The Ultimate List of Pilates Exercises with PDF

If you want a complete list of Pilates exercises, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve made an ultimate list of 50 best Pilates moves in this article, so you don’t have to go anywhere to find all the Pilates exercises.

This comprehensive list will help you or your clients design an effective Pilates workout program. If you find any exercise challenging to understand, I recommend clicking on a link for that particular exercise that will take you to YouTube for a demonstration.

Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness. It improves posture, tones muscles, and enhances overall fitness without stressing joints.

Both HIIT and Pilates are poles apart in terms of how they are performed.

Classical Pilates Mat Exercises List

Pilates Mat Exercises List
  1. Hundred
    • Target Muscles: Abdominals
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: It strengthens core muscles, helps achieve better posture, and promotes your cardiovascular fitness.
  2. Roll Up
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: This exercise improves core strength, spinal flexibility, and posture.
  3. Roll Over
    • Target Muscles: Abdominals and Lower Back
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: This move helps increase spinal flexibility while also stretching the hamstrings and strengthening the core and hip muscles. It also enhances body awareness, posture, and coordination, leading to greater overall flexibility and balance.
  4. Roll Up to Roll Over
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Combined the benefits of Roll Up and Roll Over.
  5. One Leg Circles
    • Target Muscles: Hips and Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It levels up spinal flexibility, provides decent stretches to the hamstrings, and strengthens the core and hip muscles.
  6. Roll Back
    • Target Muscles: Abdominals, Lower Back, and Hips
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It bolsters abs and makes your body flexible.
  7. One Leg Stretch
    • Target Muscles: Lower Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It targets the lower abdominals, helps make your abs look more defined, and increases midsection muscular endurance.
  8. Double Leg Stretch
    • Target Muscles: Abs and Shoulder
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It buttresses the midsection, improves flexibility and coordination, stabilizes the spine, and increases overall body strength and control.
  9. Spine Stretch Forward
    • Target Muscles: Upper Body and Hips
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It provides decent stretch to your upper body, helping you achieve a flexible and upright torso.
  10. Open Leg Rocker
    • Target Muscles: Abs, Lower Back, Legs, and Hips
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It improves balance, core strength, pelvic stability, and mind-body connection.
  11. Corkscrew
    • Target Muscles: Midsection, Hips, and Lower Back
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It keeps your core under constant tension and helps build a firm, defined midsection. It also increases hip mobility and maximizes your lower body flexibility.
  12. Pilates Mat Saw
    • Target Muscles: Obliques
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It bolsters oblique muscles, improves hip mobility, and makes your entire body flexible.
  13. Swan Dive
    • Target Muscles: Back, Hamstrings, and Shoulder
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It makes your back flexible and enhances overall mobility and circulation while alleviating tension and discomfort in the back, making daily activities easier and more comfortable.
  14. One Leg Kick
    • Target Muscles: Hamstrings, Glutes, and Shoulders
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It activates the posterior chain muscles while promoting proper spinal alignment and posture.
  15. Double Leg Kick
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It strengthens multiple muscles simultaneously, including the hamstrings, glutes, back, and core, making your body bendable and less susceptible to injuries.
  16. Neck Pull
    • Target Muscles: Neck and Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: The neck pull helps enhance flexibility, build strong abs, and achieve a better posture.
  17. Scissors Straight Leg Stretch
    • Target Muscles: Legs and Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: It stimulates the lower abs, helps build a more toned core, increases hamstring flexibility, and promotes a stretchable body.
  18. Pilates Bicycle
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Bicycle is a full-body Pilates exercise that involves various muscles simultaneously, particularly the abs and legs, and helps build a functional body.
  19. Shoulder Bridge
    • Target Muscles: Abs, Glutes, Lower Back, and Hamstrings
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The shoulder bridge keeps your core, glutes, and hamstrings under stress throughout the movement and helps increase muscular endurance and functional fitness.
  20. Spine Twist
    • Target Muscles: Oblique and Hips
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It primarily strengthens the oblique muscles, increases your trunk flexibility, and improves hip mobility.
  21. Jack Knife
    • Target Muscles: Lower Abs
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The Jackknife helps forge the abdominal muscles, improves balance, flexibility, and posture, and helps prepare for more advanced Pilates movements.
  22. Lying Side Kick
    • Target Muscles: Legs, Hips and Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It is an easy way to make your hips a bit flexible and engage the lower abs without stressing your lower back.
  23. Teaser
    • Target Muscles: Abs, Lower Back, and Hamstring
    • Experience Require: Advanced
    • Benefits: The Teaser is a challenging Pilates exercise that involves keeping your legs straight and elevated and lifting your torso, similar to a V-up exercise. It helps sculpt abdominal muscles, improve balance, and enhance muscle coordination.
  24. Hip Twist
    • Target Muscles: Lower Abs and Hip
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The hip twist keeps your lower abs engaged throughout the movement and increases core endurance. It also helps your hip mobility and makes your body more balanced.
  25. Clamshell
  26. Pilates Mat Swimming
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The Pilates mat swimming activates various muscles simultaneously, particularly the hamstrings, lower back, glutes, shoulder, and abs. It also helps correct posture and improve body composition.
  27. Leg Pull Front
    • Target Muscles: Abs, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Lower Back
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The leg pull front enhances the posterior chain muscle, bolsters your abs, and helps achieve better posture.
  28. Leg Pull Back
    • Target Muscles: Abs, Hamstring, Triceps, and Glutes
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It reinforces abdominal muscles, builds strong legs, and develops mobility.
  29. Kneeling Side Kick
    • Target Muscles: Lower Back, Obliques, and Shoulder
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It works on hips, thighs, and core muscles simultaneously and helps you improve strength, flexibility, and coordination throughout the body.
  30. Side Bend
    • Target Muscles: Obliques, Shoulder, and Abs
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It strengthens obliques, improves spinal flexibility, enhances body awareness and balance, and helps build a strong and supple torso.
  31. Boomerang
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Advanced
    • Benefits: It ignites core muscles while enhancing your balance and coordination, lower back health, and functional fitness.
  32. Pilates Mat Seal
    • Target Muscles: Abs and Shoulder
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It helps ignite abdominal muscles, increase balance and flexibility, and build resilience.
  33. Pilates Crab
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Advanced
    • Benefits: The Crab is a total-body exercise that helps increase balance and flexibility and develop a limber body.
  34. Rocking
    • Target Muscles: Legs, Back, Abs, and Shoulders
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It engages the midsection, thighs, and back while promoting spinal flexibility, improving body awareness, and easing tension.
  35. Control Balance
    • Target Muscles: Full Body
    • Experience Require: Advanced
    • Benefits: It reinforces multiple muscles from the upper to the lower body and helps improve total body functionality.
  36. Pilates Push Up
  37. Glute Bridge Hip Openers
    • Target Muscles: Legs and Abs
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: It improves lower body strength and flexibility, enhances hip mobility, alleviates tightness in hip flexors, and supports healthy hip joints.
  38. Side Plank Hip Taps
    • Target Muscles: Shoulder and Abs
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: It strengthens obliques (love handles), torches significant calories, and reinforces shoulders while improving stability and balance.
  39. Alternating Heel Taps
    • Target Muscles: Obliques
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: It effectively targets the abs, obliques, and hip flexors. By engaging these muscles, this exercise helps improve core stability, strengthen the lower back, and promote muscle coordination.
  40. Bicycle Crunches
    • Target Muscles: Abs and Obliques
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: The bicycle crunch strengthens obliques and helps build a toned and defined midsection.

