Home Based Pilates For Optimal Effectiveness

Home Based Pilates For Optimal Effectiveness

If you are a gym fanatic, then it is time to pull out your gym mat. Just get ready to perform some serious moves that will not only satisfy and stabilize your core but also to strengthen it. what is this about? Well it is about Pilates.

Pilates – Strengthening Your Body

The main thing about Pilates exercise is that it is done in a specific order, especially one after the other. Here the movements have specific names like “Criss Cross”, “The 100”, “The Swan”, and “The Elephant”. Of course, you might feel that the moves look simple, however, you might be in surprise as these take a lot of control as well as precision. Frankly, it is not just like doing crunches. Here there is a huge emphasis on the technique.

The best part is that you can do Pilates on any exercise mat, that is either at home or in a class, also using a DVD. Besides that, you can even go to the gym or any studio that has special equipment, or a trainer who can supervise you. Now Pilates is done, or you can say takes about 45 minutes to an hour. But you have the option to do fewer moves in less time.

Most importantly, Pilates will make you become stronger, get more sculpted muscles, and of course become more flexible. In addition, you have the advantage of getting a better posture and even a good sense of well-being. Here it is all about doing workouts and it should be done for a few days in a week. Besides cardio, you can continue to do Pilates as it is not aerobics.

Pilates – Medium Intensity Level

Of course, you might seem to feel that Pilates is demanding. However, it is not the type of workout that will end up making you feel sweat. Here, it is all about breathing and concentration. However, you will seriously feel the effects of the exercise routine in your muscles while doing the exercise.

Areas Pilates Will Target

The major focus of Pilates is right at the core, but you will always see the strength gains in the legs as well as arms. Movements and positions are simply used to activate the core rely which switch on the extremities for controlling. Also, you can apply loads to the core, and this will simply benefit you from Pilates.

Type or Kind of Body Benefits with Pilates

  • Flexibility – Of course, with Pilates you can get a good amount of flexibility. The Pilates exercise will help in boosting your joint mobility and flexibility.
  • Aerobic – No, Pilates is not about aerobic. It is not a cardio workout.
  • Strength – Well, this is a positive one. Pilates workout will make your muscles become stronger. Most importantly, your own body weight can be used instead of the weights.
  • Sports – No, Pilates is not like any sports.
  • Low Impact – It is a “Yes”. With Pilates, you can engage your muscles in a strong way, but also in a gentle manner.

Extra Things You Must Know

Besides the above aspects, there are other things you must keep in mind before starting the Pilates exercise. Some of them are –

  1. Suitable for Beginners – Of course, Pilates is very much suitable for beginners. Simply start with basic exercises and then you can move towards the advanced moves ones as and when you get better. First important thing is that if you are starting out, then it is better if you go for a private lesson or class. This will help the instructor to keep an eye on your form and even assist in preventing any kind of injury.
  2. Cost – The best part of Pilates is that you can do it at home, simply at the cost of a Pilates DVD (which is roughly about $10-$15). Otherwise you can try the Pilates class. Most of the Pilates classes charge somewhere around $50 or more for private session. For group session, it is a about $10-$25.
  3. Outdoors – Pilates is not something that can be done outdoors. For outdoor exercises, you better hit the gym or do something outdoor.
  4. Home – Well, yes. Pilates is practically a home-based exercise regime. Just pull out the mat and press the play button of your DVD player. No doubt, it is a convenient home-based workout.
  5. Need of Equipment – At home, all you need is just a mat. While in certain gyms, there are special machines for Pilates which are called Reformers. You can try the modified version for your home; however, you might not require it.

Sometimes, you might want to strengthen your pelvis and abdomen. In addition, there might be the need to maintain a good posture. In such cases, Pilates is the best option for you. It will help in building a strong body and mind connection. This will help you to like it, just like how one can enjoy yoga, however, you might have to go for higher intense kind of workout.

Flexibility in Pilates

Another good part of doing Pilates is that it will strengthen and tone your core. It will increase the flexibility of your body. Most importantly, as this exercise is not just designed for any kind of aerobic activity, just make sure not to forget in doing cardio.

In Pilates, it is all about doing precise moves and continuing with specific breathing techniques. So, if you are looking for a less structured program, then this won’t fit you. Also, it won’t be good for you if you are just checking out for an exercise that is like aerobic exercises.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that it can be demanding. So, just make sure to start slowly.

