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The Pilates Basic Mat Workout

To be used in conjunction with: Pilates upper body workout Stretches and mobilisations to complement Pilates mat By Bruce Thomson Bruce Thomson Pilates, Box 803 !n"ercar#ill $ew %ealand www&pilatesrunner&com'brucethomson
Disclaimer: (1) This program is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. ( ) The !riter has made ever" effort to assem#le a set of safe and !ell trialled instructions$ ho!ever as "ou !ill #e a!are$ all e%ercise involves risk. The risk "ou take is "our responsi#ilit".

& Bruce Thomson Pilates$ P' Bo% ()*+ ,nvercargill. !!! .1 .

Pictorial Table of Exercises

$ame o( )xercises and *pproximate Pa#e $umber
+arm,up: 1. /undred (1))) . 0oll 1p (2) *. Pelvic 3url-skate#oard 4. 'ne 5eg 3ircle (26W) 2. 0olling 5ike a Ball (7.() Page: 4

Pictures o( )xercises

*bdominals: 7. 8ingle 5eg 8tretch (7. 1)6W) +. Dou#le 5eg 8tretch (7. (. 3riss 3ross (*.2) Page: 7 Spine Stretch 2roup: 9. 8pine 8tretch :or!ard (2) 1). 'pen 5eg 0ocker (Prep) (16W$4) 11. 3orkscre! , ( .46W) 1 . 8a! (*.26W) Page: ( Swan Series: 1*. 8ki 0amp ( .*) 14. :light (/old12 seconds) 12. 8!an Dive Prep 17. 0est Position (* #reathes) 1+. 8houlder Bridge . Prep (*.2) Page: 9 Side 4ick Series: 1(. :ront ; Back (7.1)) 19. 1p ; Do!n (7.1)) ). 8mall 3ircles (2.() 1. ,nner Thigh 5ifts ; 3ircles (2.() . Beats on Bell" (* lots of 7) Page: 11








-8 .-

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& Bruce Thomson Pilates$ P' Bo% ()*+ ,nvercargill. !!! . .

$ame o( )xercises and *pproximate Pa#e $umber

Teaser 2roup: *. 'ne 5eg Teaser l (*.4 6W) 4. 8!imming . Prep ( )) 2. 5eg Pull :ront Prep (1 . hold 1) secs.)

Pictures o( )xercises



Page: 14 5ermaid to Push,6p: 7. Mermaid 8tretch (*.4 6W) +. 8eal (7.() (. Push.1p 8eries ((*<*) Page: 17




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4 4 4 2 2 7 7 + + ( ( 9 9 1) 1) 11 11 1 1 1* 1* 14 14 12 12 17 17 1+

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The Pilates Basic 5at +orkout

(:or more information$ visit !!!.eas"

-& 5*T,86$9:)9

:)PS: -00 P65PS ;< *:5S'-0 <6== B:)*T8S

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack$ knees together and #ent$ feet flat on the floor. 5engthen spine and neck. *7T!;$: 3hin to chest$ knees to
chest and arms point half !a" up the !all in front. Fip the lo!er #ell"$ and #reathe into the side of the ri#s. 0oll shoulder #lades do!n the #ack and rela% shoulders !ide. Pump arms vigorousl" up and do!n 7 . ( inches a#ove a#dominals$ and #reathe: ,nhale 2 6%hale 2

)asy *d"anced

P:)7!S!;$: Tips of shoulder #lades

sta" on mat. Back of neck long$ !ork to centerline 8pine lengthened$ #reast#one heav" to the mat.

.& 5*T , :;== 6P

0each "our arms a#ove "our head in line !ith shoulders$ reach fingers long.

:)PS: 0

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack !ith legs out straight in Pilates stance$ (or fle%ed !ith hands under thighs.)

