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Pilates Advanced

Class information for those who are in my Advanced classes

Important First

The following information is for those students who are in my advanced classes. The information on this page is incomplete and therefore should not be used as an exercise guide for those who are not in my class!

 Make sure you ALWAYS warm-up before you exercise! Check that you have enough room to perform the whole move in a safe way, before you start. And if you are unsure about any part of the move or explanations, please come and ask me first.

miranda 5 pink 2011


The exercises are currently not in the original sequence.

Not all exercises are described yet. Exercises will be added over time.



Shoulder Bridge

Basic set-up position, feet closer to buttocks then normal.

Roll spine of floor, then support back with hands. Weight resting on the heel of the hand, upper arms in line with the body.

Slight one foot out till leg is straight.

Lift leg up on breath in, down on breath out.

Slight foot back to its original place (keep knee in place).

Repeat with other leg.


From shoulderstand stretch legs up straight.

Open one leg to the front and one to the back at the same time, making sure both legs travel the same distance. Return to middle and switch legs.



From shoulderstand bring legs slightly more in the direction of the nose than for scissors.

Move one leg back, bend knee and kick (similar to single leg kick).

On knee bend keep the knee in place.

Stretch leg forward in line with other leg and swap legs.


Shoulder Stand Build up to Bicycle and Scissors.


From the basic set-up position, bend the knees up and stretch the legs up to the ceiling.

Lower back into the floor, navel to spine, breathe in.

Breathe out, scoop rectus abdominus and bring legs overhead.

Stretch back up, supported by hands.

Lift legs straight up, toes pointing at the ceiling.

Bend knees and slowly roll the spine back onto the floor, breathing out.

Place feet on the floor to return to basic set-up position.


Neck Pull


Lay on the floor in the basic set-up position, then stretch your legs out on the floor.

Fingertips around the ears, elbows wide and (almost) touching the floor.

Roll head & shoulders off the floor, then on the breath out & rectus abdominal scope, roll up to sit.

Keep back round and come forward, nose touching knees.

Keep back round as you slowly roll down onto the floor.



Double Leg Kick

Lay on your stomach on the floor, rest chin on the floor, and set-up.

Place hands in small of the back and link fingers.

Lengthen and lift both legs slightly of the floor and bend knees to 90 degree angle.

On the breath out - stretch legs (keeping them off the floor), lift chest of the floor as high as you can, stretch arms out as much as you can.

On the breath in - bend knees and lower chest back onto the floor, hands back to the small of the back.

One Leg Kick

First of all - It is important before you do any exercises to warm-up! Please make sure that you take time to mobilise your spine & warm-up your back muscles (e.g. roll-down from stand) before the exercises that work the back hard and your quadraceps (front upper leg musles - e.g. heel to bum stretch) before this exercise.

For the exercise lay on the floor on your front (as for swimming).

Arms as in Swan Dive, elbows a little wider apart, hands in slight fist.

Legs from hipsocket slightly lifted off the floor.

Breathe in, bend one knee to 90 degree angle, then kick your ankle to bum.

Breathe out, stretch leg out.

Repeat with other leg.


Swan Dive

Set-up as for swimming/ seasaw.

Transverse abdominals & gluteus engaged, ribcage towards the floor.

Elbows in line with shoulders, then slightly wider. Fingertips meeting to create triangle.

Legs from hipsocket slightly lifted off the floor.

Arms spread-out, palms of hands pointing back.

Chest towards floor as legs come up - breathing out.

Legs down as chest comes up - breathing in.


Full Saw - as Pilates described the exercise.

Sit with legs wide and spread out arms (just below shoulders). Sit straight (hip & ribcage), equal pressure on both sitzbones.

Breathe in to prepare, on the breath out:

Rotate to one side as far as possible, back palm of hand changes direction, front arm on shin or ankle of opposite leg.

Pulse forward 3x making sawing movement.

Hips still pointing forwards, equal pressure on both buttocks.

Breathe in to prepare, on the breath out:

Come back to the middle.

Repeat to the other side.

The first 10 original exercises are in sequence:



On your back in basic set-up with straight legs. With gluteus contraction knees point to the side, flex feet. Place chin on chest & look at toes. Lift arms slightly off the floor and put hands to feet, contracting back muscles and abdominals.

Lift feet slightly off the floor and count to 100.



On your back in basic set-up with straight legs. 

Roll-up in sequence, arms, head, shoulder and back (on the breath out).

Sit & stabilise shoulders.

Stretch forwards with straight back, followed by rolling down rest of back - aim for nose on knees.

Roll into sit & stabilise shoulders.

Roll-down in sequence, back, shoulders, head, arms. 



On your back in basic set-up.

With back in neutral lift both legs (knees bent) - one at a time.

Lower back into the floor, tilt hip. On breath out, scoop Rectus Abdominus and bring legs overhead.

Spread legs out (if possible toes reach the floor above the head).

Stabilise the shoulders, and roll the spine slowly back onto the floor until legs are straight up.

Repeat with legs spread and rolling back with legs closed.

Bend knees and place feet back onto the floor.


1-LEG CIRCLE (both ways)

On back in basic set-up with straight legs.

Bend one knee up and stretch leg out. Keep spine into neutral. Leg on floor - knee & toes facing up. This leg stays in this position throughout the move of the other leg. Shoulders maintain stabilisation and stay on the floor.

Circle leg, starting crossing-over. Continue to lower leg towards the leg on the floor. When legs are parallel, stabilise hip. Bring leg sideways (knee pointing up) to 3/4 of circle. For last 1/4 rotate leg out, but maintain hip in neutral. Circle the other way (same technique as first circle.

Swap legs.


ROCKER (rolling-back)

Sit, knees bend, feet & knees hipwidth apart, lengthen spine, chin on chest.

Lift feet of the floor, feet & knees together, hug legs - ideally at ankle level.

Keep distance between heels & buttocks the same thoughout the move and keep chin on chest.

On the breath in, round back on roll backwards.

On breath out, come back up into sit, stabilise shoulders and keep feet of the floor.



Set-up position as 100 - knees bend.

Lift one leg up and place hands on knee.

On breath in, pull knee on chest.

On breath out, swap legs.

Keep upperbody still. On swap, spine in neutral.



 Set-up as One Leg Stretch.

Bend both knees up and place hands on knees.

On breath in, pull knees to chest.

On breath out, stretch and bend knees.

Keep upperbody still. On breath out, place spine in neutral.



Sit with your legs spread wide and back straight, shoulder down and stabilised. First lean forward with straight back, then roll-down spine and reach forwards with arms. Hold for 15 sec.

On breath out, gently increase the stretch. Hold for 15 sec.

Repeat one more time.



As Rocker, but with legs spread-out, up and straight.

Stabilise shoulder on up.


CORK-SCREW (figure 8)

From basic set-up position. Stabilise shoulders, arms slightly away from body.

Bend both knees up and stretch legs up - ankles and knees together.

Keeping spine straight (rotating around own axe), circle legs to one side.

On half circle (legs in front of hips), lift legs up on breath out.

Circle legs to other side and back up through the middle on breath out.

On leg lifts, keep spine in neutral.


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