Foundations of the house of Pilates

These exercises are usually known as Pre-Pilates. 

They are exercises designed to help us better understand “Pilates” exercises.  

They are suitable for beginners and anyone else that wants to dig deeper into their practice.


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Matwork Warm Up …

Pre-Pilates: A warm up

Diving straight into the Matwork after sitting at a desk all day long is not a great idea because we will have become still and immobile.


This short sequence is designed to get us moving again and warmed up ready for the more challenging Matwork


For the Matwork exercise videos: click here.

Exercises in this video:

Pelvic Curl – Overhead Reach with Magic Circle – Pelvic Curls & Reach – Angels in the Snow – Knees into Chest Stretch – Cat & CamelThigh StretchSeated Spine Stretch SideSeated Spine Twist PrepMini Swan – Rib Hug Swan with Magic Circle

Pilates Foundations 

Breathing …

Breathing: Awareness Raising

Enhance your Pilates practice with different breathing techniques.  Many teachers (and brilliant ones) do not spend time teaching breathing patterns as it can be confusing…


But though breathing can get in the way of just “getting your move on”, it is still definitely worth having a look at.

#Pilates Foundations 

Deep Core Activation …

Deep Core Activation

Get more out of your Pilates practice.  Become aware of the different parts that make up “the core”.


That’s the deep abdominals, the spinals, diaphragm and the pelvic floor.   Fun fact: the Pelvic Floor and the Diaphragm work in unison!!!  Oh yes 🙂

Exercise tutorials:

Supine: Fingertip Abdominals

Bridging: Flat Back

All Fours: Pregnant Cat

Standing:  Multifidi Awareness – Neutral Squats

#Pilates Foundations 

Find & Maintain Alignment …

Finding Alignment & Staying Aligned

Strength, flexibility and control are three words that have famously been uses to describe what Pilates is (Romana Kryzanowska).  My own humble offering is that Pilates is all about consciously moving in and out of alignment – so learning about your alignment is a good place to start.


Theis will help you understand starting and ending positions for exercises as well as directly challenging your body in a very functional way!

Exercise tutorials:
Supine: Find Alignment (Pelvic Rocking)Marching & Toe TapsDiagonal PressDead BugBridging w/ marching
Side Lying: Find Alignment (Pelvic Pushes)Find Alignment (Rocking)Side Leg Lowers
Prone: Find Alignment (Limb Reaches) – Swimming
All Fours: Find Alignment (Four Point Kneeling)Opposite Arm & Leg Reach
Standing: Find Alignment (Heel Rocking) Diagonal Press – Knee Lifts

#Pilates Foundations 

Spinal Mobility & Strengthening

Spinal Mobility & Strengthening

Many people think that we walk with our legs and our arms need strength to push and pull.  Perhaps this video (here) can help you think about this in a different way!


The more time we spend in sedentary activities, the more important gaining both strength and mobility of the spine becomes.  Your spine is your foundation.  It’s like the keel of a ship and your shoulder and pelvic girdles are the bulkheads.  It is the base upon which everything in your body is attached to.

Exercise tutorials:
Supine: Pelvic Rocking – Pelvic ClockAbdominal Curls & Oblique AbdominalsSpine Twist Supine
Bridging: Pelvic CurlTypewriterHip Dips
Side: Bananas
Seated: Seated Side Stretch – Twist – Half Roll Downs
Prone: RocketsMini Swan
All Fours: Cat / Cow – Tail WagHip Circles – Shoulder Circles – Hip & Shoulder Circles
Standing: Roll Down 1 & 2 – Extension – Side to Side – Rotation

#Pilates Foundations 

Lower Body Work

The Lower Body

Exercise tutorials:

Seated: Marching – Squeezes – Plantar & Dorsiflexion
Supine: Marching – Plantar & Dorsiflexion
All Fours: Leg Reach & Knee Stretch
Prone: Swimming – Beats
Side: Upper Leg Lifts – Lower Leg Lifts
Standing Legs: Space Invaders – Leg Lift Side – Leg Crossover – Marching – Knee Bends: Parallel & Wide V – Squats: Parallel & Wide V – Lunge: Upright – Lunge: Tilt

#Pilates Foundations 

Upper Body: mobility & stability

The Upper Body

Exercise tutorials:


Shoulder Mobility: Lateral Rotation & Medial Rotation – Elevation & Depression – Protraction & Retraction – Arm Raises – Telescope Arms – Pinwheel – Angels in the Snow
Two Shoulder Stability: Triceps Dip – Sternum Drop – Plank prep – Modified Plank – Plank – Plank with one limb lifted
Plank with two limbs lifted
One Shoulder Stability: Side Plank Prep – Side Forearm Plank – Side Plank – Side plank legs stacked – Side Plank Leg Lifts

#Pilates Foundations 

Upper Body: pushing, pulling & rotation

The Upper Body

Exercise tutorials:

Pushing & Pulling: Rotator Cuff – Triceps Press – Chest Press – Overhead press – Lateral press – Pulling – Biceps Curl – Pulling Up (lifting) – Pulling down – Forward Raise – Side Raise – Pull Back
Full Body: Rotation

#Pilates Foundations 

Stretching: lower body

Stretching: Lower Body

Exercise tutorials:
Supine & Prone: Hip Flexors – Hamstrings – Hip Adductors – Hip Abductors – Hip Rotators – Quadriceps
Kneeling & Prone: Hip Flexors – Hamstrings – Hip Adductors – Hip Abductors – Hip Rotators – Quadriceps
Standing: Hip Flexors – Hamstrings – Hip Adductors – Hip Abductors – Hip Rotators – Quadriceps – Calf Stretch – Soleus stretch
Wall: Calf stretch – Soleus stretch

#Pilates Foundations 

Stretching: upper body

Stretching: upper body

Exercise tutorials:

Standing: Chest stretch (wall) – Chest Stretch – Posterior Shoulder – Posterior Shoulder & Upper Back – Triceps – Neck – Forearm & Wrist Extensors – Wrist & Finger Extensors – Wrist & Finger Extensors – Wrist & Finger Flexors – Fingers & Thumb

The Small Print – Please Read

Please Obtain Your Doctor’s Permission Before Beginning Any Exercise Program.

You understand that physical exercise can be strenuous and can expose you to the risk of injury.

We recommend in the strongest terms possible that you get a physical examination from a doctor before participating in any exercise activity.

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