*7T!;$: (1) /ead looks through

arms ( ) ,nhale$ scoop deepl"$ roll up to sitting. (*) Maintain 3.curve$ 6%hale for!ard lift a#dominals deepl" in and up$ roll shoulder #lades do!n #ack$ rela% shoulders !ide. (4) ,nhale and keep "our spine curl as "ou #ring "our lo!er #ack to the matG e%hale$ roll do!n through spine$ and reach "our arms over and #ack. .


?eep 3 curve in #ack !hile reaching for!ard. Peel upper$ middle then lo!er #ack off mat. 5egs sta" long and tight together. ?eep ri#s on mat !hen arms reach #ehind.


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3& 5*T ? P)=@!7 76:= +& S4*T)B;*:9 *7T!;$

from "our (1 inches).

:)PS: 3,0

S)T 6P: 5ie supine press "our palms into the mat. :eet parallel and lined up !ith the hips a foot length <irst 7url up:

Fip the lo!er a#domen. To curl up: ,nhale$ then e%hale to lift the tail #one #et!een the legs and then curl the pelvis$ then the spine off the mat. Skateboard action: ,magine the pelvis is a skate#oard. Clide it to the left$ and then to the right. (?eep the knees still and press "our palms into the mat). To curl down: ,nhale$ then curl #ack do!n.

8kate the pelvis from side to side.

Start the skate board here:

Then 3url Do!n: The action is the reverse of the curl up pictured to the left.

=ppl" an almost impercepti#le chin tuck$ and keep the #ack of "our neck long.

Then curl down:

/& 5*T, ;$) =)2 7!:7=)

centreline. =nchor arms$ shoulder #lades$ pelvis and head into mat.

:)PS: 0 )*78 9!:)7T!;$

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack$ one leg straight up to the ceiling$ the other leg on the mat$ #oth legs in the *7T!;$: Dra! a circle !ith "our
toe: (=) 3ross a long leg over "our #od"$ circle do!n$ around and up. 8houlder #lades roll do!n$ and keep "our ri#s to the mat. (B) 0everse direction: Do!nG cross over and up.

P:)7!S!;$: =ccent the cross over

and up in each direction. ?eep e%tended leg in centreline 8coop deeper to lift leg up. =nchor hips$ palms$ shoulders and head. ,nhale for one circle$ e%hale for the ne%t. )asy

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0& 8*5ST:!$2 ST:)T78

the knee on the vertical leg.

:)PS: 0 )*78 =)2

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack$ one leg straight up to the ceiling$ the other leg on the mat. Crasp Hust #elo!

1. Pull the knee to!ard the shoulder and hold in position. . ,nhale and fle% the toes. *. 6%hale$ straighten the knee point the toes do!n!ard to!ard the kneecaps. 4. (0epeat 2< each leg).

P:)7!S!;$: 1. Work !ithin "our limits.

. (6%cept for a slight Eip of the lo!er #ell")$ rela% and let the muscles lengthen.

1 5*T, :;==!$2 =!4) * B*==

:)PS: 1 , 8

S)T 6P: Wrap hands across and lo! on ankles$ one hand holds the opposite !rist in a #racelet hold.
/ug heels close to #ottom. 3url for!ardG #ring head to knees. 5ift feet lightl" off mat in Pilates point$ heels together and toes slightl" apart.

*7T!;$: Pull a#dominals in and keep chin to

chest throughout. ,nhale to roll #ack. 6%hale to roll up$ ri#s inG e"es do!n and #alance.

P:)7!S!;$: @ose to sternum$3hin to chest

at all times. 3hest rela%ed$ #ack round$ sta" tight in a #all. /eels together and toes slightl" apart$ shoulders rela%ed !ide$ shoulder #lades rolled do!n.

)asier @ersion -A .A 3

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& 5*T: S!$2=) =)2 ST:)T78

:)PS: / ? 1 )*78 =)2

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack. 3hin to chest and lengthen "our spine and neckG one leg #ent into chest. ?nee$ hip and ankle in line. 'utside hand on the ankle and other hand on the knee$ el#o!s !ide. 6%tend the other leg out as lo! as "ou can !hile still imprinting "our spine to the mat. 8houlder #lade tips lightl" touch the matG toe in line !ith nose.

