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Video:How to Do a Pilates Routine for Beginners

with Katrina Hawley

Getting into Pilates as a beginner is easier then you think. Here's a great pilates routine for beginners in this health video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do a Pilates Routine for Beginners

Hi! This is Katrina Hawley for About.com. Today, we want to demonstrate a basic Pilates mat workout.

Pilates Warm Up

First, we're going to warm up our spine in a quadruped position. First, on our hands and knees, we're going to flex our spine by dropping our head and tail towards the ground. Inhale as we reach our head away from the ground, making your spine as long as it can possibly be. Continue moving your spine, loosening up all the muscles around each vertebrae.

Doing the One Hundred

Next, we'll start with a classic Pilates exercise, the One Hundred. As a beginner, you want to start with your feet down so you can really get proper alignment of the rib cage. Then you're going to exhale - lift your head, neck and shoulders - reach your hands past your hips, and begin pumping your arms. 5 pumps for an inhale, 5 pumps for an exhale.

Pilates One Hundred Variations

If you want to progress this exercise, you can pick up one foot, and then the other. It's a little more challenging keeping the spine stable while having the feet in a 90/90 position. Even further, you can straighten one leg and then the other, continue pumping your arms. Inhale for 5 pumps, exhale for 5 pumps.

Lumbar Pelvis Stability with Toe Taps

Now, we'll work on lumbar pelvic stability with an exercise called Toe Taps. Lying on your back with your head, back and shoulders nice and easy, you want to hold your legs in a 90/90 position. From here you'll take an inhale, exhale, tap one toe on the ground, bring it back up, inhale into the back of your ribcage, exhale, tap the other toe on the ground.

Pilates Extensions

Now, roll over onto your belly - you want to work some extension. With your hands by your shoulders, you want to take an inhale as you reach away from your tail. Lift your head, neck and shoulders, lengthening your spine as you lift. Exhale. Hollow out your abdomen as you lower back down. Inhale - reach your head away from your tail. Lift your head and shoulders. Exhale - lower back down.After these various exercises, it's important to give your body a chance to assimilate all that it's learned. Press yourself back. Let your bones reach back towards your heels and find a few breaths, breathing into the back, and letting the tissues of the back release and breathing in, and release. Go ahead and stay in this position for about thirty seconds or so. It's a good way to make sure that your back is nice and long, and it's a good way to let your body incorporate all that it's learned.

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