Pilates Beginners – Secret Training: Week 1

Pilates Principles

To gain the maximum benefits from practicing Pilates, it is important to understand the key principles which define the Pilates method. These eight principles are:

  • Breath: above all learn to breathe deeply and fully, as this facilitates and intensifies your movement
  • Concentration: focus your mind on the task at hand, as the mind controls the body
  • Control: the best results come through control in each movement
  • Centering: Pilates is often described as “movement flowing out from a strong centre”
  • Precision: focus on performing each exercise with the correct technique to achieve the best results
  • Flow: Pilates is best done in a flowing style, with continuous movement
  • Alignment: By maintaining good posture and body awareness, each movement becomes easier
  • Integration: Uniting all of the above in order to make your muscles work together and support each other, to develop more efficient and functional movement

Breathing and printing — Neutral Spine x 7

Pilates Can Pelvic Curl Pilates
  • Lie face up, knees bent, feet on floor. Relax the pelvis, shoulders, and back of the ribcage into the mat.
  • Take a breath in, expanding the ribcage sideways and backwards.
  • Exhale, drawing up the pelvic floor (like an elevator lifting up) and feel the bottom of your ribcage narrowing and gliding down towards your navel.
  • Maintain relaxed back muscles throughout.

Bent knee fallout — (Single thigh openers) x 6 - 8 each leg

  • Inhale to float one knee out to the side, keeping the pelvis still.
  • Exhale to draw the leg back in.
  • Keep bottom relaxed and pelvis stable throughout.

Single leg slide x 4 - 6 each leg

  • Exhale slide one foot out along floor.
  • Inhale hold.
  • Exhale to return to start position, as if dragging your heel through sticky mud.
  • Keep pelvis still and back relaxed throughout

Bridging — (Pelvic Curl) x 6

Pilates Can Pelvic Curl Pilates
Pelvic Curl Pilates Can
  • Lie face up, knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms by sides.
  • Exhale sink navel, pull pubic bone higher than navel.
  • Peel spine off floor (curling one vertebrae at a time).
  • Inhale stay lifted.
  • Exhale articulate spine back down to mat

Chest Lift #2 x 6

  • Exhale zip up pelvic floor, slide ribs down to hips to curl head and upper back away from the mat.
  • Inhale hold.
  • Exhale sip pelvic floor, return upper body to mat.
  • Keep tailbone weighted and front of hips relaxed throughout.

Dead Bug (Leg Lift) x 6 each leg

Pilates Can Pelvic Curl Pilates
  • Lie on floor, arms by side, knees bent, feet on the floor.
  • Exhale activate abdominals, float one knee above hip.
  • Inhale hold.
  • Exhale to lower foot back to floor.
  • Make sure knee stays at same angle as leg moves.
  • Maintain heavy back and stable pelvis throughout.

Side to side — (Supine Spine Twist) x 5 each side

side to side
  • Lie on back with knees bent. Feet on floor or swiss ball.
  • Inhale to tip the weight of the pelvis to one side.
  • Exhale to return to the centre.
  • Allow the legs and feet to follow the movement of the pelvis.
  • Try not to allow the legs to lead or pull you.

Book Openings — (Chest Openers) x 3 each side

Pilates Can Book Openings
  • Lie on side with knees bent level with hips.
  • Inhale float top arm up to ceiling.
  • Exhale turn head and look behind, allowing body to follow head and arm backwards.
  • Inhale hold.
  • Exhale return to start position
  • Focus on rotating each vertebra one by one

Side Lying Single Leg Lift x 5 each leg

  • Laying on your side with legs reaching long to the front corner of your mat.
  • Exhale draw your waist in like a corset tightening, then reach your top leg away from you and up in the air
  • Inhale return the leg and release the abs.
  • As you move your leg think of reaching it long rather than high.
  • Leg should stay lower than hip height throughout.

Diamond Press x 4 - 6

Pilates Can Diamond Press
Pilates Can Diamond Press
  • Laying face down, make a diamond with your hands.
  • Rest your nose in the diamond.
  • Exhale to lift forehead, nose, chin then chest up away from mat.
  • Inhale to return to start position.
  • Ensure low back stays relaxed throughout.


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