Do this six-move Pilates workout at home to develop core strength without weights

A low-impact routine that targets the core and lower-body—and doesn't require a gym membership

Woman doing a glute bridge on a yoga mat at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Low-impact exercises can help you build strength without putting unnecessary strain on your joints. You can do things like squats, planks and push-ups to build strength, but you can also try workout styles like yoga and Pilates. These are both great for beginners, as they require little equipment and can be done at home.

The below routine from personal trainer Sara Kathryns illustrates just how effective low-impact Pilates workouts can be. It's designed to target the muscles in the core and the lower-body, particularly the glutes.

Kathryns says this is a useful workout for women in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle (when you may be experiencing premenstrual symptoms). This is because it's low impact, so it shouldn't require as much energy as a typical weights workout, though it will provide similar benefits.

Watch Sara Kathryns' six-move Pilates workout

There are six moves in this workout and Kathryns recommends completing four rounds in total, with 30 seconds spent on each exercise and no rest in between each movement. However, you can take one minute to rest in between rounds.

Think about engaging your core throughout the workout to improve your form and increase muscle engagement. To do this, tuck your ribcage in and squeeze your abdominal muscles.

When it comes to Pilates workouts like this one, moving slowly is often the best way to increase the difficulty of the workout. This is because the slower you move, the more you'll increase the time your muscles are under tension, which will help you develop strength.

You can do this workout without equipment, but Kathryns wears a pair of ankle weights to increase the strengthening aspect of it. If you're unsure whether they're worth the investment, read through our interview with an expert regarding the benefits of wearing ankle weights.

Need some support for your Pilates routine? Our guide to the best yoga mats can help

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.