. -

*7T!;$: Pull "our leg firml" into "our #od"

(and then further). Dra! #ell" in and up. 5o!er the long leg to the ground !ith toes to kneecap$ and touch the calf to the ground three times. ,nhale to s!itch$ and e%hale to lo!er and touch.

Btouch 3 timesC

/ 3

P:)7!S!;$: Tips of shoulder #lades on mat.

?eep #oth legs in centreline. Both sides of #od" long. 5egs pull in and out !ith resistance. ?eep spine imprinted on the mat. )asier @ersion B;r point the lon# le# up to the ceilin#C&

8& 5*T: 9;6B=) =)2 ST:)T78

:)PS 1 , -0

S)T 6P: 3hin to chest and lengthen "our spine and neck. 6"es on "our #ell" #uttonG maintain shoulder
tips lightl" touching the mat and #oth knees slightl" apart and into "our chest. /old "our shins and hug them firml" to "our seat. 6l#o!s !ide$ and feet softl" pointed. .

,nhale as "ou reach "our arms and legs out long from "our centreG 42 degrees from the mat. Pause$ ,nhaleG reach long. 8!eep arms to the side and around to hug "our ankles in. 6%hale and hug tight.

8pine sta"s long on mat$ !ork "our centre line 0oll "our shoulder #lades do!n "our #ack and anchor them to "our ri#s. 6%hale completel"$ sIueeEe the to%ins out of "our lungsJJJJ

)asy -

B*lso, arm action only, keep le#s bent to chest, or knees bent and (eet (lat on (loorC&

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3& 5*T , 7:!SS 7:;SS

up so that Hust the tips of the shoulder #lades touch the mat and "our e"es are on the #ell".

:)PS: 1,-0

S)T 6P: 8tack "our hands under "our head$ el#o!s out !ide. ?nees #ent and feet on the floor. 3url *7T!;$:
3riss to the left. 3ross to the right. ,nhale through the center$ e%hale to the left$ inhale through the center$ e%hale to the right.

?eep the length in the sides and the front of the torso. =rms and shoulders remain !ide. 8houlder #lades remain off the mat.

-0& 5*T, SP!$) ST:)T78 <;:+*:9

:)PS: 0

S)T 6P: 8it tall !ith legs slightl" !ider than hip !idth. ?nees facing ceiling and toes to knee caps.
=rms straight out in front of shoulders$ palms do!n. 5ift up out of "our hips$ scoop deep. 0oll "our shoulder #lades do!n "our #ack$ and rela% "our shoulders !ide.

*7T!;$: 8it tall$ chin to chest and lift a#s

deepl" in and up. 6%hale$ and peal off the !all verte#ra #" verte#ra. 6mpt" "our lungs and reach$ reach$ reach (three times). ,nhale to roll up: "our lo!er$ middle then upper #ack$ pressing a#s to spine. 8it tallJ

?eep "our shoulders !ide and roll "our shoulder #lades do!n. Deepen into sternum to initiate curl of spine ?eep arms at shoulder height. :orm a horse shoe: ?eep "our ri#s lifted a!a" from "our hips.


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--& T8) S*+

:)PS , 3 T; 0 )*78 +*D

S)T 6P: 'pen "our legs a little !ider than "our shoulders and reach "our arms out to the sides in line
!ith "our shoulders. 8it tallG lift up out of "our hipsG perch !ith the toes to kneecaps.

T!ist "our spine$ lo!er the #ack arm and look at it as "ou reach "our pink" finger past the little toeG reach and e%haleG reach further and e%haleG reach further again and e%hale. ,nhale to roll up (initiate from the navel) and return to the center position. 0epeat on the opposite side.

