Last updated on December 7th, 2019 at 12:29 pm
The best free Pilates workout videos to help you tone your entire body while lying on the mat. This Pilates workout list also includes 2 tougher, more cardiovascular Pilates routines.
My Pilates Journey
Strengthening my entire body while lying down has always been one of my biggest dreams. It’s a good thing that a few years ago I went to a Pilates class at my local gym. At first, I thought it’s just another version of yoga. Just some slow boring workout for lazy people who want to brag about being sore to everyone they know (btw. I like yoga now).
Yet, 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). Learning to activate something they called “powerhouse”. I thought “powerhouse” was something “spiritual” like the subconscious mind and the law of attraction. Who knew powerhouse is actually your core – belly, lower back and hips? Well, I knew after 3 lessons and decided “I can work with that”.
The more I did Pilates, the more I loved it. It gave me stability, control and strengthened muscles in my body I never really thought existed. I felt physically strong and I was more focused and calmer.
What Is 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. Not Easy AT ALL.
Those roll-ups you usually do for your abs quickly? Now you have to take it one vertebra 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.
Pilates at Home
Going to a Pilates class is a great experience, but you do need to stick to a schedule that isn’t yours, isn’t flexible and involves you paying money that you might want to save for other things right now.
Luckily, there are so many ways to do Pilates at home right now. My favorite? Pilates Youtube videos. They’re free and are perfect when you don’t have the time, money and flexibility. I mean you can wake up and decide to do a 20-minute Pilates class in your bedroom in your PJ’s and feel great for the rest of the day. If you were to go to a class it would take you at least 1-2 hours in my own experience.
Doing some of these Pilates workouts really helped me develop consistency and build a routine. It might not be for everyone, but it has worked well for me until now. So if you are struggling to stay consistent with working out, maybe give these a try to build strength and flexibility.
At this point, I’d like to finish my TED talk and start my Acceptance speech by saying a special thank you, to all the trainers, who shared these amazing workouts with the world and with me, so we can stay healthy despite all our excuses and distractions.
What you’ll love about these pilates workouts
I selected 10 Pilates workouts you can do at home in 30 minutes 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 an exercise mat
- if you’re feeling lazy, you get to lie 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
Please consult with your doctor, before starting this or any other exercise regimen!
8 Mat Pilates Workouts To Tone Everything
These are the 8 Pilates workouts you can do while just lying on your mat.
Pilates Class 1, Renee’s 30 Minute class, eFit30
Renee’s 30 Minute class by 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
Beginner Pilates Workout by 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
The Perfect 20 Minute Pilates Workout by The Live Fit Girls
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
Pilates with Kristin McGee 20 minutes to flat abs, toned arms and lean thighs by 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
Pilates workout 30 minutes full body with Ashley by thegymbox
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
Pilatesology Pilates Beginner Mat Class in 15 min Workout by Pilatesilogy
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
Total Body Pilates Workout by Blogilates
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
Pilates 21 Day Challenge ♥ Full Body Workout For Results by Boho Beautiful
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.
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!
The Ultimate 30-Minute Cardio Pilates Workout! by Popsugar Fitness
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
Victoria’s Secret Model Workout: 20-Minute Body-Sculpting Moves by Popsugar Fitness
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.
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