Thanks to the beauty of the internet, staying healthy and taking care of your body no longer requires a bank-account-draining gym membership. Pilates is one exercise that tones your muscles, strengthens your core, increases flexibility, and improves posture – all in one session. The exercise focuses on slow, controlled movements, delivering unparalleled health and fitness rewards to those who incorporate the practice into their self-care routine.
The best part? You can do Pilates with zero equipment, which is why it’s the highly-praised superhero of at-home workouts. Whether you’re looking for a quick, five-minute sweat snack or you’re ready to commit an hour to your mat, an exercise-induced endorphin boost is worth every second of it. In addition to helping you achieve a toned, leaner look, Pilates lowers stress levels, helps alleviate anxiety and depression, enhances mood, and inspires confidence.
Because of its low-impact movements, Pilates is perfect for everyone - from beginners to fitness veterans. By placing an emphasis on gentle, deliberate movements, you’ll activate your muscles on a deeper, more dynamic level.
With all the noise clogging up the internet, and the possibility of spending hours upon hours searching for quality content, I’ve rounded up the best online Pilates workouts to keep you safe from decision-fatigue. Create a strong foundation and target more muscles than just your core – all from the comfort of your living room floor.
5 Things to Do Before Beginning Your Pilates Workout
Create Your Workout Space
Whether you’re city-living in a small, shared apartment, have a roomy home, or prefer taking your sessions outdoors, make sure you clear a space that provides enough room for you to exercise. Hint: as long as you can fully spread your arms without touching the wall (or another object), you’re good to go!
Like a challenge? Grab These Extras
Before you perform your pelvic curl, you’ll want to grab hold of a few items that’ll make your workout safe and comfortable. First, you’ll need a mat. If you’re exercising on a carpet, you can get away with a thinner, cheaper option. On a hard floor, however, I recommend purchasing a thicker style, as it’ll cushion your spine and provide optimal support for your body.
For those struggling to loosen up tight muscles, a resistance band will be your go-to pal. Depending on your experience level, be mindful of the thickness of the resistance band you select – most brands are color-coded to signify the tension level (i.e. light, medium, heavy, etc.). They’re versatile, inexpensive, and help condition different muscle groups.
If you’re just beginning your Pilates journey, or you’re prone to back pain, you can alleviate pressure and enjoy a little extra support by placing a cushion underneath your backside. On the other end of the spectrum, you can level-up your workout by adding a Pilates ball to your routine – it’ll provide a more challenging session.
Be Mindful of Your Breathing
Without exercising mindfulness and focusing on your breathing technique, you won’t be able to perform the exercises to the fullest extent. Oftentimes, without even realizing it, we hold our breath while practicing different movements and poses. To ensure you’re targeting the right muscle groups, make sure you breathe deeply as you go through the workout. Pro Tip: Concentrate on pulling your belly button in and up.
Switch Your Phone to Silent Mode
While we live in an always-on culture and tend to have a proclivity for rushing to our phones as soon they chime, texting and social media can wait until the end of your session. Pilates calls for a level of focus, precision, and concentration that is impossible to achieve if you’re receiving a slew of Instagram notifications while you’re in exercise-mode. Put your phone on silent and leave it in another room or somewhere it isn’t easily accessible. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did.
Sorry, Mr. Whiskers, Your Human Needs Some Space
The last thing you want is to perfectly nail your Teaser (similar to calisthenic V-ups), only to be knocked over or thrown off balance by one of your furry four-legged friends. Sure, they mean well. Heck, they probably want in on the fun. But in order to reap the most benefits from your Pilates workout, you’ll need to kindly ask your cuddly pooch or fluffy cat to hang in another room for a little while.
The 10 Best At-Home Online Pilates Workouts
A convenient way to improve flexibility, balance, and core strength? Yes, please.
