Build strength all over and work your core with this 30-minute full-body Pilates workout

Boost your balance, improve your flexibility, and develop your core with this low-impact session

Woman doing a Pilates workout at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You won't always be in the mood for a high-intensity workout, but you don't have to miss out on the benefits, like a stronger core, functional strength, and improved posture. You can ditch the weights and switch to this low-impact Pilates routine instead. 

If you're comparing Pilates vs yoga, the main difference is that Pilates routines are generally more dynamic, using controlled movement patterns to improve your posture, boost your balance, and develop total body strength. 

Helpfully, this 30-minute Pilates class from certified Pilates and yoga instructor Nicole McPherson is a great place to start. You don't need any equipment, except maybe one of the best yoga mats as a grippy surface and for support during floor-based exercises. 

The session includes top core strengthening exercises, like toe taps and crunches, and McPherson also adds several moves to develop functional strength. There's also a cool-down at the end to give you time to stretch after your workout. 

Watch Nicole McPherson's 30-minute Pilates workout

Unlike a HIIT workout or circuit class, the idea behind this 30-minute training session is to complete each exercise at a controlled pace, focusing on your form rather than aiming to see how many repetitions you can tally up in the time. 

Plus, these small-but-effective moves are designed to activate your mind-muscle connection. This helps you become more aware of how your body feels and the difference small adjustments to your posture make in each position. 

This awareness also plays a crucial role in developing mental strength, sometimes known as resilience. When learning how to meditate, you're guided to focus on your breath to bring yourself to the present moment, and activities like yoga and Pilates promote a similar thing through movement. 

If you’re new to total body workouts, you might experience some achiness the following day. This is referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is caused by microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, which our muscles need protein to repair.

While you can get your recommended allowance through your diet, if you need a top up, the best protein powders for weight loss are a great source, and they're low in fat and sugar. Plus, you can blend them into a tasty post-workout smoothie

Becks Shepherd

Becks is a freelance journalist and writer with more than 7 years of experience in the field. She writes health and lifestyle content for a range of titles including Live Science, Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Stylist, The Independent, and more. She also ghostwrites for a number of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. 

Health has been a big part of Becks’ lifestyle since time began. When she’s not writing about the topic of health, she’s in the gym learning new compound exercises. And when she’s not in the gym, she’s most probably reading.