Toning up my entire body while laying down has always been one of my biggest dreams. Good thing that a few years ago I went to a pilates class in my gym.
At first I thought it’s just another version of yoga – just some slow boring workout for lazy people (btw. I like yoga now).
But pilates turned out to be something completely different.
Similarly to yoga, I did have to breathe like Darth Vader on steroids and be super focused while seemingly doing nada (that’s nothing in Spanish).
Well that nothing I was doing during the pilates class turned out to be very painful. In a good-getting-toned way.
Then my hobby pilates journey began.
I was learning to work teeny tiny muscles in my body while moving like a little porcelain doll (if porcelain dolls had muscles and weren’t freaking me out) and to activate something they called “powerhouse”. I thought “powerhouse” was something “spiritual” like some subconscious mind and law of attraction stuff. Who knew that powerhouse is your core – belly, lower back and hips? Well I knew…after 3 lessons.
The more I did pilates, the more I loved it. It gave me stability, control and toned up muscles in my body I never really thought existed.
I felt physically stronger and I’m not sure if my mind was less messed up, but I sure felt more focused and calmer.
Unfortunately to do pilates at the gym I need to stick to the gym schedule and actually make it there on time. In the last months I prefer to do my workouts in the morning and as quickly as possible. Which means – no time for an hour-long class and to get there.
Solution? That’s right – pilates video workouts.
A special thank you, to all the trainers, who shared these awesome workouts with the world and with me, so we can stay in shape despite all our excuses.
A little bit about pilates
Pilates was created by a German guy named Joseph Pilates during the last century and he actually called it “contrology” (read this on Wikipedia). I guess he wasn’t full of himself to call his program after himself.
Well contrology indeed, because you need to perform all exercises with a very high level of muscle control while also always keeping your core activated and the spine neutral.
Those roll-ups you usually do for your abs quickly? Now you have to take it one vertebrae at a time. Up and down.
With pilates you do small isolated movements and train deeper muscles than you would if you’d do regular strength training. The two words that describe how I feel after doing pilates are: strength and stability.
What you’ll love about these pilates workouts
I selected 10 pilates workouts you can do at home in 30min or less. Those are already 2 awesome benefits (short and at home!), but here are some other ones:
- tone up muscles that you usually don’t train
- you barely need any equipment aside from a gym mat
- if you’re feeling lazy, you get to lay down while still working out (8 of them)
- great to tone up abs and inner thighs
- most of these workouts are also beginner-friendly
- and also they’re free
Tone Up While Laying On You Mat
These are the 8 pilates workouts you can do while just laying on your mat.
Pilates Class 1, Renee’s 30 Minute class, eFit30
This is perhaps the first pilates youtube video I ever did and it is one of my favorites. I just felt like I am in a pilates class with a trainer. Only the class was shorter and I could exercise in my pajamas on the living room carpet.
This is a very effective workout that tones and stretches your entire body. The video might go a little too quick if you’re a complete beginner, but don’t give up. Maybe try one of the 2 videos below first and then go back to this workout as you get more experienced.
Total Body Pilates Beginners | Lottie Murphy
This workout is excellent if you’re a beginner, because the trainer takes the time to explain each movement and it is a full body workout you can do in around 20 minutes.
Total Body Pilates Flow Workout | The perfect 20 Minute Pilates Workout
You’ll notice the video is actually a little shorter than 20min, but the workout is great nevertheless. + in my opinion with workouts, the shorter the better (sometimes). This video is also great for beginners, but it also gives you the option to make the exercises harder as you get stronger.
Pilates with Kristin McGee
The very effective video is actually a little over 16min long, but it does tone everything. Intensity and speed are higher than the last two videos, and I’d say it’s an intermediate workout, or advanced beginner. What I love about it is that you can tone so many muscle groups and stretch in just over 16 minutes.
Pilates workout 30 minutes full body with Ashley
This workout combines strengthening exercises and some stretching at the end. It’s a 30 min beginner workout for the whole body, but focuses more on the abs and upper body.
Pilatesology Pilates Beginner Mat Class in 15 min Workout
This 15 minute routine is pilates like I know it and love it. The video is short enough so you can do it daily (great in the morning). It’s a beginner-friendly routine, but if you’re more advanced you can choose the intermediate or advanced workouts.
Total Body Pilates Workout | POP PILATES
I love how Cassie (the trainer) just smiles through that workout as if it’s nothing for her. Well for me – my abs were burning. It is a whole body workout and you’ll warm up the whole body, but the part I felt tone the most were my abs. This routine is a great choice if you’re short on time as it only takes around 10 minutes.
Pilates 21 Day Challenge ♥ Full Body Workout For Results
This girl’s workouts are crazy. They’re very intense, even though it again looks like nothing. With this particular workout you’ll feel like your abs can’t handle anymore. And then you do a little more. It’s an amazing pilates workout for your abdominals, especially the lower abdominals and the inner thighs.
The Fat Burning Workouts
Now if you’re ready to get up, you can do these 2 awesome pilates workouts that also incorporate some cardio. This is great if you don’t just want to tone up, but also lose some fat.
The Ultimate 30-Minute Cardio Pilates Workout!
This workout is not a pilates like I know it. It includes some weights, and you’re actually standing up while you exercise. It’s a great workout for your whole body – you tone your arms, abs and butt.
Victoria’s Secret Model Workout: 20-Minute Body-Sculpting Moves
Now this workout is just 20 minutes, definitely different than the pilates I know, but it’s very effective. You’ll feel it in your whole body and I definitely recommend you stretch after that, otherwise you might be in pain for a few days when you laugh or walk.
And that’s it. If you do find the time, try some of these workouts and see which one works better for you, we’re all different after all. I kinda like the 21 Day challenge video most, but it depends on how I’m feeling on that particular day.