Mat Pilates provides you with a large variety of exercises that need no external equipment just the mat. This makes them convenient for a lot of people who don't have the time for a gym or don't want to buy new equipment.

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Practicing Mat Pilates: Where to Start

Pilates is a form of exercise, developed in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates which is focused on pelvic mobility, core stability, and utilizing the abdominal muscles.

Mat Pilates is a form of Pilates that can be performed on a mat without the need for specialized equipment. These exercises should be practiced by anyone wanting to work on improving core strength, flexibility, balance, and posture. They bring together the work of physical exercising with the mental benefits of yoga.

As mentioned, there are dozens of ways to practice Pilates. Here are some of the best and most common exercises for mat Pilates for you to get into a good form.

The Hundred

To do this mat work, lay on your back and raise your legs while pumping your arms up and down while inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts.


Start by lying on your back. Slowly roll up to a seated position while extending your arms forward, engaging your core muscles along the way. Go back to the starting position and repeat.

Pilates Roll Over Luxeit Blog


For this mat Pilates exercise, lie on your back then lift your legs. Roll them over your head to touch the ground behind you. Make sure your torso is stable. This exercise is especially good for your lower abs as well.

Rolling like a Ball

Sitting on your mat, you balance on your tailbone and roll backward and forward, using your core muscles to maintain control.

This form of exercise improves balance and can also strengthen your core.

Pilates Leg Stretch Luxeit Blog

Single Leg Stretch

Practice this mat Pilates exercise by lying on your back and pulling your knee towards your chest, while the other leg is extended straight out.

Switch legs and make sure you don't rely on the straight leg.

Double Leg Stretch

Similar to the previous exercise, you work by pulling your knees towards your chest, only this time you work both knees at the same time.

For it, you rely more on your core to bring your arms and legs in towards your center and then extend them back out again. It works out your abdominal muscles well.

Strengthening your core muscles is particularly very important for posture. Not many people give enough credit to posture, how much it affects how the body looks, and also how much it affects health as well.

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Pilates Single Leg Circle Luxeit Blog

Single Leg Circle

For this exercise, lie on your back with one leg extended toward the ceiling and the other leg straight on the mat.

Circle your extended leg around in a clockwise direction 5 times, then switch to the counterclockwise direction for 5 repetitions. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Pilates Plank Luxeit Blog


Planks are one of the most effective forms of exercise for the abdominal muscles and core strength.

Begin in a push-up position with your hands and toes on the mat. Engage your core muscles and hold the position for 10-30 seconds. Rest, then repeat for a total of 3 repetitions.

As you get better, volume up the seconds to 40, 50, and then one minute.

Pilates Spine Stretch Luxeit Blog

Spine Stretch

Sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of you, reach forward and roll your spine down. Roll back up, stretching your back and improving flexibility.

Pilates Open Leg Rocker Luxeit Blog

Open Leg Rocker

Balancing on your tailbone, rock backward and forward. Do so while opening your legs wide and maintaining control of your core muscles.

Pilates Bicycle Luxeit Blog


Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Place your hands behind your head, elbows wide.

Then lift your head and shoulders off the mat, and bring your right elbow toward your left knee as you extend your right leg straight. Lastly, bring your left elbow toward your right knee as you extend your left leg straight.

Continue alternating for 10-15 repetitions on each side. This movement is good for both strength and calorie burning.

Pilates Swimming Luxeit Blog


For this exercise, start with lying on your stomach, arms extended in front of you, and straightening your legs.

Lift your chest and legs off the mat, reaching your fingertips and toes away from each other. Alternate lifting and lowering your right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg in a swimming motion, all while keeping your core engaged.

Continue for 10-15 repetitions on each side.


Begin this Pilates lying on your back with your arms stretched overhead and legs straight.

Use your abs to lift your head, shoulders, and legs off the mat, reaching your fingertips toward your toes. Hold for a breath, then slowly lower back down. Repeat for 6-8 repetitions.

These mat Pilates exercises are just a few examples of the wide range of exercises available. They are perfect for beginners as well as for the more advanced. As they don't need you to go to the gym, join a class, or own anything other than a mat, you can practice the movements any time any day.

And there's no better time to begin your fitness journey than right now. Luxeit is determined to be your companion throughout your journey, helping and motivating you while giving you all the information you need to get better and better.

The most important thing is consistency as regular practice can help improve strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

29 febrero 2024 — Terrie Gal

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