=nchor "our sit #ones$ t!ist !ith "our #ell". 'pposite hip and legs sta" anchored 8ta" in t!ist to sit up. K5ook !ith the e"es$ listen !ith the earL.

--& Ski :amp

"our e"es.

:)PS: .,3

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our stomachG prop "our self on "our el#o!sG a#s scooped. Dour hands are under 2ood *7T!;$:
0ise up through "our shoulder #lades and pull "our thum# off. Breathe into the sides of "our ri#s and shine "our #reast#one for!ard


?eep the length in the #ack of "our neck. 0oll the shoulder #lades do!n and rela% "our shoulders !ide.

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-.& <li#ht
#ack support$ clench "our #utt and !rap around the #ack of the inner thighs.

:)PS: .,3

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our stomachG hands #" "our sides$ palms up. 8coop Khouse for a mouseL. :or lo!er

0aise "our arms$ "our shoulders$ "our head$ and finall" "our legs. Breathe into the sides of the ri#s and #ring the #reast#one high.

0oll the shoulder #lades do!n the #ack. 0each for the #ack !all !ith "our toes and fingers. ?eep the length in the #ack of the neck

-3& S+*$ P:)P ? $)74 :;==

:)PS: .,3

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our stomachG hands #" the armpits$ el#o!s up like duck !ingsG a#s deepl" scooped A
Khouse for a mouseL. :or lo!er #ack support$ clench "our #utt and !rap around the #ack of the inner thighs. Centl" tuck the chin to maintain

,nhale and push up to a shipMs figure head$ pull "our #reast #one and chin for!ard to a lo! horiEon. 8coopG keep "our el#o!s close to "our ri#s. Breathe naturall": 3hin to chestG look to one sideG chin to chest and look to the other sideG 5ook do!n and lo!er.

0oll "our shoulder #lades do!n "our #ack. =ppl" a one mm chin tuck and keep some length in the #ack of the neck.

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-/& 5*T , :)ST P;S!T!;$

heels. Place "our hands in front and slide them for!ard.

:)PS: 3 B:)*T8S

S)T 6P: 8it on "our heels !ith knees together or Hust slightl" apartG lengthen "our tail#one under "our

,nhale into the side of the ri#s. 6%hale and scoop the #ell" off "our thighsN @o! rest heav" on "our thighs$ and #reathe up and do!n "our spine.


8oft and heav" shouldersG armpits point do!n.

?nee pro#lems or groin pinch: Hust lo!er to the point of discomfit and hold.

-0& 5*T , S8;6=9): B:!92) P:)P

:)PS: 3,0

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our #ack !ith the knees #ent and heels under knees. Press "our palms into the mat. *7T!;$:
8coop the a#s$ clench the #utt$ and inhale to #oost "our torso and pelvis up in one piece. Pause and lengthen the side #od". 6%hale to roll chest a!a" from chin then roll do!n #one #" #one.

Fip up the lo!er #ell". 5engthen the side #od" and appl" a one mm chin tuck. Weight over the foot arches$ #oost up on "our gluteals rather than "our hamstrings.

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-1& 5*T , S!9) 4!74 S):!)S , <:;$T *$9 B*74

:)PS 1 ,-0

S)T 6P: 5ie on "our side along the #ack of the mat. Prop "our head on "our hand$ and #ring long legs
for!ard to an angle of 4) degrees. =nchor "our top hand si% inches in front of "our heart$ rela% and keep the el#o! high. 8tack shoulder over shoulder ; hip over hip. 5o!er foot to the floor and Ktoes to kneecapL. 8coop the a#domen and keep the pelvis still.

Breathe naturall" and full". 5ift top leg to hip heightG kick for!ard long and strong$ t!o pulses . kick$ kick. 0each leg straight and long #ehind$ t!o pulses . kick$ kick slo! enough to feel the stretch).

