Open Leg Balance is one of the best Pilates mat exercises I know testing the strength of the lower abdominals. Core strength is the name of the game here as you will literally lose your balance unless your abdominals are working hard.
One leg circle is a great test of core strength. One leg circle also tones and stretches the thighs.
The hundred is a classic Pilates exercise. It builds core strength, stamina and coordination. To do this exercise well, you must fully engage the abdominal muscles while you practice a dynamic breathing pattern.
How to make a smoothie, with fruit, protein, and vitamin supplements for your pre-workout health shake. Cory Holly, health and fitness expert, gives us his smoothie recipe.
Clam is a simple Pilates exercise that tones the hip and thigh muscles. It is also a pelvic stability exercise. Get free Pilates exercise instructions for clam.
This easy exercise ball exercise helps tone the inner thighs and works the deep hip muscles.
This Pilates Magic Circle exercise opens the chest and shoulders as it strengthens and tones the arms and upper back. It is especially good for the back of the arms, the triceps.
This Pilate move, the opposite arm and leg reach exercise, can help balance and relive back pain by building core strength and stability. Sometimes called bird dog, this exercise is one of the Pilates exercises recommended for back pain.
Scissors is an advanced Pilates exercise that calls for tremendous core strength, shoulder stability, pelvic stability, and hip flexibility. Get instructions for Pilates scissors exercise.
This exercise if often used in Pilates classes as a gentle warm-up for the spine and abdominal muscles. Pelvic curl also works the lower body and helps coordinate breath and movement.
Learn a standing thigh and hip stretch with the exercise ball against a wall. This exercise ball exercise is great for opening the front of the hip and adds a balance and strength challenge as well.
Legs up the wall is a wonderful Pilates and yoga relaxation exercise. It helps swollen legs and tired feet, and encourages relaxation. Get instructions for legs up the wall, also known in yoga as viparita karani.
Learn an inner thigh exercise with the Pilates ring. This is a standing Pilates exercises that targets the inner thighs along with working the hips and abs.
Showing up in both yoga and Pilates classes, child's pose is a wonderful relaxation and stretch exercise. Here are the instructions for child's pose.
We all love an exercise that works a lot of areas at once. Bicycle, done the Pilates way, will work your legs, your butt, your abs, shoulders and arms. Bicycle is part of the free Pilates exercises series online at about.com.
Happy baby is a fun, easy exercise often done in Pilates and yoga classes. It is a gentle hamstring stretch and a back relaxation exercise. Get exercise instructions for happy baby.
Get free Pilates exercise instructions for control balance. This is an advanced Pilates mat exercise that builds on skills learned in the roll over, jack knife, and scissors exercises.
Plank on the exercise ball is one of the best ab exercises. These free Pilates exercise instructions for plank on the exercise ball will teach you to make plank one of the best ab exercises you know.
The C curve is an essential part of any Pilates workout. Once you understand the Pilates C-curve you are well on your way to getting your abdominals working effectively for many Pilates exercises. This short "How To" will help you find the perfect position.
Rainbow is a Pilates mat exercise that targets the hips and thighs. Lying on your side will require a good bit of core strength and stabilization effort from the abdominals as well. You can do rainbow with, or without, a magic circle.
Dart is a back strengthening exercise often recommended for certain kinds of back pain. In In Pilates we learn to use the abdominal muscles to help support this back extension. Get instructions for dart.
This basic leg stretch stretches the front of the thigh and hip. Learn to do it more effectively with pilates alignment.
Knee folds is a Pilates fundamental exercise. It teaches pelvic stability and efficient movement principles. This is one of the Pilates exercises that is often used to help relieve back pain.
Neutral Spine is the natural position of the spine, with all 3 curves of the spine in good alignment. Knowing neutral spine placement is crucial for doing Pilates exercises properly.
Pilates Chest Lift looks a lot like an abdominal crunch, but beware, it's not! Use these instructions to work your abdominals in a way more effective than the common crunch.