Build strength and flexibility without any equipment using this 15-minute Pilates routine

Target a wide range of muscles with these effective compound moves

Man doing bird dog exercise at home watching laptop
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've never tried Pilates before, you might be surprised at how effective it is at building strength. Its slow, controlled movements force you to isolate and challenge your muscles using just your body weight.

Pilates instructor Katie Pierce recently shared a Pilates workout that targets a wide range of muscles in your core and lower body. It's ideal for people who want to build strength without putting pressure on the joints, which is a risk associated with lots of cardio and weights-based activities.

The workout only takes 15 minutes and doesn’t require any equipment, but you might find it useful to have a good yoga mat to hand.  

How to do Katie Pierce's Pilates workout

Take a look at Pierce's Instagram Reel and the caption for the repetitions required for each move. 

If you want a longer workout, you could do multiple rounds of this routine. Or team this session with this five-minute upper-body Pilates workout, to hit an even wider range of muscles 

How it works

This routine involves lots of pulsing exercises. To pulse a movement means you'll do several small and restricted repetitions of it, usually at the hardest point of the exercise, rather than moving through its full range of motion. You usually do this after completing a certain number of repetitions of the conventional exercise.

Pulsing is one way to increase the time your muscles are under tension in one position, forcing them to work harder. Doing this can improve your muscular endurance, which is your muscles' ability to contract for prolonged periods. Have a look at these exercises for muscular endurance if you want to learn more. 

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.