5engthen the upper side of the #od"$ and keep shoulder over shoulder$ hip over hip. Work the hip Kin the HointL$ the leg is a match stick gliding a#ove the floor. 6nergiEe the top hip for!ard of the lo!er hip. The hips remain motionless.

- & 5*T , S!9) 4!74 S):!)S , 6P *$9 9;+$

S)T 6P: Maintain "our side position and reach "our top leg out of the hip more. *7T!;$:
Breathe naturall". Turn "our top leg out!ard. (The knee cap looks up to the ceiling). 5ift strong and straight up to the side. 5o!er slo!l" through treacle$ turn leg out even more and reach 5.'.@.C.

:)PS 1 ,-0

0ela% "our shoulders !ideG #reathe into the side of the ri#s. Fip up the lo!er #ell". /old on to "our OBo%O$ shoulder over shoulderG hip over hipG heel over heel. Put energ" into taking the leg #ack!ard and the hip for!ard.

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-8& 5*T , S!9) 4!74 S):!)S , 7!:7=)S

legs Parallel. Deepen "our a#s.

:)PS: 0 ? 8 )*78 +*D

S)T 6P: Maintain the side position and reach the leg longer. 8coop the a#dominals and maintain the

Turn the leg out and point !ith the #all of the #ig toe. 3ircle leg eIuall" around front and #ack. 5engthen and reverse$ move onl" the leg.

Pull the leg long out of the hip.

-3& 5*T , S!9) 4!74 S):!)S , !$$): T8!28 =!<T *$9 7!:7=)S
leg in front of the hip (knee high). 5o!er leg fle%es the foot (toes to knee caps). !nner thi#h li(ts


S)T 6P: Maintain side position. Bring the hand under the knee and reach for the ankle. Plant the top

5engthen the heelG lift liftJ 5o!erG lo!erJ 5ift$ liftG lengthen and lo!er. ( ) 3ircle leg around and reverse. 1se the space #ehind "ou.

0ela% "our shoulders !ide and roll "our shoulder #lades do!n. =#dominals lift . no shift. /old onto "our OBo%O$ shoulder over shoulder$ hip over hip.

!nner thi#h circles, (orward and re"erse

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.0& 5*T , B)*TS ;$ B)==D T:*$S!T!;$

Press the heels together. 8coop a#dominals. 3lench the #utt and lift the legs off the floor.

:)PS: 1 , -8

S)T 6P: 0oll onto "our stomachG rest "our forehead on the #ack of stacked hands$ palms on floor. *7T!;$:
3lench the #utt and lift the legs off the floor. Beat the !hole inner leg #riskl" together: Kflu##a$ flu##a$ flu##a flu##a L.

5engthen the neck and the sides of the #od".

.-& 5*T , T)*S):,;$) =)2

:)PS: 3,/ P): =)2

S)T 6P: 8it !ith knees #ent$ and thighs at 42 degrees to the mat. 6%tend one leg and press the knees together. =rms reach to the sk". 3hest lifted$ lo!er spine curved.

(8coop deepl" at all times). 6%hale to roll #ack onto the mat. ,nhale to roll #ack up: reach to the knees$ ankles$ toes$ ceiling$ sit tallJ

8houlders rela% !ide. Bottom foot sta"s firml" planted on the floor. Clue the inner thighs together. Tr" not to thro! "ourself to get up #ut rather$ . 0oll smoothl" do!n and up like a "o."o.

)asier "ersion ? Maintain good posture !hile

lo!ering a small distance.

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..& 5*T , S+!55!$2 P:)P

:)PS: 0 switches (rom one side to the other&

S)T 6P: 5ie on stomach. =rms reach straight out in front in line !ith the shoulders and legs reach long
and parallel #ehind. @ose to the mat$ a#dominals scooped in and up. =ll toes on ground$ 5engthenJ

(a) 0aise and reach the right arm and left leg eIuall"$ pause and lengthen 2 seconds A#reath into the side of the ri#s. 8!itch to the opposite arm and leg$ and lengthen (2 seconds).

