Pilates Workout for Lean Legs & Toned Core


Calorie burn:

198 to 330





Equipment Needed:

Mat, No Equipment

Workout type:

Low Impact, Pilates, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Lately on Fitness Blender we have had a number of people asking for longer workouts as well as Pilates routines so we though we would answer your requests with this long 30+ minute Pilates routine that will have your legs burning by the time you are done. This routine has been designed to be done straight through without any breaks (aside from quick water break in the middle) to build muscle endurance as well as muscle tone in your legs and core, giving you long and lean muscles that are strong and defined.

With this workout we intentionally filmed in just one shot to make it as close as possible to how I taught my Pilates classes. I have given short pauses between exercises and level changes to allow you to rest if needed, though to get the most out of this routine try and use them sparingly or only when you have to relax to move to a new position. There are individual exercises where you will be following along with me as well as exercises where I progressively increase the difficulty by modifying the motion. You can choose whether or not to follow along with me or stay at a lower difficulty level, though the first time through you may want to stick to the easiest version to see how your body handles the full routine before making it harder for yourself. As you get comfortable with the routine, feel free to start on the harder modifications from the beginning of each exercise.

As with any Pilates workout, core contraction and breathing are key, so take your time to learn the breathing patterns as they can greatly enhance the calorie burn as well as the core toning effect. Also remember that all of these motions should be done slowly and fluidly. The muscle activation required to move slowly and under control requires more coordination and burns far more calories than the same motion done quickly, with an uncontrolled swinging.

With that said, if you make sure you are using a slow controlled motion and you go through the same progression I do then you can expect to burn anywhere from 6 to 10 calories per minute, that is a total of 198 to 330 calories burned with this 30 minute routine. I know that this is nowhere near the calorie burn many of our HIIT routines have but Pilates is not a heavy hitter when it comes to burning calories. However this routine is invaluable for when you need a challenging workout but you can’t or shouldn’t do any more high impact workouts.

Pilates for Lean Legs and a Toned Core

Group One
- Pelvic Tilt / Imprint
- Single Leg Toe Taps Level 1
- Single Leg Toe Taps Level 2
- Double Leg Toe Taps
- Scissor Kicks x 2
- Leg Extensions
- Double Pulse Scissor Kicks
- Leg Extension
- Leg Drop
- Full Body Stretch

Group Two
- Side Leg Raises Progression R
- Shell Stretch
- Side Leg Raises Progression L
- Shell Stretch
- Kneeling Leg Raise Progression R
- Shell Stretch
- Kneeling Leg Raise Progression L
- Shell Stretch

Group Three
- Shoulder Bridge
- Single Leg Shoulder Bridge R
- Single Leg Shoulder Bridge L
- Single Leg Hamstring Stretch R
- Small Leg Circles R
- Single Leg Hamstring Stretch L
- Small Leg Circles L
- Inside Thigh Raise/Pulse L
- Inside Thigh Raise/Pulse R

Stretches and Cool Down
- Hamstring Torso Stretch L & R
- Butterfly Stretch
- Hip Socket Stretch
- Straight Leg Hang
- Hip Flexor Stretch L & R
- Shell Stretch



04/23/15 1:13pm

Oh I love Pilates! Thanks guys for doing this video, I can't wait to try it. Pilates is so great for getting your abs nice and strong and for your legs when you need a break from all the squats and lunges. I always feel so graceful doing it. Thanks!


02/07/15 2:17pm

I had the temerity to complete the 52 minute Strength HIIT and Pilates routine this morning and decided to do another workout this afternoon since it is snowing again here in New England. This one was perfectly paced and challenging! I like the voice over for exercises like these - the ones that really require form correctly displayed. Love hearing you shouting out during a regular HIIT but when it comes to Pilates, where breathing and form are so important, this is the way it should be conveyed.

malak's mum

09/17/14 8:01am

i just love your workouts ... thank you both kelli and daniel im fun of u guys ...


02/14/14 10:13pm

Thanks for the answer. Wow, there is even extra information about eating before the exercise: I was thinking that the stomach must be completely empty before any exercise. It's good to know small amounts are OK before workouts though.


02/09/14 11:53pm

I was told that one shouldn't eat anything immediately after a workout, otherwise he will regain what was burnt right away. Is this true? I mean, are there specific timings of eating after a workout?

fitness blender

02/10/14 7:20pm

That is not true. Though there are specific times and types of food that one should eat when training to build muscle mass or athletic performance, for the average exerciser you don't have to be that strict. Eating after a workout is a good way to fuel your body and help promote more rapid healing etc. Just try to avoid a large meal before exercise as that can lead to stomach discomfort other wise eat when you are hungry.


01/29/14 1:44am

is it okay to do this exercise more than 3x a week?
I usually do a little cardio like power walk incline for around 10 minutes before


01/05/14 2:03pm

This is my 4th exercise I have completed on Fitness Blender and I feel really good afterwards. Thanks!!


12/30/13 6:19pm

Thanks for the answers! Now I understand.


12/28/13 5:53pm

When you sweat you lose liquid and release toxins from your body so sweating dosent necessarily means losing weight or losing fat. Your body starts to burn fat after 30 mins of a workout.


08/09/13 3:12pm

Does sweating necessarily result to weight loss? Is it possible to sweat a lot but not to lose much weight?

fitness blender

12/30/13 2:22pm

You will always loose water weight when you sweat but if you are weighing yourself before and after a workout be sure to do it without clothing for an accurate measurement. If you are referring to losing fat weight keep in mind that a pound of fat is 3500 calories so you would have to burn that much extra in a single workout to drop a single pound of fat (not recommended or even humanly possible). It is always best to drop fat weight slow and steady at around 2 pound per week max. And yes it is possible to sweat a lot during a workout and not actually lose any fat weight depending on how many calories you are taking in throughout your day.

Hope that answers your question.


06/06/13 4:50am

I used to struggle to keep my back flat against the floor during certain exercises as well but have recently noticed that my back isn't arching anymore which i am pleased with :-) Just keep doing pilates regularly and your back should get used to it...it took me a while to get that arch out my back but it just seems to have happened naturally.


03/01/13 8:12pm

possible my favourite work out :)


08/20/12 4:21pm

Oh btw my name's Smriti!! Thanks again!


08/20/12 4:19pm

To begin with I'd like to thank you both for such brilliant workout routines..I can't help but call you guys 'insane' by the end of a session. I could never imagine a mere 10 minute abs workout could make me sweat crazy amounts. Anyhow, thank you so so so very much! Now there is one help I request. In doing exercises like the jack knife or flutter kicks amongst others, I find holding my Lower back nailed to the floor quite difficult. I do contract my abs and not go very deep with my leg movements, to sort of manage the position best, but somewhere I always find a place for error. Is there a routine or something that can help me in ensuring a correct posture. I have improved no doubt but if there is something that can help me further..it'd be great. Also..
I think I have a stiff upper back and neck, because of which the Pilates swimmer and bow are supremely difficult for me. I stick to level one in their case but again if there is some exercise or stretches that can help me in getting some more fluidity and flexibility in that area..i'd be grateful.

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