At Reformation Pilates at Eastland, Ringwood, we really love our Allegro Reformer machines. That being said, we know that you can’t always make it to class so we want to give you our five favourite, at-home Pilates exercises. Remember to do slow, controlled movements and exhale on the effort.
Pelvic Curl Up | 30 seconds
The Pelvic Curl Up is a staple of any Pilates session. It targets your deep core muscles bringing all-over strength and stability to your body.
1. Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Rest your arms beside your body, palms facing down.
2. Exhale and drop your low back flat on the floor. Lift your pelvic floor up as you draw your belly button towards your spine.
3. Slowly begin to peel your back off the floor starting with your hips. Engage your glutes and curl all the way up until you are in a bridge position.
4. Once you reach maximum height with your hips, reverse the movement and roll your spine back down to the floor. Again, go slowly and keep lifting your pelvic floor the entire time.
5. Once your hips touch down, release the pelvic floor and take a big inhale. On your exhale, lift the pelvic floor and begin the exercise once more.
Roll Up | 30 seconds
This core-strengthening exercise creates strength and stability in the body. The secret is to move slowly so you don’t compensate with momentum.
1. Start lying on your back with your arms beside you, palms face down.
2. Engage your pelvic floor and try to keep it switched on for the entire roll up.
3. Begin the roll up by lifting your head shoulders and arms off the floor.
4. Roll all the way up to seated, engaging your core muscles to lift you.
5. When you get up reach forward towards your toes with your fingertips.
6. Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.
100s | 60 seconds
This is a classic Pilates exercise that engages your deep core muscles and makes them work a bit harder to stabilise with the arms pumping.
1. Begin as you did for the Pelvic Curl Up [Office2] with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Again your arms should be beside you with your palms face down.
2. Start with a pelvic curl. Exhale and drop your low back to the floor as you engage your pelvic floor and draw your belly button down towards your spine.
3. Lift your head, shoulders and arms up off the floor. Look between your knees to avoid creating tension in the back of the neck.
4. One at a time, lift your legs up. You can keep your knees bent at 90° or straighten them for an added challenge.
5. Moving from the shoulder and keeping the arms straight, pump the arms up and down 100 times. The movement is small, controlled and quick.
6. When you reach 100, release your back down to your mat.
Bicycles | 30 seconds
This exercise targets your obliques and tones the side of your tummy. Definitely, a key exercise to incorporate into your at-home routine.
1. Start lying on your back and interlace your fingers behind your head. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
2. Exhale, do a pelvic curl and lift the head, shoulders and feet off the floor. Your shins should be parallel to the floor.
3. Stretch one leg out so that it is hovering off the floor. To make the exercise easier, lift your extended leg further away from the floor.
4. Draw the same shoulder—not elbow—of the extended leg towards the opposite knee. The shoulders should stay lifted off your mat.
5. Switch sides on your exhale. Repeat using controlled movements.
Single Leg Stretch | 30 seconds
The Single Leg Stretch is strength work combined with flexibility. This makes it a great exercise to do at home, especially if you have tight hamstrings.
1. Start lying on your back with your legs lifted up towards the ceiling. Remember to engage that pelvic floor!
2. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off your mat with your gaze between your knees.
3. Bring one leg as close to your face as possible and extend the other leg so that it is hovering off the floor.
4. Grab hold of the lifted leg—on the back of the leg, above or below the knee - and pulse it towards you twice before switching sides.
5. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Repeat each exercise twice to get a quick, effective, at-home Pilates workout when you can’t make it to your regular Reformation Reformer class. Home Pilates is always better than no Pilates, after all!