Advanced Pilates Exercises

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Pilates > Advanced Pilates Exercises

The following advanced Pilates exercises are designed to improve your posture, core stability, flexibility and strength. You should discuss the suitability of these advanced Pilates exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Ensure you know how to achieve neutral spine and can correctly activate your stabilising muscles prior to commencing these advanced Pilates exercises (see Pilates – Before You Start). Generally you should begin with the Basic and Intermediate Pilates Exercises before commencing these Advanced Pilates Exercises.


Advanced Pilates Exercises

To begin with, the following advanced Pilates exercises should be performed approximately 1 – 3 times per week. As your control improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, or frequency of the advanced Pilates exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Four Point Kneeling Opposite Arm & Leg Raise

Begin this exercise in neutral spine in four point kneeling as demonstrated (figure 1). Maintain activation of your transversus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles throughout the exercise. Slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg and then return to the starting position. Keep your spine and pelvis still throughout the exercise and breathe normally. Perform 10 times, provided the exercise is pain free, alternating between sides.

Advanced Pilates Exercises - 4pt Kneeling Op Arm & Leg Raise

Figure 1 – Four Point Kneeling Opposite Arm & Leg Raise

Prone Hold with Opposite Arm & Leg Raise

Begin this exercise propped up on your elbows and toes in neutral spine as demonstrated (figure 2). Maintain activation of your transversus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles during the exercise. Slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg as demonstrated and then return to the starting position. Then perform the same movement on the other arm and leg. Keep your spine and pelvis still throughout the exercise and breathe normally. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Advanced Pilates Exercises - Prone Hold with Opposite Arm & Leg Raise

Figure 2 – Prone Hold with Opposite Arm &  Leg Raise

Supine Pull Downs with Leg Slides

Begin this exercise lying on your back in neutral spine with each hand holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 3). Maintain activation of your transversus abdominis and pelvic floor muscles throughout the exercise. Keeping your elbows straight, slowly take your arms down by your sides, straightening one knee and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise straightening the other knee. Keep your spine and pelvis still throughout the exercise and breathe normally. Perform 10 times, provided the exercise is pain free, alternating between legs.

Advanced Pilates Exercises -Supine Pull Down with Leg Slide

Figure 3 – Supine Pull Downs with Leg Slides


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