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DIY Fitness: Core Mat Based Pilates

By October 22, 2015 No Comments

DIY Fitness: Core Mat Based Pilates

This month, Platinum Physio are kicking off a “Do It Yourself” health and fitness  series.

Each issue, we will show you a new way to live an active Platinum lifestyle. These have been created by our physios for you to do at home or in the gym to strengthen specific areas of the body, increase mobility and improve your overall health and well being.

First up, we will focus on our CORE – this is important for improving posture and preventing back pain and discomfort.

Here are five mat-based exercises from our physio Clara to get you started on your fitness journey:

Arm Arcs

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  1. Bend your knees keeping feet on the floor and reach arms up above shoulders keeping them active and straight throughout exercise
  2. Engage abdominal muscles to keep pelvis still throughout exercise
  3. Slowly take opposite knee and arm out to the side until you feel your pelvic twist to one side
  4. Use deep core muscles to bring leg and arm back to centre
  5. Repeat x 10 each side

Dead Bugs

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  1. Bring both legs into a tabletop position (90 degree bend in knees and hips)
  2. Engage deep core muscles to help stabilise your neutral spine
  3. Keeping 90 degree bend in the knee, slowly arc one leg down to tap the floor
  4. Use core to lift leg back to tabletop
  5. Repeat x 10 on each leg



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  1. Clasp hands behind head to support your head and neck, ensure you keep elbows wide and neck muscles relaxed
  2. Feet flat on floor, hip width apart
  3. Tuck chin slightly and lift chest up towards your knees
  4. Think about bringing your rib cage towards your hip bones to engage the correct core muscles
  5. Slowly lower shoulder blades back down onto mat with control
  6. Repeat 2 x 10


Leg Extension Sit-Ups

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  1. Reach arms up above shoulders keeping them active and straight throughout exercise
  2. Both legs in a tabletop position, engage deep core muscles
  3. Ensure neck muscles stay relaxed throughout
  4. As you bring arms down by your hips, lift shoulders off the mat using abdominal muscles to lift
  5. To advance – extend one leg as you lift your chest without flattening the small of your back into the mat to keep neutral spine
  6. Lower chest back down, lift arms to starting position and legs back to tabletop
  7. Repeat x 10 each leg


Double Leg Extensions




  1. Begin in tabletop with core muscles engaged keeping neutral spine
  2. Keep pelvis still and a slight curve under the lower back
  3. Extend one or both legs into a straight 45 degree line
  4. Do not let lower back lift further off mat
  5. Bring legs back to tabletop
  6. Repeat 2 x 10