This 30-minute, no-equipment Pilates routine builds strength and protects your joints

Improve your posture, boost your core stability, and avoid injury with this full-body Pilates session

woman doing Pilates workout at home
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ekaterina Goncharova)

You don't need to lift weights to strengthen your body—Pilates is a great way to improve your flexibility, develop your core muscles and increase your balance using just your bodyweight. 

So, we recommend unrolling a yoga mat and giving it a go with this 30-minute routine from personal trainer Roxanne Russell. It helps build strength all over your body, boosts your joint health, and improves your posture. 

If you've not tried Pilates before, it's similar to yoga, but instead of holding static poses, you keep your body moving to engage your core muscle—the area of muscle around your stomach responsible for balance, stability, circulation, and performance.

So, you'll get some of the benefits of yoga while doing plenty of core strengthening exercises that'll help with everyday activities like standing, sitting, carrying groceries, and lifting objects. 

This is a guided routine, so you can follow Russell's video below to perform the moves alongside her. Try to copy each of her movements to nail your form, and listen out for her handy technique tips which will help you get the most out of this session. 

Watch Workout With Roxanne's 30-minute Pilates routine

Pilates routines like this one use simple, controlled, and repeated movement patterns designed to increase the strength and endurance of your muscles, as well as improving your flexibility, posture, and balance. 

It provides a comprehensive core workout for beginners and experienced exercisers too, with many of the exercises requiring impressive levels of midsection strength and control. 

Many people like to use Pilates as a cross-training workout. If you're a regular runner or enjoy challenging training styles like high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), Pilates can be a fun way to mix things up and take your training at a slower pace. 

It also complements other exercises, helping you build the joint strength and core stability you need for strength training, hiking, and yoga. If you want to get stuck into a program, our Pilates plan for beginners is a great place to start. 

Although working out to build strength is a worthy goal, exercising for happiness is just as valuable. You can do this or any other routine because it feels good and that's one of the best self care ideas you can do to protect your wellbeing without breaking the bank. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors,, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.