Pilates is a great, low-impact way to exercise, capable of strengthening your muscles while improving balance, flexibility and coordination. It's popular right now too — the #Pilates tag currently has more than two billion views on TikTok.
Pilates sessions consist of a series of repeated movement patterns. These movements are designed to build strength in the engaged muscles while improving your mobility.
The aim is to do maintain a controlled purposeful pace during each move to create an awareness of your body, rather than trying to perform these exercises as quickly as possible.
If you want to try Pilates for yourself, this equipment-free, 15-minute routine workout from certified instructor Nicole McPherson (Move With Nicole) is ideal.
The only equipment you might want is a yoga mat to provide grip and cushioning on hard floors. If you don't have one, take a look at our pick of the best yoga mats. The you can follow along with McPherson to practice your technique.
Watch Nicole McPherson's Pilates session
Pilates is ideal for anyone recovering from injury as the exercises are low-impact, putting minimal stress on your joints while still working your muscles. If you're new to this, you can follow this Pilates for beginners plan to get used to the practice.
It's also designed to activate your mind and body, so to really feel the benefits try thinking about engaging the targeted muscles during each movement. This will boost your mind-muscle connection, which can help activate and strengthen the muscles used.
We’d recommend weaving Pilates into your weekly schedule around strength training sessions like this six-move full-body workout, as the two types of exercise complement each other well. Pilates can enhance your mobility and stability, which will help you maintain good form for weighted exercises like the squat and deadlift.
Or, if you’re looking for more of a challenge, invest in one of the best resistance bands. When worn around the thighs, these can add resistance to lower-body Pilates movements and make them slightly more taxing, which is good news for anyone looking to strengthen their glutes and hamstrings.
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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.
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