5 Pilates Moves You Can Do Anywhere

Written by Sylvia Ostrowska

Photo by Sylvia Ostrowska

Working out in a cozy Pilates studio is fun in the winter months, but when the weather is beautiful, it's hard to force yourself to go inside at all.

Unfortunately, very few fitness studios hold classes outdoors. Luckily, there are a number of workout moves you can actually do outside on your own.

Read on for five moves you can do anytime, anywhere.

Donkey Kick

Photo by Sylvia Ostrowska

Donkey kicks are a great exercise to strengthen and tone your glutes and hamstrings.

Stand arm-distance away from a ballet bar or bench and then lower into a one-legged squat. Place your weight onto your one standing foot.

Lift your other leg, extending it behind you with your heel pointing up.
Pulse your leg up (keep your foot flexed!) for 10 reps and then switch legs.
Make sure to keep your core activated during this exercise.

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Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and make sure your other knee doesn't touch the floor. Keep the weight in your front heel, making sure to keep your upper body straight and shoulders back. Switch legs every time you lunge. Do 30 reps on each side.

Side Plank

You can do side planks wherever you are—on a mat, on the beach, or even on a bench!

Just rotate your body to the side and balance on your forearm, with your legs stacked on top of each other. Extend your other arm toward the sky. Hold for at least 10 to 15 seconds, and if you've mastered this pose already, you can hold it for 30 to 35 seconds.

Repeat the exercise on the other side. For an additional oblique challenge, you can do hip dips by dropping your hip 1 to 2 inches down and picking it back up. Repeat this 10 times.

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A teaser exercise is part of the classic Pilates mat sequence. It takes a lot of strength, flexibility, control, and balance—all things we like to develop in Pilates.

Teaser, when done properly, is one of those Pilates exercises that falls into the category of "flat stomach exercises."

Begin lying down, arms along your sides and your legs straight down on the mat.

Bring your chin to the chest. Begin to roll up, scooping the abdominals and extending the arms and legs to a 45-degree angle from the floor, balancing on your sitz bones.

Your arms should be parallel to your legs. Keep your chest up and steady your breath! Hold the teaser for 10 seconds and roll back down.

To enhance this exercise, send your arms straight to the ceiling while keeping your legs at a 45-degree angle.

Triceps Dips

Triceps dips are an easy, effective way to tone your arms because you can do them anywhere.

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secure bench, stable chair, or on the ground. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground, and keep your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Straighten your arms, extending them without locking the elbows. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body.

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