6ven height of the arm and leg. =rms and legs reach a!a"$ and the #ack of neck is long$ Bod" doesnMt t!ist: chest and hips eIual on the mat. 6asier version:. lift "our head Hust off the mat (maintain length at the #ack of the neck)$ and let the lo!er leg and arm rest on the mat.

.3& 5*T , =)2 P6== <:;$T BP:)PC

:)PS: ;$) ? 8;=9 -0 S)7S

S)T 6P: Place hands under "our armpits and el#o!s close to ri#s. /ead$ shoulders hips ; heels in line$ legs together$ toe pads on the mat$ a#s lifted.

*7T!;$: Press up and hold "our #od" long ;

still for 1) seconds.

Fip the lo!er #ell" and lengthen from cro!n to tail #one. 0ise up through the shoulder #lades. 6l#o! point #ack!ards.

. )asier "ersion

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./& 5):5*!9 ST:)T78

Start Position: S)T 6P: 8it !ith "our #ack lined up to
the side of "our mat and #ring "our feet to the left so that the sole of the right foot is against the left thigh and the left foot is Hust off the mat. The left arm is straight to the ceiling$ OgluedO to the ear.

:)PS: 3,/ +!T8 =)2S T; =)<T, T8)$ 3,/ +!T8 =)2S T; :!28T

To 7eilin# and ;"er ,

(,magine that all movement is #et!een t!o sliding glass doors). ,nhale deepl" then reach "our left arm to the ceiling and over. 0ight hand hovers 7 inches a#ove the mat. ( ) 5o!er to the side !ith el#o! on the mat directl" under "our shoulder$ palm do!n. ,nhale deepl" then reach long to the !all. 0epeat on opposite side.

To the +all: )asier @ersion , :epeat w& (eet to :i#ht:

Po!erhouse pulls deepl" in and up 5ong arm glued #eside ear to reach.

)asier "ersion:, 8traighten the left leg

and put it out in front. ,f "ou need to$ hold onto "our right foot for support !hen reaching to ceiling and over.

.0& 5*T , S)*=

:)PS: 1 ,8

S)T 6P: Dive hands #et!een legs and !rap around to rest on the outside of each ankle. Tip #ack to
#alance #ehind "our sit #ones. 8oftl" point "our feet !ith "our toes together and heels apart. 3reate opposition #" pressing out !ith arms and in !ith knees. 3hin to chest$ a#dominals scooped$ knees Hust outside line of shoulder.

Do not grasp "our feet or anklesJ

8coop "our a#s deep. 3lap feet together * times !ith "our !hole leg$ then inhale to roll #ack. (Balance on "our shoulders$ not "our head)). 3lap heels together * times. 1se "our =#s$ e%hale and roll up.

8coop and keep e"es on "our #ell" #uttonJ 8IueeEe "our knees together.

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B-C ThereEs nothin# basic about FbasicGA
DonMt assume that this K#asicL program of e%ercises is inferior to an KintermediateL or KadvancedL program. The real advancement is not in the specific e%ercises$ #ut rather in the skill and the diligence of the student. The unskilful practitioner !ill dream his or her !a" through a session !ith slopp" techniIue and therefore !ill not #enefit. 'n the other hand$ the skilful student !ill concentrate$ and look for the challenge (and thus also the #enefit) in ever" movement. ThatMs !hen Pilates makes changes in peopleMs lives.

B.C Stretchin# and super"ision are essential (or the best bene(its to occurA
This program alone covers much of !hat needs to #e covered in a Pilates 3onditioning program. ,n fact$ in m" opinion$ it is !orld class in terms of time efficient total #od" conditioning. What remains to #e covered is to #e found in the K8tretches to 3ompliment Pilates MatL$ and the specific advice and support of an e%perienced instructor (and of coarse the friendl" encouragement of the classmates).

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