A low-impact Pilates workout is the best choice if you want a full-body workout that’s easy on your joints and body. Even elite athletes incorporate low-impact Pilates into their training to improve their performance. Tennis star Andy Murray has confessed that Pilates has been part of his workout since his surgery in 2013.
Football star Cristiano Ronaldo also includes low-impact Pilates exercises in his fitness regimen to stay in the best shape.
Pilates is great for anyone because they improve your balance, posture, flexibility, and strength while strengthening your core. Fortunately, almost anyone can do Pilates with a bit of practice.
There are two main types of Pilates - simple mat Pilates and reformer Pilates. While the mat Pilates requires a yoga mat to do most workouts, the latter uses a specialized apparatus called a reformer.
This guide is about low-impact Pilates exercises, and we have chosen the best ones for you.
Top 5 Low Impact Pilates Workouts for Beginners
1. Standing roll-down
For this low-impact Pilates workout, you need to follow these steps:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders down, and spine lengthened.
- Taking a deep breath in, draw your stomach muscles upwards to your spine
- Breathe out and bend your neck to tuck your chin onto your chest, let your shoulders fall forward, and your arms dangle down. Keep your knees slightly bent
- Gradually curve your upper back by rolling your spine down towards the floor; focus on one vertebra at a time
- You might be unable to touch the floor if you have less flexibility, but that’s fine. Bend as much as you can while ensuring your tummy muscles are still engaged
- Breathe out slowly as you roll back up and focus on the lower vertebrae to the upper. Use your core muscles to re-stack the spine as you stand back.
2. Thigh stretch
- Fold your legs backward, bringing your knees and tops of your feet directly under your hips while keeping your feet touching
- Hinge your upper body back about 45°. In this position, engage your apps, glutes, and feet
- You must maintain a straight line from head to knees and hold the position as long as you can
- Return to the starting position relaxing your body
If you find this low-impact Pilates exercise too easy, you can make it harder by sustaining the hinge position even lower and left in your arm ten times.
3. Kneeling sidekick
This is a great low-impact cardio Pilates exercise to include in your daily workout.
- Kneel on the yoga mat and lower your left hand to the ground
- Extend the right leg out in the opposite direction while holding your right hand behind your head
- Now start lifting your right leg to hip height, then lower it
- You must repeat this exercise for ten reps
- Then keep your leg at hip height and rotate it in small circles
- Repeat the same movement for ten reps
If you find it challenging to do a kneeling sidekick, you can also perform the exercise while lying down on your side instead of kneeling.
4. Double-leg stretch
This is an excellent low-impact Pilates for strengthening your legs and lower back. It also improves the flexibility of the limbs.
- Lie down with your shoulders slightly off the ground
- Engage your abdominal muscles to support your lower back by breathing in
- Extend your arms by your ears, fully stretching them out straight
- Raise your legs to a 45° angle from the floor; you must feel the stretch in your lower back
- Circle your arms around and hug knees to chest
- Repeat this low-impact Pilates workout for 10 to 15 reps.
You can make the double-leg stretch easier by keeping your legs at a 90° angle and resting your head on the floor if you want to make it harder, scissor legs on top of each other.
5. One leg circle
- Pull your abdominal muscles in and anchor the pelvis and shoulders
- Draw one knee towards the chest and then extend it towards the ceiling keeping it straight
- Inhale and close the extended leg up and over the body; the motion should angle up towards the opposite shoulder, and the outstretched leg
- Exhale while lowering the leg in a circling motion. You must use control as you carry geopolitical and then sweep it around back to the center to the starting position
- Do 5 to 8 circles in this direction and then reverse, starting the circle by exhaling
It would be best to stretch before doing one leg circle low-impact Pilates workout. It would help if you stretched the muscles before switching legs, as you must extend your leg to the side.
To stretch, climb the hands up the outstretched leg and hold the ankle. Remain in this position for three complete breath cycles.
Looking for a Pilates workout plan? Check out our 20 minute low impact Pilates workout by LIT trainer Jazmin.
Pilates Resistance Band Workout
Resistance band Pilates exercises are a great option if you're looking for an effective and low-impact way to tone your arms and abs. You only need a resistance band and a door anchor to get started. To learn how to do these exercises properly, check out this video.
Looking for a resistance band to do low impact Pilates exercises at home? Check out LIT Axis a smart resistance band that can detect your muscle imbalance, track reps, resistance loads and more.
Low-impact Pilates is an excellent workout for the core and overall body strength. It also promotes healthy joints and combines stretching and strengthening major muscle groups on both sides of the body, promoting balance.
The LIT Pilates Reformer machine or our smaller LIT Pilates Resistance Bands is a breakthrough in the industry designed to strengthen and improve your posture, precision, and performance. It is an all-in-one portable Pilates reformer designed with the Low Impact Training (LIT™) principles in mind.
To assist beginners and pros alike, we have LIT Pilates classes available in 10-40 minutes formats. You can achieve a lot more benefits using our Pilates reformer machine.