Some Pilates Basics

1. Learn the bridge.

There are several Pilates moves that are performed from a supine position (meaning lying on your back). All supine moves will begin with you lying on your back. For the bridge, bend your knees and lay your arms on the ground at your sides, palms on the ground. Plant your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart, about halfway between your bum and where they’d normally be if your legs were fully extended. Then:
Press your weight evenly into your feet, shoulders, and arms as you squeeze and lift your hips into the air until your body forms a straight line between your shoulders and knees. Hold the pose as you inhale and exhale three times.
Lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat five times.

2 Master leg circles.

Straighten your arms and legs and lay your arms on the ground at a 45-degree angle from your body. Keep your left leg on the ground and raise your right leg straight up toward the ceiling. If that is too difficult or uncomfortable, bend your left knee.
Keep your hips stable as you trace five volleyball-sized circles in the sky with your right leg.
Reverse the direction of the circle and trace five circles going the other way. Put your leg back on the ground.
Switch legs and repeat.[3]

3 Do the abdominal criss-cross.

Pull your knees in to your chest. Raise your head and neck and place your hands behind your head. Extend your right leg out straight and gently twist your body so your right elbow moves toward your left bent knee. Bend your right knee and bring it back to your chest again, and as you do so, straighten your left leg out and gently twist your body so your left elbow moves toward your right bent knee. Repeat five times.

4 Master the hundred.

Lie down with your knees, feet, and hands in position as though you were going to go into bridge pose. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders slightly off the ground. Keep your arms straight and at your sides as you lift them off the ground to a 45-degree angle.
As you inhale for five seconds and exhale for five seconds, pulse your arms up and down 10 times.
Repeat this 10 times, for a total of 100 arm pulses.