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7 Fun Pilates Moves

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Pilates has grown in popularity over the years because it can have long-lasting and life-changing benefits. I could go on about how it improves overall fitness, increases flexibility, and builds a strong core. And these are exactly the things that make Pilates different than other exercise techniques. BUT--there's one more reason why it stands out and why I have continued to enjoy doing it so much over the years.

It's SO important to keep your workout FUN so you are motivated to be consistent with your exercise. And Pilates is full of fun ways to move the body. So today, I am sharing a roundup of fun yet effective Pilates moves that you can try to spice up your workout sessions.

7 Fun Pilates Moves

The Wall: Roll Down

This is a fun challenge I like to pull out at dinner parties.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Needed: Wall

Stand about two-four inches away from the wall(the farther away the easier this will be), with your back towards the wall. It is helpful to stand with your heels together, toes apart. Place your palms against the wall, but don't touch the wall with any other part of your body. Curl your head forward, rolling down your spine, sliding your hands down the wall. Try to go all the way down the wall without letting your behind touch the wall. Then roll back up in the same fashion. Good luck!

Pro tip: Use your gluteal and leg muscles to prevent you from tipping over.

I like this exercise because it is so simple yet so challenging. It requires a lot of abdominal strength and lower back flexibility. Even more challenging after a cocktail or two!

Snake Against The Wall

Bring out your inner spirit animal with this challenge in articulation.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Needed: Wall

Stand a comfortable distance away from the wall, facing the wall, and place your palms against the wall. You're going to touch the wall, once body part at a time. Starting with your forehead, then the nose, chin, chest, ribs, bellybutton, pelvis, thighs, knees, and lower legs. Rolling the body in a snake like fashion, you'll start from the top and move downward through the front of the body. Then, if you'd like another challenge, try doing the same thing but start at the bottom and move your way upward. Which direction is harder?

This is a challenge in articulation of the spine, but also a challenge in strength and flexibility. Can you engage the right muscles to touch the wall with each part of the body? Can you let go enough to allow for this kind of movement?


If Pilates was a game, this would be it.

Level: Beginner

Equipment Needed: Chair, 5 marbles, cup or bowl.

Start by lining up the marbles in a row, about 2-3 inches apart, right in front of the chair. Sitting in the chair, with good posture, pick up one marble with your big toe and place it in the cup/bowl. Continue with the next toe and the next marble, placing each in the cup/bowl one toe at a time. Repeat with the other foot.

This exercise is obviously a challenge in dexterity of the feet. But, if you can maintain good posture throughout, it will translate up the legs into the hips as well. No exercise goes without using the powerhouse, including this one!

Around The Clock

Just when the clock strikes midnight, it's time to go home!

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Equipment Needed: Mat

Start lying down on the mat, knees into the chest, legs in Pilates stance. Grab the ankles, bringing the chin to the chest. Imagine a clock, and now you are facing 12 o'clock. Like in the Double Leg Stretch exercise, reach out the arms and legs. Circle the arms to the side, and while you bring the legs into the chest, pick up the hips and swivel them to the right(to about 1 o'clock). Reach out again, and this time when you bring everything back into the chest, swivel the hips to 2 o'clock. And so on, and so on, until you get back to the starting position. Midnight! Time to go home! Start again, this time swiveling the hips to the left, going to 11 o'clock, 10 o'clock, etc. Ending back at 12 o'clock.

The Double Leg Stretch is already hard in itself, but this exercise adds in an extra challenge for the obliques. Don't worry too much about form here -- just move those hips and try to get all the way around the clock!

alarm clock ringing graphic | 7 Fun Pilates Moves

Open Leg Rocker

Romana always said this was her favorite exercise because it was fun!

Level: Intermediate

Equipment Needed: Mat

Start sitting, bend your knees and with your arms inside the legs, grab ahold of your ankles. Balancing on your tailbone, extend the legs up into the air. Inhale and rock back, and exhale to come back up to your balance position. What's really fun(and by fun, I mean challenging) is when you try to rock forward on your tailbone as much as possible and then rock back so far your tippy toes touch the mat behind your head(just don't crash! Not fun.)

This exercise brings out the inner thrill seeker in me. By lifting as much as you possibly can, you can trick yourself into thinking you're on a steep cliff, and making that choice to tip back can really give you a thrill!! (Some imagination required)

Teaser 4

Think: Teaser + Figure 8

Level: Advanced

Equipment Needed: Mat

Start lying on your back, as you would in Teaser 3, with your legs long and your arms reaching back overhead. Inhale and lift straight up into a Teaser. Stay. Draw a circle with your arms, circling towards the right. At the same time, draw a circle with your legs, circling towards the left. As you're circling, coming through center, you lower the body down, touching the lower back to the mat, and at the top of the circle you're back up into your Teaser.

Need a demonstration? Ask your Pilates instructor. (We love to demonstrate this one on demand.)


I love to end a good workout with this exercise.

Level: Intermediate

Equipment Needed: None

Standing with your feet wider than your hips, hang the upper body over, fingertips reaching towards the floor. Keep your center strong but the upper body loose. Start swinging side to side, as if you're brushing the floor. Make the swings bigger and bigger, eventually you can turn this into a full windmill-- circling all the way up and over to the other side. I like to swing at the bottom, right, left, right, up and around all the way, then swing left, right, left, up and around all the way.

This exercise is great for letting stress and tension release from the body. Hold onto a strong center, but let go as much as you can!

"Minimum effort for maximum pleasure"

-- Peter Fiasca, Master Pilates Instructor


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