Pilates Mat Exercises

 

Taking a look at the original Contrology/Pilates Mat exercises in the classical order, complete with classical/recommended starting positions, modifications, variations, and challenges. 

 

The classical order is the order in which Joseph Pilates taught his mat classes. See the man himself teaching a client rollover. Some Pilates enthusiasts believe that is the ONLY order in which the mat exercises should be performed. I disagree, for a few reasons. Biomechanically, it makes more sense to moblize the spine before initiating an exercise that requires moving long leg levers while stabilizing low back and pelvis (as in the hundred). Secondly, there is a lot to coordinate when performing the first few exercises. It would be nice to acknowledge and organize moving parts in a simpler way before hitting the hard stuff. Lastly, I get bored easily and to teach the same class in the same order over and over and over gets old fast. Some folks like the routine and repetition, not this gal. Joe was German and worked with many ballet dancers, both of whom thrive on a strict order of events. I prefer to mix it up a bit. 

 

Needless to say, I rarely start with the hundred when teaching classes. However to honor Pilates' historical roots, the mat journey will begin with the hundred. Recommendation: do some bridges or cat/cow before visiting the hundred.

 

For videos of the mat exercises, please see the Limitless Pilates Facebook page. Links to the video section of the facebook page are included in the written instructions. Waiting on some help from tech suport, to embed videos directly on the website. 

 

*disclaimer: Please consult with your physician before initiating an exercise program to ensure your safety and stop if you feel any pain with any of these exercises. 

 

**sources: the following versions of the Pilates exercises are influenced by Polestar Pilates Education, Balanced Body Education, and the book Return to life.