Can Pilates Be Good for People Having Health Condition?

The best part of doing Pilates is that you can tailor it as per your individual needs. So, it means that it can be a great addition to your aerobic workout, irrespective of whether you have issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cholesterol. Make sure to consult with your doctor first.

Pilates And Diabetes

If you are suffering from diabetes, then you really need to make some adjustments about your diabetes treatment. As doing Pilates will add some muscle mass that help your body use the glucose in a better way. Plus, your doctor will easily be able to point out what changes you might need to make. It is important that you inform your instructor that you have diabetes and if there are complications like diabetic retinopathy. In such case, you need to simply avoid certain Pilates moves.

Pilates And Arthritis

Suffering from arthritis, then you must try out the Pilates. This is a strength-training program that is very much important for your exercise program. Various research show that the combination of aerobic exercise and strength training will simply assist in cubing the symptoms and even maintaining the balance along with keeping the joint flexible. Plus, you can get to keep the ideal body weight.

Pilates And Knee Injury

If you have gone through any recent knee injury or back pain, then just put off the Pilates until you are cleared by your doctor. The best part of Pilates is that it will strengthen your quadriceps (muscles). This will even assist in preventing knee injuries and arthritis. Plus, it will even help in preventing greater disability and that too if you have arthritis.

Now this is important that you consult with your doctor if Pilates can be the best exercise for you. If you have lower back pain, sometimes you might have doubts that Pilates can be a good one. The best part of Pilates is that it will strengthen your core muscles which are weak, and this might add more pain to your body. So, in such case, for getting best results, check out with a experienced Pilates instructor in working with individuals suffering from lower back pain.

Pilates And Pregnant

Now if you are pregnant, just check with your doctor. The doctor will allow you to continue doing Pilates if you are doing it already in the right manner and as long as your pregnancy is going well.

Of course, you might have to make some changes as your belly starts to grow. For example, if you are on the first trimester, then you shouldn’t avoid exercising while lying flat on your back. This will end up reducing your blood flow to the baby. Nowadays, you might come across various special kinds of Pilates programs suitable for pregnant women. Just try them.

Pilates Exercise You Can Try at Home

1) Toe Tap

Here you need to lie face up with the neutral spine. Keep in mind that there must be a small gap between the mat and lower back). Along with that you need to knee bent, heels in line, feet flat along with sit bones.

On exhaling, just float legs right one at the time up to the chair position (with your knees bent on 90 degrees). When you are exhaling, try out the alternate tapping on one of the toes to mat, just make sure to go low as much as you can while maintaining the neutral spine. Then you need to inhale for floating the leg back to the chair position. Continue doing these 10 reps on each of your leg.

2) Press & Point (Which Is Also Known as Coordination)

First you need to start faceup using your arms to the side, knees bent and feet right on the mat. Then you need to lift your legs and make sure that it is in the floating chair position one at the time. After that you must bend your elbows to about 90 degrees. After you exhale you need to exhale, curl your head, neck and shoulder right from the lower ribs as well as simultaneously stretching your arms and legs.

Along with that you need to inhale as and when you are pressing the legs open, with slight wider than hip width and then draw them back closed. Then you can exhale and bring the legs back to the starting position, making your body curled up. Just make sure to inhale for releasing the head, neck and shoulders right back down. Continue to repeat this for eight times. To make it easier, keep your legs bent and simply move your upper body.

3) Side Plank Twist

Here you need to lie on your side, right forearm against the mat under the right shoulder. Make sure that the left arm reaches up to the ceiling. Float your hip and waist up to the side plank. Try to focus on pressing right from the hip and the side waist rather than the shoulders.

Get to thread left arm just through the space below of your torso to twist. All you need to do is return to the starting position. Try to lower your hip to the mat. Continue to do these 8 reps on each side.

4) Knees Off

Here just start on all the four knees, then make the toes tucked under. Get the spine reaching long and shoulder blades wide across back. Get to exhale, deeper in your abdominal right to the spine, and make sure that you are floating your knees to the mat in few inches.

Always make sure that the spine is neutral as you are lifting. Also, the knees must be lifted for about two breaths. Even deepening the belly on exhaling is important on each exhale. Along with that lower the knees back to the mat. Continue to do this for 5 reps.


Doing Pilates at home is great. Most importantly, you need to have an instructor or Pilates expert that can assist you. The health benefits that you can have are great but you really need to consult your doctor before you jump into any Pilates exercise


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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