List of Pilates Wall Exercises

List of Pilates Wall Exercises
  1. Wall Push-Ups
    • Target Muscles: Chest, Shoulder, and Triceps
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: The wall pull-up fortifies the pectorals, anterior deltoids, and triceps brachii and helps develop a strong torso.
  2. Wall Sit
    • Target Muscles: Quads and Glutes
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: The wall sit is an isometric exercise that keeps your legs, especially quads, under constant stress, helping you build lower body strength and endurance.
  3. Standing Wall-Supported Calf Raises
    • Target Muscles: Calves
    • Experience Require: Beginner
    • Benefits: The calf raises help solidify the lower legs (calf muscles). The calves are involved in various activities, including walking, cycling, and climbing the stairs.
  4. Wall-Assisted Bridges
    • Target Muscles: Glutes, Abs, and Hamstrings
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Wall-assisted bridges are a great exercise for strengthening your lower body and improving your posture. They work on the muscles in your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, which helps you become more stable and stronger.
  5. Marching Bridge
    • Target Muscles: Glutes, Abs, and Hamstrings
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Like a bridge, the wall-assisted marching bridge makes hamstrings and glutes strong and functional and improves your lower body fitness.
  6. Wall Crunch
    • Target Muscles: Abdominals
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: The wall crunch, also known as tabletop crunch, helps forge an athletic abs.
  7. Toe Touch Crunch
    • Target Muscles: Abdominals
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Toe touch crunches focus on strengthening the upper abs, helping you achieve a firmer and more toned midsection.
  8. Wall Sit Heel Raises
    • Target Muscles: Calves
    • Experience Require: Beginner to Intermediate
    • Benefits: Wall Sit Heel Raises target the quadriceps, calves, and glutes, enhancing lower body strength and stamina. They also improve ankle stability and balance.
  9. Feet Elevated Push-up
    • Target Muscles: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps, and Abs
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Elevated push-ups activate the chest, triceps, shoulder, and core and help increase upper body muscularity,
  10. Decline Front Plank
    • Target Muscles: Shoulders and Core
    • Experience Require: Intermediate
    • Benefits: Decline front plank targets the abs, lower back, and shoulders to improve core stability and strength. This exercise also promotes better posture and aligns the spine.

Download The List of Pilates Exercises PDF


You can also add some traditional core exercises to make your Pilates workout regime interesting and effective.

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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