Free Online Pilates Exercise Videos

Woman in sports bra and leggings on yoga mat in front of laptop

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You can find detailed instructions along with pictures for just about any Pilates mat exercise you are looking for online. Written instructions offer a lot of benefits in that you can take your time studying them and practice at your own pace. Also, they often offer more depth than you find in a video clip. That said, witnessing a beautifully performed move can provide useful insight into an exercise.

The Best Free Pilates Instructional Video Clips

The basic criteria for inclusion on this list are that the video is free, easy to see, performed with excellent form, and that verbal instructions are clear when they are provided.

1. Scapular Stabilization Exercise: Scapular stability, or shoulder stability, is a key concept in Pilates exercise. 

2. The Hundred Exercise: This article and video will show you how to do the hundred as well as how to modify it. 

3. Chest Lift with Rotation on the Exercise Ball: This video gives you valuable insight into how to progress an exercise. The exercise beautifully demonstrates pelvic and lower body stability as the torso moves.

More on Chest Lift:
Chest Lift on the Mat
Chest Lift with Rotation on the Mat

4. Pilates Push Up on the Ball: This video will give you a lot of insight about how a Pilates push up should be done.

More on push up:
Pilates Push Up on the Mat Instructions
How Not to Do Push Up

5. Extension on the Exercise Ball: This extension on the ball is especially well demonstrated. Notice the connection between working the hamstrings and the abdominals.

6. Bridge on the Ball: This video breaks the exercise down so that you can see how to get your alignment right, and learn to engage your hamstrings throughout the exercise.

7. Leg Bend and Stretch with Exercise Band: These exercises tone the entire leg as well as work the abs and arms.

More on exercise bands:
Learn About Exercise Bands
Pilates Exercises with Exercise Bands

8.  with Exercise Band: Kickback with the exercise band will help you work your glutes (butt muscles) and hamstrings as well as your core as you keep you shoulders and pelvis stable and aligned as you move.

9. Pilates Reformer Footwork: This video gives you a detailed look at the footwork pattern, and importantly, the way to align your body and use your muscles. Also see: Footwork on the Mat 

More Free Online Pilates Videos Resources

Balanced Body Podcasts: Balanced Body has put together a very nice, and varied, series of podcasts. These downloadable videos are divided into focus categories. There are sections for instructors, enthusiasts, and for rehabilitation. One called Elizabeth's Studio features Pilates expert Elizabeth Larkam teaching on a variety of topics. Balanced body updates these videos weekly.

YouTube: There has been an explosion of Pilates videos posted on YouTube. There are lots of Pilates mat exercises, and YouTube is one of the few free ways to see lots of Pilates reformer exercises and other Pilates studio equipment demonstrations online.

Unfortunately, the quality of YouTube Pilates videos is very uneven. Some of the first choices that come up when you search "Pilates" are not very good. So you really have to be careful. If you are new to Pilates, do not depend on YouTube videos!
That being said, there are wonderful Pilates demonstrations to be found on YouTube. I find the best strategy is to start with searching well-known names like those from Pilates DVDs you might be familiar with, and then explore from there.

Also, some of the very best Pilates on YouTube is archival footage of Joseph Pilates himself. Just search "Joseph Pilates." Of the archival videos, one of the favorites is Joseph Pilates with his protege, Romana Kryzanowska in the Pilates and Romana Original Video. You will find a great variety of videos here, all from the same instructor who is (unfortunately) not named. There is basic Pilates mat work as well as exercises with equipment like the exercise ball and the fitness band.

One of the best ways to take advantage of exercises that you find on video is to also look them up in the Pilates mat exercise instructions so that you can get more detailed instruction to go with the video.

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