What is Standing Pilates?

Standing Pilates adapts many of the classic Pilates matwork exercises to take them into the vertical plane. One of the first things Marta pointed out to me about standing Pilates is that it provides a link between the Pilates mat work and everyday movement — an enhancement of the Pilates functional fitness approach to exercise.

Take your workouts from the mat to vertical with these five standing Pilates exercises. They will help tone your legs, including inner thighs, and engage your core powerhouse muscles. They are good for balance as well. Best of all, standing Pilates exercises make a perfect transition for taking your Pilates from the mat into daily life.

  • Rolling Like a Ball
  • Standing Pilates Lunge
  • Wall Roll Down
  • Standing Pilates Squat
  • Standing Pilates Footwork

1. Rolling Like a Ball – Standing

Standing Rolls

Stand straight with your feet planted approximately hip-width apart to begin Standing Rolls. Pretend that your back is pressed against a wall and roll forward one vertebra at a time, like you’re going to touch your toes without your legs losing contact with the imaginary wall. You should feel your hamstrings stretch. As you roll back upwards, keep your core tight and move slowly. Repeat a few more times. This move helps to create a better sense of balance, since your core must be engaged in order to roll forward slowly.

2. Standing Pilates Lunge

Standing Pilates Lunge

The Pilates lunge is a favoured exercise to strengthen the quadriceps muscles, gluteal muscles and hamstrings muscles. It also aids in hip stabilization and knee strengthening. Moreover, this routine also helps you gain a better sense of balance and an increased awareness of your body.

3. Wall Roll Down

The Roll Down involves sequential flexion which in turn creates space between the vertebrae’s of the spine. It releases tension in the neck and shoulders, the spine and also works the abs and stretches the hamstrings while improving blood circulation throughout the whole body. The Roll Down also teaches you the correct way to pick something up off the floor without hurting your back. Make sure to bend the knees when lifting and breath out as you come back up to standing.

4. Standing Pilates Squat

This exercise aims to tone leg muscles and provides a great workout for the core muscles and the entire lower body. It looks simple but should be executed with control and awareness. It can be made more challenging by incorporating small weighted Pilates balls, which will work to tone the shoulders as well.

5. Standing Pilates Footwork

Standing Pilates “Footwork” is an exercise that is done to begin the advanced mat workout and it can also be performed on the reformer. Standing Footwork is a variation of this exercise that is fast and easy to do at home. It’s a great thing to do when you get home from work in the evening! It strengthens abdominal muscles, improves balance as well as stretching and strengthening the oft forgotten feet.

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