1. Let's Start Pilates - Best Online Pilates Program for Beginners
For those just beginning to explore the plethora of benefits Pilates offers for building a mind and body you LOVE, this is the class for you! With an online, eBook, and video program, Hande’s workouts provide a realistic, balanced approach to building strength, stability, and flexibility. The STOTT PILATES® certified teacher and wellness entrepreneur takes a mindful approach to health and fitness, giving participants the tools needed to nurture their bodies with the full self-care treatment. Restore and rejuvenate your mind and body from the inside out with her low-impact exercises, gentle guidance, and support.
2. The Balanced Life Pilates with Robin Long – Gentle Morning Routine
Setting aside a small block of time each morning to stretch yourself out will give your mind and body an energy boost. This video provides gentle warm-up exercises with simple, slow moves, that’ll leave your mood completely uplifted. Robin uses several calming breathing techniques while providing an ample routine to get your blood flowing. It’s the perfect low-key solution for lengthening muscles and alleviating pain without going over the top.
3. Lottie Murphy - 3 Minute Inner Thigh Burn
This workout is ideal for those focused on toning their inner thighs. Not only will it help improve your confidence, but in three minutes, Pilates instructor and blogger, Lottie Murphy, shows viewers how to address this hard-to-tone area of your legs. Demonstrating her five favorite moves, Lottie helps women tackle this often underworked area of the body.
4. eFit30: Katie Mackenzie - Pilates for Lower Back Pain
If working from home, binge-watching too much Netflix, or a sports injury has left your lower back feeling less-than-stellar, Katie provides a 15-minute workout focused solely on strengthening the core. Her exercises are designed to improve the flexibility and stability of your lower back through gentle movements and safe strengthening exercises. If you find yourself dealing with mild to moderate lower back pain on a regular basis, this routine is a super effective way to melt away some of that unwanted tension.
5. The Live Fit Girl - Total Body Pilates Flow Workout
This 20-minute full-body Pilates workout is taught by Deanna Dorman, a celebrity Master Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Pilates instructor. The exercises will help you build strength, balance, and endurance – all while recharging your body and mind.
6. Trifecta Pilates - Full-Length Pilates Mat Class
Been in the Pilates game for a while, but hate leaving the house? Beth Sandlin, founder of Trifecta Pilates, hosts this advanced hour-long class for those who like a challenge. The video is shot straight from her home, but don’t let that deceive you. This routine is chock-full of classic Pilates moves, like the Corkscrew, Teasers, and the Roll Over.
7. FitnessBlender – At Home Pilates Butt and Thigh Workout
Looking for another option that dons zero equipment? This 35-minute class starts with a feel-good warmup and ends with a satisfying post-workout stretch. During the session, Kelli will be guiding you through a sequence of lower-body Pilates movements, including traveling hip bridges and clamshells. This workout packs a punch with little rest time and lots of action, so bring a towel to wipe off all that salty hard work.
8. Blogilates – INSANE Abs & Obliques Workout
Want to really solidify the strength of your abs and achieve toned sleek obliques? Cassey Ho, the creator of Blogilates, will take you on an 8-minute workout that works all the muscle groups around your core and waistline. This is a quick, easy-to-follow at-home class that will help sculpt your midsection with the following exercises:
9. Advanced Pilates Abs Workout with Rebecca Louise
Trainer and fitness influencer, Rebecca Louise, takes viewers on a waist-focused workout using advanced Pilates sequences. This 10-minute Pilates home workout is certainly not for beginners. These core exercises are designed to accommodate healthy lifestyle choices, slim your sides, and leave you feeling great – because let’s face it, soreness = satisfaction.
10. POPSUGAR Fitness – 45-Minute Cardio Pilates Total Body Workout
For all the cardio-lovers out there, this POPSUGAR workout will get your heart-rate pumping while running through a series of strengthening Pilates exercises. The class is led by the founder of San Francisco’s Burn Pilates Studio, Lisa Corsello. Expect to sweat as this high-energy routine incorporates a set of light hand weights and mountain-climbers into a full-body Pilates workout. Every move is demonstrated in a slow fashion to ensure you’re using the right form and maximizing results.
Ready to start thriving!? Experience the benefits of Pilates for your Body + Mind by joining my life-changing online program today!