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Video:Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners

with Donna Zaloom

Want to learn some easy pilates exercises for beginners? This video will teach you how to execute basic pilates exercises on your own.See Transcript

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Transcript:Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners

Hi, I'm Donna Zaloom, owner of Longevity Pilates in Verona New Jersey, and I'm here for About.com to show you a great beginner Pilates workout.

Information About Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners

Pilates is all about precision and control so if you are just starting out, you are going to have to learn some of the basics. I want you to lie down on the floor, if you have a mat, that's great. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Line your knees up with your hips. We're going to learn how to breath.

How to Do Pilates Exercises for Beginners

The first thing we do is put our thumbs on our rib cage and our fingers on our belly. I want you to take a great big inhale. Make your belly rise up. As you exhale, I'd like you to knit your ribs together. Pull your belly to your spine, feel your fingers come closer together. Then release. Again, take a big inhale. Now exhale. Pull the belly to the spine, knit the ribs together, and flatten the waist. This time take your hands and put them down at your side. You are going to peel your body up like there is velcro between your spine and the mat. Now go up and down for about 6 - 8 receptions. The last time you come up, stay up there and pulse your hips.

Adding Onto Your Pilates Workout

Do little pulses up, give your bottom a squeeze. Pulse up and down about 10 times and then roll yourself down. This time I want you to stay in a neutral position and bring both of your legs up into what we are going to call a table top position. That means your knees are lined up with your hips and your heels are lined up with your knees. Take a great big inhale, pull the belly down, knit the ribs together, slide your the arms forward so the shoulder are far from the ears and the back of the neck is long. Take one leg. Lock the knee into place. Now pretend there is a pool of cool water in front of you. You want to try to get your toes near the water and then bring it back up. Alternate.

What's important here is that you are not allowing your back to arch up and down. I would do 10 reps of this. Then, if you are feeling strong with no pain in your back, you can try the same with both legs, but don't expect as much range of motion.

More Instructions for Easy Pilates Exercises for Beginners

Once you feel comfortable with this, you are going to take your hands and place them on the tops of your thighs. Lift your head up and walk your hands up toward your knees. Some of you will get them way up there, some of you will hardly move, that's ok. Walk your hands back down. Beginners often feel this in their neck, remember it should be all abdominals. Remember to nod that chin and pull the belly in as you curl yourself in, almost as if you were in a hammock. Your head gets up first.

Then you walk down. Do 10 repetitions of that. We are going to take this right into the classic Pilates 100, only we are going to do it as beginners with our feet down on the floor. We are going to do some breathing and making a slapping motion like you are hammering nails down into the floor. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. We are going to do this for 20 sets of 5 breaths. Always keep the pelvis in neutral.

The hip bones and pubic bone should be on the same level. If you aren't feeling your abdominals enough while you do this, you can bring your legs up to a tabletop position. You'll work your abs more. Be very careful about keeping your shoulders down. Keep them away, reaching forward. We do a 100 breaths. Then relax.

Thank you for watching, for more information go to Health.About.com.

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