A Pilates instructor shares a 20-minute deep-core workout that's perfect for beginners

Improve your posture and build core strength with this mat routine from certified Pilates trainer Raven Ross

Woman doing pilates for beginners poses at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're a seasoned gym-goer or completely new to exercise, Pilates can help you increase your core stability.

For those who aren't sure where to start, certified Pilates trainer Raven Ross recently shared a sequence suitable for all levels that targets the deep core muscles.

The deep core refers to the muscles in your core, that are hidden underneath other core muscles, such as the transversus abdominis which is under the rectus abdominis (also known as the six-pack muscles), and the internal obliques, located on your sides underneath the external obliques.

How to do Raven Ross' deep core Pilates workout

Follow along with Ross' YouTube video as she guides you through the workout, which takes 20 minutes.

You can do this workout on its own, or do it before or after a strength workout for a longer session. Try combining it with this beginner's bodyweight workout.

One tip Ross shares that is worth highlighting is to keep your lower back in contact with the mat throughout. This will help you maintain proper form.

You should move slowly through this workout to get the most out of it, and while you may not get out of breath, your muscles will feel on fire. To get even more out of the routine, Ross advises you to develop your mind-body connection.

Mind-body connection is when you deliberately think about the muscles you're trying to use to increase muscle engagement, a theory that is supported by a growing set of studies. Ross explains that you should use the breath to tap into this connection, inhaling and exhaling deeply as you move in and out of movements.

Try to complete this workout once or twice a week to improve your core strength.

If you don't own a mat and you're performing this routine at home, buying a Pilates mat can make the experience much more comfortable. This quarter-inch thick Pilates mat from Merrithew is 25% off at Amazon right now.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.