Pilates

6 Standing Pilates Exercises That’ll Really Make You Sweat

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Unless you’re into the reformer, most Pilates workouts take place on the mat. And don’t let that fool you—you can get an incredibly effective full-body workout without ever leaving it. But if you want to light up your core, glutes, and legs in a totally new way, these standing Pilates exercises are exactly what you need.

It only takes a few minutes of doing these standing Pilates exercises for you to really start to feel the burn. And by the time you make it through the oblique wood chops, standing leg extensions, and heel raise squats, you’ll already feel stronger all over. When you’re ready to get started, press play on the first video and make your way down the list.

Standing Pilates exercises that light up your entire body

1. Oblique wood chop

  1. Step your left leg back.
  2. With a Pilates ring in your hands, extend your arms overhead to the left.
  3. Lower into a stationary lunge, bringing the ring down to your right side as you do. Press back up.
  4. Perform 12 reps on each side.

2. Outer thigh squeeze

  1. Start in a small squat position with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Loop a resistance band above your knees.
  3. Slowly push your knees out to the sides, then bring them back to center.
  4. Perform 12 reps.

3. Squat with balance

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms overhead.
  2. Bring your right knee up to hip-height, then lower it back down and squat.
  3. Perform 12 reps on each side.

4. Standing leg extension

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Go into a small squat. Shift your weight into your left leg as you extend your right leg behind you.
  3. Lift your right leg, then lower until you lightly tap the floor. Raise and repeat.
  4. Perform 12 reps on each side.

5. Standing oblique crunch

  1. Step your right leg out to the side, and raise your right arm in the air.
  2. Balancing on the left leg, pull your right knee up, meeting your right elbow.
  3. Perform 12 reps on each side.

6. Heel raise squat

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms in front of your body.
  2. Press into your big toes as you raise up onto your tip-toes.
  3. Lower down into a squat, then raise back up.
  4. Perform 12 reps.

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