17 Minute Pilates Core Series Workout


Calorie burn:

65 to 85





Equipment Needed:

Mat, No Equipment

Workout type:

Low Impact, Pilates, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Pilates is a great way to build strength in your upper body, legs, and core, all while toning and slimming and this routine is no different. This Core Series Workout is built to accommodate not only the beginners to Pilates but also those who are veterans and are looking for even more of a challenge. This is accomplished by the progressive design of this routine.

As you move through these groups of exercises (abs, back, and core) each one is harder than the last. If you are a beginner you may want to stay on the first or second exercise of the abdominal series if the later movements are too hard and you cannot keep proper form. Just repeat the exercises you are comfortable with again instead of progressing to the more advanced movements. As your strength grows, add the next motion in the series.

However if you can keep proper form and you are looking for a challenge, you will want to follow along with every exercise as they increase in difficulty, or you may even want to jump right into the harder exercises and double up on the repetitions of that motion.

Either way this routine can easily be modified to suit your individual ability level.

In the first round we focus primarily on the abdominal muscles though you will also feel this quite a lot in your quadriceps (top of thigh) and hip flexors (front of hip). These motions are all done from the imprint position (aka footprint), so they do not use a range of motion around your abdominals but rather train them to hold one position, which in turn teaches your stomach not only to stay constantly tensed but also to pull in, giving you the appearance of a smaller waist line.

The second round consists of movements that target the lower back but also hit the shoulders, butt, and thighs. A lot of my clients have expressed their hatred for these back exercises (because they are difficult, a bit awkward and my clients are a bunch of pansies; ha! Kidding.) I can’t say that I blame them but keep this in mind; you can not have a flat stomach and strong abs without having a strong back. Also, doing motions to strengthen your back will always be integral in protecting your back from injury and for supporting good trunk mobility.

The third section is shorter than the rest but heavily targets the obliques. This round also focuses on the other core muscles, and the thighs, as well as challenging your balance and bodily control. Moving through this exercise more slowly will help you maintain your balance but will also make the movement more difficult, increasing its benefit. Just be sure to keep your body in a straight line and your hips perpendicular to the ground, as your legs will try to swing forward, tipping your hips back, causing your abdominal muscles to take over.

Whatever your skill level, just keep your motions slow and under control, and a trim, toned core will not be far off.

Calorie Estimations:
135 lb Woman: 65 Calories
185 lb Man: 95 Calories



03/06/15 8:50am

I really liked those side oblique crunches/leg raises.


02/26/15 10:10am



02/15/15 4:28pm

I love you guys! Every single video I do, I love you more & more. It's helpful for me when you guys express the importance of breathing, tightening core, etc. Just good reminders hearing your voices through out. Love you guys!!!!
How about a long video (or longer) that has no cardio, & is low impact for STRENGTHENING my back, so that I can finally do more ab work?
Please keep doing what you are doing. You are changing so many lives :)


09/27/14 10:24pm

This is great. Can you do a specific workout for the posture? To strengthen the stomach, back and sides to eliminate kyphosis (curvature of the shoulders / a mild dowagers hump)? I am using this workout but would like something to lengthen my spine...


09/07/14 8:05pm

Brilliant workout!!


09/07/14 7:15am

daniel i would love a new pilates core video.


12/12/13 2:10pm

def fav.


12/11/13 7:45pm

That is one of my favorites for sure, I'll be doing this one again, loved it! I still can't execute the third section properly, I assume I'm not strong enough or I'm doing it wrong, but I will keep trying.


07/24/13 2:54pm

Can we have more total body Pilates? first time i try Pilates and i love it it works my abs a lot!! i tried the legs and butt too ouuchh sore!


07/02/13 9:06am

First exposure to Pilates-loved it! Did it after "sweat-alots" yoga/cardio!!


01/08/13 3:18pm

Love it! It's an excellent warm-up before jogging, I pair it with FB Total Body Warm-up :)


07/04/12 10:16am

Great workout. Could you do a post-pregnancy lower abs workout?

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