle
1) Bend both legs if you need that stability in your neutral pelvis placement
2) Make your leg movement fluid and constant – play with the size of the circle

Shoulder Bridge Prep 1/2
1) Push down through your feet & feel as though you’re pulling them into you as you push your hips up
2) Activate your arms! Feel the strength through the back line of your arms into your shoulder girdle

Obliques Prep
1) Use your exhale to lift & rotate your shoulder to the opposite outer knee
2) Focus on sliding one side of your ribcage to the opposite hip

Breast Stroke Prep
1) Start the movement by rolling your shoulders back and reach through your arms as you extend your upper back
2) Think of moving your breastbone forward and up, imagining a light shining from it to the top of your mat

Heel Squeeze Prone
1) Keep your knees no wider than the width of your shoulders to really engage the proper muscles
2) As you squeeze the heels together think of your thigh bones being pulled away and then up so you use your gluts (not your back!)

Shell Stretch
1) Keep your knees wide and place yourself so that your breath is deep, relaxed and full
2) Enjoy!

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