This Pilates workout for the butt and thighs requires no equipment at all, meaning you can do it anywhere.
This is an intentionally slow routine. Pilates is normally slow, but here I've slowed it down even more, with a short pronounced pause at strategic portions of each range of motion (ROM). It might feel counterintuitive to move so slowly, but pay attention to the way your muscles feel when you slow the motion down; you will feel it! When you move this slowly, you make it nearly impossible to use momentum to "cheat" through portions of your range of motion that are weaker. It's a great way to make sure that you're strong all the way through a particular ROM and it helps increase overall bodily control. It's not as exciting as a sweaty, breathless HIIT or strength routine, but it is important and helpful to being able to safely doing those other, more intense styles of training.
On a personal note, these exercises have been a lifesaver for me recently. If you've ever worked out with us over the last 9 years, you're probably used to seeing me push myself through challenging HIIT & strength workouts. Right now, I'm a beginner all over again - and that's fine. A couple years ago, I started struggling with chronic pain. Around 4 months into the ordeal, it got much worse. I spent 2 years nearly entirely homebound. There were points where I could barely walk. It was terrifying, very painful, and I became depressed. There were moments where I honestly thought my life was over. It took a lot of personal work but I tried hard to look at it as an "eye opening" experience instead of a devastating one, and I have done my best to take the experience and turn it into something positive, something that I can hopefully eventually utilize to help others. It's working; I have a ways to go, but I am doing much better.
So this was my return to filming, the first time I've said "Workout Complete" to you guys for over 10 months! It felt good to be back. I'm a little rough but I'll get back into the swing of things :)
I wanted to share a couple of things. Firstly, I have not done any HIIT or strength training for well over a year now (note: my pain is/was not related to either HIIT or strength training). I often see people stressing out about a missed workout, or a missed week of workouts, thinking that they are going to lose all of their progress if they don't stick to the grind. I just took a year off of any intense workouts whatsoever! I know that my body has changed but I am still at a healthy bodyweight and I am still healthy. If you keep a calm mind (don't panic), do the physical activity that you are able to at any given point, and make sure that you're eating healthily, all hell won’t break loose. I share this in hopes to encourage you to keep a less militant attitude about your own workouts.
Something else I want to share; I know this beginner friendly workout will seem very easy for some of the FB community, and I think it's important to keep in mind that it might also be very difficult to others - myself included, at the moment. I really dislike seeing people knocking "too easy" workouts; 1) there are people who will struggle with those same routines others scoff at, and that can be a disheartening situation for someone who's just starting out. 2) these are foundational workouts! I'm sorry to tell you but no one is too cool for these kinds of exercises; the "easier", slower stuff is all part of a well rounded routine & being able to push yourself safely. And, you may find yourself unexpectedly a beginner again one day so it's important to be compassionate. Life happens. Related: Dealing with setbacks; How to stay fit while injured or sick
I actually had to work really hard to be able to get to a point where I could even do this particular routine, something that would have been very easy for me before. When I first started doing this routine after my setback, I was only able to do 3-4 reps, one time through. I felt so weak. But I kept at it. Just a little at a time. I am on my way to rebuilding, and can now do these exercises for ten reps, twice through. That's progress! And instead of being ticked because "I'm not where I was", I'm celebrating my steps forward. I will not talk negatively about my body; these are the times when our bodies most need us to show up mentally and say "I've got you. We can do this". Maybe even drop an L bomb in there; "I love you". It's cheesy and it might feel entirely ridiculous and foreign at first but it's a mentality switch worth making.
I'm not quite there yet, but when I can safely take on a more intense workload, I want to share the things that I have learned through this experience, and the things that got me through.
Anyways, onto the workout!
We start off with a gentle cardio warm up, and then move onto a Pilates workout for the butt and thighs; your cool down and stretch is also included. Modifications will be provided all throughout; choose the difficulty level that works for you. The modifications make this a great workout for a wide range of fitness levels; it's a beginner friendly workout but you can also add bands to these Pilates exercises in order to significantly increase the challenge. You can also take longer breaks and modify if an exercise makes you feel unsure or uncomfortable. Make it work for you!
Cardio Warm Up: 30 Seconds each
March in Place
Side Step Chest Opener
Single Leg Walker (repeat on both sides)
3 Marches + Knee
Squat + Side Leg Lift
Up & Over Side Lunge
Jumping Jacks (low impact modifications provided)
Printable Pilates Workout: 10 Repetitions each
Side Leg Raise
Side Rear Diagonal Raise
Kneeling Leg Raise
Kneeling Diagonal Extension
Bridge + Extension
Cool Down & Stretch
I really did miss talking & working out "with" you guys. I'm wildly grateful for my friends and family, and the FB Community. So many people reached out to share their own stories and methods for dealing with chronic pain. This little corner of the internet is a beautiful place, thanks to you guys.
Grateful to be able to say that I'll see you guys soon with some more new workouts!
Thank you for working out with me,