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Pilates Work-out Ideas

Class for beginner/intermediate level - Strength

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.

About this sequence

If you feel like working a bit harder and want to maintain or build up strength, you can chose exercises from the sequence below. For ideas for the warm-up and cool-down, please look at the "exercise for stretch" sequence.


Make sure you work slow, so you keep the move under control and maintain technique. Remember to engage your core muscles (shoulders, back, rectus abdominus, transverse abs, gluteus, pelvic floor) and keep breathing!


In the sequence I have selected a group of exercises to give you a full body work-out. If you want to target a certain area, just do those exercises and add some that you remember from the class that work the same area.




The Exercises

Roll-down into press-up

From standing, slowly roll-down. Walk-out to straight. Shoulders above hands and stabilise. Bend elbows, keeping your chest between your hands. Stretch elbows. Walk hands back, knees slightly bend, stabilise and roll-up.



On the floor on your stomach, arms in U-shape. Core muscles engaged. Lift your forehead and chest of the floor, supported by your arms. Hipbones on the floor, ribcage towards the floor. Slowly lower yourself back.


Single leg kick

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

Elbows straight underneath your shoulder, then place elbows a little wider apart, hands in slight fist.

Legs from hipsocket slightly lifted off the floor, just enough to give your knees room to move freely.

Breathe in, bend one knee to aprrox 90 degree angle. Breathe out, stretch leg out and swap legs.



Spine stretch

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.



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, hinge one arm forwards and one arm back. Roll down shoulders and upper back - keeping the hip still and place front arm on shin or ankle of opposite leg.


Extend arm forward 3x making sawing movement.

On the breath out: Come back up and rotate to the middle.


Repeat to the other side.


Reverse Press-up

Sit with your legs straight. Place your hands behind your buttocks on the floor, fingers pointing towards your toes. Lift your hips off the floor as high as you can.

Bend elbows and stretch. Repeat.

After your target amount of repeats, place buttocks gently back on the floor.


If you want you can add the wrist stretches here (rotate, fingers up and down, fist & stretch fingers, shake hands loose).



On your back in basic set-up with straight legs. Shoulders flat on the floor and away from your ears. With gluteus (buttocks) contracted knees point to the side, flex feet. Place chin on chest & look at toes. Lift arms slightly off the floor and push hands to feet, contracting back muscles and abdominals.

Lift feet slightly off the floor if you can and count to 100.


Killer abs

Sit with knees bend - feet and knees hipwidth apart, back straight, shoulders away from ears - engaging back muscles.

Lean back with straight back.

Lower right shoulder - hold. Lower left shoulder - hold.

Lift right shoulder - hold. Lift left shoulder - hold.

Come back into sit.

Repeat on other side.


Box leg lifts

From the box position - neutral. (knees under hips, hands under shoulder, shoulders in front of hip, head in front of shoulder, forehead parallel to the floor).

Lift one leg up with knee bend (foot towards ceiling) and pulse gently (small movement) for count of 20-30. Same leg - lift knee to side and pulse gently for count of 20-30. 

Repeat with same leg.


Repeat with other leg.



Miranda 6 pink 2011
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