Pilates Beginner Workout Series with Alisa Wyatt

Beginner Progression – Class 7 of 10

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The 7th class in our series that takes you from beginner to intermediate Pilates exercises is all about extension. You'll notice the exercises you've been practicing are getting more intense and perhaps you can feel a difference in your strength by now? In addition to more practice on the Swan and Neck Roll, Alisa Wyatt adds preparations for Single Leg Kick and Double Leg Kick. Filmed at Pilatesology Studio in Hermosa Beach, CA. Next Class Quick Start Home

What Others Are Saying


  1. scongdon
    scongdon 4 months ago

    So excited about the progress I’ve made in just 3 weeks! Thank you so much for this wonderful series! I have a question—when I do the stomach exercises, I find it difficult to keep my heels together. I make a concerted effort to and have gotten better but as soon as my legs go off the ground, I can no longer keep my heels together no matter how hard I try. Do you have any advice for how I can strengthen myself to be able to keep my heels together? Thanks again!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi scongdon, I love hearing that you’ve made great progress with these classes, congrats on your results! For your heel connection question, it’s hard for me to know what is preventing them from staying together as you lift without seeing you in person but here’s some questions that might give me clues. Are you talking about heels staying together when you are on your back or on your stomach or both? And do you feel like your knees are preventing your heels from connecting or does it feel like it comes from higher up in your pelvis or low back?

      • scongdon
        scongdon 4 months ago

        It’s only when I am lying down with my stomach on the matt and do the exercise where I lift my legs up off of the ground. I can keep my heels together (when I remember to) any other time. I am slightly knock-kneed so maybe I just need to build up my glute muscles. I feel like that exercise specifically works muscles in my glutes that I haven’t previously.

        • Alisa Wyatt Author

          Your knees could be making it a bit harder for you so don’t worry about your heels not connecting, just continue working to keep your legs together. That will do the job and as you continue to build strength you might see a change in your leg alignment but regardless you’re going to have better support!

  2. BethanyB 5 months ago

    Hi Alisa! I can’t get my legs straight in the teaser and end up rocking all the way back when I try to push them straight. I’m also seeing that on the side work I can’t kick my leg back without straining and rolling forwards – it just seems to be stuck in the start position and not want to go back at all! Lastly, on Saw, I can’t bend close to the mat and I notice the stickiness in my lower back. Is there anything I can do to improve on my leg and back flexibility so I can do these exercises or should I just keep at them as they will improve over time?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi BethanyB, thanks for asking–these are all very common issues for beginners so you can take comfort knowing almost everyone is struggling along with you :). It sounds like you’re working through some tightness in your hamstrings and low back along with needing to build more strength in your mid and low abs. Be patient–with daily workouts these things will change and you’ll start to nice it gets easier to achieve a better Saw position or keep your torso stable in the Side Kicks–just do those exercises a bit more slowly in the meantime and keep practicing!
      Here’s some tips: for your Teaser, try lightly holding the back of your legs, keep your chest lifted and extend your legs to a place you can hold without falling back. Hold there for a count of 3. Soften your knees and roll down. Come back up and repeat.
      If you do suspect that your hamstrings are part of the issue, try this class for some tips: https://pilatesology.com/classes/mens-workout-for-tight-hamstrings/
      Let me know if that helps!

  3. helenz 7 months ago

    Hi, I want to ask if it’s better to follow through the whole exercise without breaks? I find myself losing posture as exercise goes on. If taking breaks doesn’t affect outcome, is there a time interval which we should limit the breaks in?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi helenz, Oh that’s a good question! I definitely think there’s a benefit to continuing to make an effort as long as you can because that will challenge your muscles to get stronger. However as you’re noticing, once your posture starts really falling apart you’ll start missing the point of the movement. So my answer is YES, breaks are ok and the length should be 15-30 seconds or up to when you can get close to the correct alignment again. Don’t worry if you’re not close to perfect, consistency and focus will give you the best results.

  4. Emixon12 7 months ago

    Quick check in on this progression – is there a certain point of ability I should get to with a given class before going on to the next? The progression I’ve done through this series thus far is 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7. I’m definitely getting stronger, but nothing is “easy” yet and there are definitely portions within the class where I take breaks, have to reduce to an easier form, etc. Should I be staying at certain class levels before going on or is the 10 course series just to expose you to different movements?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Emixon12 you are doing it exactly right. You should definitely repeat classes that are difficult in this series and in a perfect world, I would want you to go do a video with another teacher in between – hearing someone else’s cues can really help your body integrate all the good stuff. You’re on class 7 so anything from this list of classes would work (use the filters at the top if you want to see more or fewer classes). Your note that nothing is ‘easy’ yet is exactly what I want to hear as a teacher because it means that you’re focused and working hard in each class. I hate to break this news but the exercises you’re doing are still hard for me too after 22 years. The good news is that you’ll see and feel amazing changes in your body which will allow for more progress, it’s like peeling an onion, every layer you take off reveals another layer. Finally, this series is building the complete classical mat – you don’t want to skip forward in the series or you’ll miss the preparations for movements I add on in later classes but you can absolutely go back and repeat classes you’ve done as many times as you like. When I started Pilates, it took me over a year to be able to do the exercises in Class 10 with decent alignment – after that it’s all about jumping on your mat for 20 minutes regularly to keep your body primed.

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