The at-home Pilates workout that’ll tone your whole body

Transform your body in 6 weeks with this Pilates challenge.

Have you just started strength training? Are you getting into running? Or perhaps you’re in a workout rut, looking to get back on track. Whatever your exercise routine (or lack thereof), it’s important to incorporate moves that focus on strengthening your core and toning your body. Not only do they help prevent injury, they’ll improve your overall fitness.

So, with this in mind, we’ve sourced the expertise of One Hot Yoga & Pilates instructor, Tahlia Ware to provide you with a six-week workout challenge, designed to sculpt and strengthen your body from top to toe. Over the next six weeks we’ll be bringing you six different Pilates workouts, each based on one of the principles of Pilates: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow.

Perform these workouts two to three times per week, along with your regular workout regime and watch your body transform. All you need is 20 minutes and a mat.

Week One: Precision

“The principal of Precision highlights the delicate yet deliberate movement that is essential to Pilates. Correct form and alignment is crucial to your practice, as every movement has a purpose and should be executed with absolute precision,” says Tahlia Ware.

1. Roll Over

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Image credit: One Hot Yoga and Pilates | Tahlia wears Running Bare

The perfect exercise to improve spinal mobility, strengthen the abdominals and increase hamstring flexibility. Learn to use the abdominals to achieve spinal articulation and lengthen the back of the body.

  1. Start lying on your back, legs reaching long on diagonal, and arms pressing into the mat beside you
  2. Inhale – hinge legs towards the ceiling
  3. Exhale – articulate the spine up and off the mat reaching the legs overhead, parallel to the floor resting the weight in between the shoulder blades.
  4. Inhale – open the legs hip distance apart
  5. Exhale – gently draw the abdominals in and slowly roll the spine back down onto the mat one piece at a time and lower the legs back onto a diagonal bringing the legs together.
  6. Repeat exercise five times.

Pro Tip: Increase the challenge by reaching the arms back behind you for the duration of the exercise.

Safety Tip: Rest weight in between the shoulder blades not onto your neck when the legs are overhead.

2. Scissors in the Air

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Image credit: One Hot Yoga and Pilates | Tahlia wears Running Bare

The perfect exercise to strengthen the abdominals and increase spine flexibility. Stretch and move the legs while keeping the body still.

  1. Start lying on your back, legs reaching long on diagonal, arms pressing into the mat beside you.
  2. Inhale – hinge legs towards the ceiling.
  3. Exhale – articulate the spine up and off the mat reaching the legs overhead, parallel to the floor resting the weight in between the shoulder blades.
  4. Inhale – Bring the hands underneath the hips, supporting the back.
  5. Repeat 3-5 repetitions.
  6. Exhale – scissor the legs; one leg moves over the head as the other leg moves toward the mat in the opposite direction. Switch legs and continue to scissor.
  7. Repeat scissor action 8 times.
  8. Inhale – bring both legs back towards the ceiling.
  9. Exhale allow your back to roll down to the mat, slowly and carefully, one piece at a time.
  10. Repeat exercise three times.

Pro Tip: Keep the hips and pelvis still as you move legs. Watch your hips throughout the exercise – you can see them!

Safety Tip: Rest weight in between the shoulder blades not onto your neck when the legs are overhead.

3. Control Balance

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Image credit: One Hot Yoga and Pilates | Tahlia wears Running Bare

This advanced exercise strengthens core and hip muscles while improving flexibility and overall body coordination.

  1. Start lying on your back, legs reaching long on diagonal, reaching the arms back behind you
  2. Inhale – hinge legs towards the ceiling
  3. Exhale – articulate the spine up and off the mat reaching the legs overhead, parallel to the floor resting the weight in between the shoulder blades.
  4. Inhale – lift the legs up to the ceiling .
  5. Exhale –lower one leg towards the mat and gently grasp ankle with hands.
  6. Inhale – switch legs, passing mid air
  7. Repeat 3-5 Repetitions
  8. Inhale – bring both legs back towards the ceiling
  9. Exhale allow your back to roll down to the mat, slowly and carefully, one piece at a time.
  10. Repeat exercise three times.

Pro Tip: Learn to perform the ‘roll over’ and ‘scissors in the air’ first as ‘control balance’ combines elements of both exercises.

Safety Tip: Rest weight in between the shoulder blades not onto your neck when the legs are overhead.

4. Side Bend

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Image credit: One Hot Yoga and Pilates | Tahlia wears Running Bare

This exercise will strength the core, side body and shoulder muscles.

  1. Sit to one side with both legs bent, top foot placed in front of bottom foot. Supporting hand lines up with the hip and is slightly in front of the shoulder
  2. Inhale – Press supporting hand and feet into the mat to lift the hips towards the ceiling, straightening the knees and reaching the top arm overhead.
  3. Exhale – with control, return the body to the start position
  4. Repeat five times on each side.

Pro tip: Imagine you are tracing a line across the ceiling with the top arm as you reach it over, creating as much space through the body as possible. Lift the ribs to create a semicircle shape through the body.

Safety Tip: watch the supporting elbow does not ‘lock’ or ‘hyper-extend,’ keep a micro bend in the elbow.

5. Swan Dive

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Image credit: One Hot Yoga and Pilates | Tahlia wears Running Bare

This advanced exercises improves strength and endurance of the back muscles while teaching the body to stabilise during momentum.

  1. Start lying on your stomach, legs hip distance apart reaching back behind you. Elbows bent hands pressing into the mat beside you.
  2. Inhale – lift and lengthen the chest up off the mat
  3. Exhale – maintain the shape through the spine, dive forward reaching arms forward in front of you allowing the legs to lift.
  4. Inhale – keep arms reaching and rock shape back up again
  5. Repeat 3-5 times. Aim to achieve five rocks in swan position.
  6. Inhale – place hands back on the mat
  7. Exhale – lower the upper body back onto the mat

Pro Tip: To lessen the difficulty, keep the hands on the mat throughout the exercise, assisting the body to rock forward and back.

Safety Tip: Watch you don’t over arch the lower back. Focus on keeping the core muscles active to keep the back safe.


Want to continue with the six-week challenge? Try week two’s workout. 

 

 

 

VIAFeature image via One Hot Yoga & Pilates
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Growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney with a love of the outdoors, Georgia has always led an active lifestyle. She has a passion for health, fitness and fashion, and loves to travel and try new things. Along with her position at Sporteluxe, Georgia works as a fit model for global fashion brands including Bassike and Christopher Esber, combining her interest in fashion with her dedication to healthy living. She graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Media (PR and Advertising) and initially pursued the public relations field but was always drawn to journalism due to her love of reading and writing. For Georgia, life is about balance. She leads an active and fulfilled lifestyle and nourishes her mind and body but won't shy away from a burger and wine!