Beginner Pilates Workout with Alisa Wyatt

Beginner Progression – Class 5 of 10

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The 5th workout in our series that builds your practice from basics to intermediate exercises introduces 2 new exercises: the Side Kicks and the Seal. Alisa Wyatt also adds more challenging versions of exercises you've been working on like a full Roll Up and a more difficult Teaser (as if it wasn't hard enough already!). Keep up the good work, you're building a strong Pilates foundation! Filmed at Pilatesology Studio in Hermosa Beach, CA. Next Class Quick Start Home

What Others Are Saying


  1. Roosh 3 months ago

    Hi! I feel like these beginner videos are a bit tough for me. It feels like that ab muscles just under my ribcage aren’t strong enough ye–should I return to the pre-pilates program?

  2. Homebody 6 months ago

    Hi Alisa,
    In Rolling like a Ball, pulling my stomach in does cause me to roll back – but in the version with legs close to the butt, how do I roll back up? I get “stuck” on the floor…not sure how to roll other than throwing my body up with a lot of momentum, which I’m guessing isn’t the right way to do it? Thanks for any help

  3. Cath1492 6 months ago

    I am 71 years old and have been doing Pilates for a few months. I feel that I have made a lot of gains with strengthening my core and general flexibility.
    However, I can’t seem to progress beyond beginner or pre Pilates classes because I can’t master rolling like a ball and rolling up. It seems that my back will not bend into a seated politicos without help. I can roll down but I can’t roll up without using momentum, so I don’t progress any further than the beginner classes, which do get boring doing the same things over and over.
    I have had a spinal fusion several years ago so that might contribute to the problem.
    I am beginning to wonder if Pilates is not appropriate for me because it seems that the roll up is the prerequisite for everything in Pilates.
    Any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Cathie Preston

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi Cathie,
      Congratulations on the gains you’ve been making happen with your practice! Please don’t be frustrated by the fact that rolling is difficult for you–it is very common and many of my clients leave rolling exercises out entirely due to their individual needs. That is the magic of Pilates, it is a system built to address your own body and can be easily adjusted for you. See my suggestions for classes to try below, these leave out rolling and keep the spine straight, they will help you continue to build strength and flexibility. If you’d like to keep doing classes that contain rolling movements that’s great too but when the teacher asks you to roll, try balancing instead or make the tiniest controlled tip-back and up. Basically not rolling but activating the muscles that would start and stop you from rolling. You can also try pressing your elbows into the front of your thigh/top of knee area as you balance–it’s deeply strengthening for your core and stretches your back.

      You are correct in thinking your spinal fusion has something to do with your difficulty rolling — you can picture that part of your spine trying to bend but it’s not allowed to so that makes it hard for you–rolling is most likely ok for you to try (unless of course it hurts) so if you decide to play with it, please be sure your mat is padded enough and enjoy a giggle at the awkwardness if it’s not perfect :).

  4. jacob1980 1 year ago

    hello! I don’t see the first class in this series?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi jacob1980, Here’s a link to the whole series (scroll down to Step 2 and you’ll see all of the classes): Can you let me know how you found this class without seeing the others? Are you on the app or did you do a search using the filters? I’m going to add links to the rest of the progression in each class so they will be easy to find but I want to make sure I”m not missing anything. Thanks!

  5. mela 2 years ago

    Hi Alisa,
    I am following the beginners progression and I totally love it. I just have one issue with leg circles: the part of the hip that is engaged in the exercise produces a sort of snapping noise, as there is something that gets un-stuck at every repetition. It’s not painful nor particularly uncomfortable, but it doesn’t feel right, also because if I walk a lot I sometimes feel some light pain in the hip area. Any suggestions for modification of the exercise/additional ones that may be useful?
    Thanks a lot!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi mela!
      Thank you for asking about your hip–please try modifying the exercise by making the circles on that leg much smaller. Think control instead of range of motion. Also, try anchoring the opposite hip to the mat to prevent any wobbling (put your hands on your hipbones to check). You may over time be able to go back to a bigger range of motion as things get stronger but don’t worry if it doesn’t change. You’re still getting all of the benefit of the exercise no matter the size of the circle. Let me know if that doesn’t do the trick!

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