Outdoor Pilates Workout Routine

When you think of outdoor workouts, Pilates might not be at the top of your list, but maybe it should. Transferring your indoor mat or apparatus driven workout to the local park is easier than you think.

Take your mind off the mat and try these four moves in a quick and easy 10-15 minute burst you can do anywhere there’s a park bench. Grab some clothes that are easy to move in, and you can actually keep your shoes on for these moves. These activities each have a park-specific option to amplify the results and make optimal use of your environment.


Pilates Jump & Jack in the Park

A woman performs a jumping jack.
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Believe it or not, jumping jacks were a favorite of  Mr. Pilates and you can make friends with them too. Here's one of my go-to variations the Jump & Jack.

Perform the Jumping section in two counts. Count one is up, and count two is down.

Now perform the Jack part in another two counts. This part is a jump forward and back with a hip thrust. As you jack forward, toss the arms to shoulder height. Then lower them to jump back. Here's the instruction overview:

  • Count 1: Jump arms overhead - feet wide.
  • Count 2: Jump arms down - legs together
  • Count 3: Jack forward - legs together - arms to shoulder height in front
  • Count 4: Jack back - legs together - arms back down.

Practice this until you master the sequence and then start your set.

Repeat 15 - 25 times.

Park Option

Find a low curb to perform the "Jack" part or forward/back part of the move.

The open close part or first two counts happen on the flat ground. Count 3 or the "jack" part hops up on the curb and comes back down on Count 4.

Do You Need to Modify Jumping Jacks?

Jumping Jacks giving you trouble? No problem. Perform this move using only the arms and let the lower body remain still. You will still warm up and get your circulation pumping without the struggle of coordination and timing to slow you down.


Pilates People do Push Ups Too

Push ups on a park bench.
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Pilates Push Up Series

Push ups? Check that. Pilates has those too. We do those with some specific parameters.

  • Step 1: Stand tall arms reaching overhead.
  • Step 2: Round down and walk hands out to plank.
  • Step 3: Take 5 triceps push ups.
  • Step 4: Pike your hips up and walk hands back to feet before rolling up to standing.
  • Repeat twice more for a total of 15 Push Ups.

Park Option

Use a bench as your support surface. Round down and place both hands on the bench. Walk both feet back and then take your 5 Push Ups. Press back up from your last Push Up and walk both feet in to stand tall before repeating 3-4 more sets.

Do You Need to Modify the Pilates Push Up?

No problem. Simply skip the Push Ups hold the Plank position for 3-5 breaths. Take a rest and then repeat 2-3 more times.


Pilates Side Planks in the Park

The side plank.
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Pilates Side Plank Series

  • Step 1: From standing, roll down and walk both hands out to a straight arm plank.
  • Step 2: Pivot to one side with feet stacked OR slightly apart.
  • Step 3: Reach the free arm up and over raising your hips and waist high.
  • Step 4: Then lower the arm over the legs and lower your hips toward the ground.
  • Repeat 5-8 times. Come through a full straight two arm plank before switching sides.

Park Option

Use the bench as your support structure. Take your plank at the bench by placing hands down first and walking both feet back. Pivot to one hand and repeat as above.

Do You Need to Modify the Pilates Side Plank?

No problem. Simply step one foot in front of the other for a wider support. Hold Step 1 for 3 - 5 breaths. Take a break and repeat 2 - 3 more times.


Pilates Standing Splits in the Park

A standing split on a bench.
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Pilates Standing Splits

  • Step 1: From an upright position step one foot back into a deep runner's lunge.
  • Step 2: Straighten the back leg and keep the front leg bent deep and low.
  • Step 3: Bring your torso upright and place hands behind your head.
  • Step 4: Hold your balance as you stretch the front leg straight and then bend it low.
  • Move in a slow controlled way and repeat 8-10 reps. Then switch legs.

Park Options

  • Option 1 - Stand behind a bench to support your hands if you need a little extra help to balance.
  • Option 2 - Stand in front of the bench and place the front foot atop the bench for a deeper stretch but less strength-building.

Do You Need to Modify the Standing Splits?

Wherever you do your workout, remember that the purpose of Pilates is to improve all the elements of your wellness in one system. Use your body as a team with all the moving parts working together. Remember to focus not just on strength and stretch which come easily with Pilates but on control, concentration and the breath which are all benefits of Pilates.

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