Five Stretches to Warm Up to Before Pilates

Posted 11 January 2022

As anyone who is dedicated to exercising will tell you, warming up and stretching before your workout can make a huge difference not only to your results, but also to your body and overall health. Stretching is very important – both before and after your workout. By stretching, your letting your body prepare itself for the rigorous physical activity its about to endure, and this preparation helps you avoid stiff and sore muscles, if not an injury!

As a low-impact exercise, many people think that stretching before Pilates is unnecessary. What’s more, because Pilates can be done without the use of equipment, and because it’s not as cardio-intensive as other workouts, there is a misconception around why stretching before your Pilates class is even necessary.

Stretching is important! If you’re practicing Pilates, here are five stretches to warm up to before your next session – and why stretching is so important!

The Back

Whether you are sitting or standing, this is a great way to stretch out your back. Put your hands behind your head and interlock the fingers. Now pull up gently with the right arm while bringing the left knee forward until it touches the elbow of the right arm. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch arms and legs.

Repeat each stretch three times on each side.

The Shoulder Blade

This one works out those muscles between your shoulder blades that often need some extra love during Pilates sessions! Start by keeping both arms down by your sides, using them as support if you have to – simple! Pull back firmly with both shoulders at once so that you feel a slight stretch along your upper spine, between your shoulder blades. This is a great one to do during those times you’re seated for too long at work!

Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat three times on each side.

Five Stretches to Warm Up to Before Pilates - members at Club Pilates studio

The Neck

This simple stretch is as much about relaxation as it is about stretching – which can be just as important if we’re feeling super tense throughout the day! Lean your chin towards your chest and gently drop it downwards, so that you feel a light stretch along the back of your neck.

Holding this pose for 20-30 seconds will not only release tension but it will also leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after all that time spent staring at computer monitors! Keep both hands down by your sides to ensure an even, supported stretch. If you need extra support, try resting your hand on a chair or table behind you – whatever feels the most comfortable.

Repeat each stretch three times on each side.

The Legs

What can we say about this one? It’s awesome for warming up, and it feels great! Stand with both feet hip-distance apart and put your weight on your right leg. Bend your left knee up behind you while sticking out (but not tensing) your pelvis forward, so that you feel the stretch in the back of the thigh of your left leg.

Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat three times on each side.

The Gluteal Muscles

Who doesn’t love a good butt stretch?! This is particularly beneficial if you’re practicing Pilates on a Reformer or any other machine using resistance because it will be working your gluteal muscles throughout the session.

Start by standing with one foot in front of you while keeping your weight evenly distributed between both legs. Now rotate your leg inward (so that the ankle crosses over) and lean back while bringing your torso towards your thigh.

Hold each stretch for 10 seconds and repeat three times on each side.

Why Stretching Before Pilates is Important

Pilates itself is a great workout, and it’s low-impact so there isn’t too much strain on your muscles . It does, however, involve some intense muscle contractions and resistance to keep the body in good form during exercises.

Stretching before Pilates not only helps you get into your all important “Pilates mindset”, but it also ensures that you’re ready for the intensity and muscular work that comes with a session! Many people stretch before Yoga or other forms of exercise because these practices require flexibility – Pilates falls right into this category!

Five Stretches to Warm Up to Before Pilates - Club Pilates studio