Everything you need to know about pilates (and some beginner combos to try)

PSA: It's a happy girl summer...which means it's also a pilates-girl summer, natch. Whether you're a pilates pro or are brand new to it, there's always more to learn about this amaze way to exercise. We've listed everything you need to know about the slightly more strength-centered version of yoga and what beginner combos you *need* to try ASAP. It's time to put on your cutest workout set and start your pilates journey, bb!

What to know

What is it?

Pilates is a mind-body exercise that focuses on building strength with an emphasis on deep breathing. Pilates targets your powerhouse muscles the most (think: core, glutes and hips), but it's great for your whole body. Similar to yoga, it's done on a mat and can make you more flexible. It also includes the practice of centering (bringing your awareness to the center of your body) and focusing on slow, controlled movement.


Although it's become more trendy recently, believe it or not, pilates has been around for over a hundred years (yep, you read that right)! It was invented by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century as a way for dancers to recover from injury. Since then, it's blown up and is practiced by tons of people around the world.


Pilates can improve muscle tone, flexibility and strength. It can also help with recovering from injuries, posture, balance and coordination. Plus, it can have positive effects on your mental health and overall wellbeing since like yoga, it focuses on mindfulness and deep breathing. 

Beginner combos 

If pilates is new to you, it's important that you don't push yourself too much at first to prevent injury. Start small and work your way up to the more advanced workouts. Here are some of our fave beginner combos, depending on your sitch. 

For when you're down for a challenge: 

For when you're feeling tired: 

For when you want something in between: 

What's your fave Pilates combo? Tell us on Twitter @girlslifemag

Slider image: @imsweatyandiknowit


by Eva Mandelbaum | 5/23/2023