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Pre-Pilates Progression Class 1 of 6

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If you had a hard time doing the exercise in Alisa Wyatt's Self-Assessment video then this Pre-Pilates Progressive Series is for you! Designed to rebuild your core while teaching you the fundamentals of Pilates, it's also safe for anyone who needs to keep their spine straight due to osteoporosis, back injury or surgery. You can find more workouts like this one in our Spine Safe and PrePilates categories.

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Thank you Alisa!

I used to do Pilates back in LA at Ron Fletcher, and I need to start over again. That was in the 90’s and I’m now in my 50’s... so I’m starting over with pre-Pilates and it was just enough to get me started in the right direction. Looking forward to more spine-safe and beginner videos. I love pure Pilates, so I’m so excited to have a place that is true to Joe Pilates. Hard to find these days!

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 06/09/2019 9:54 am

Hi Priyakirti! I'm so happy to hear that this feels like home for you, with such an illustrious Pilates beginning it's an honor! We're adding more spine safe workouts all the time so keep an eye out for more. 🙂


hi Alisa
thank you for those pre-pilates classes,
i'm laure, i stopped my Pilates certification that i was doing in barcelona with Fabien Menegon because i was pregnant..
now i feel that i need to start over, baby is 20 month now, i have a diastisis recti but i work on it and it's much better, do you think it's ok to start completely over?
Even if i pass the test and my core is still strong but i want to start from the beginning
thank you again

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 10/09/2019 7:17 am

Hi Laure! Yes it is absolutely great for you to start over from the beginning. I actually love to go back to the beginning myself once in a while, it makes everything you do better. Have fun and let me know if you have more questions!


Thank you so much for this pre pilates video. I have never done a single move of pilates in my life. I can't really explain it...but pilates is calling my name. This was a perfect way to start. Very descriptive and just what I needed.

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 18/09/2019 10:41 am

christinaangel, I'm so happy to be your first Pilates teacher! When I first tried Pilates it was because it was calling my name too :). Enjoy your journey it's one that can help keep you healthy and fit for literally the rest of your life.


Thank you so much for posting these videos! I'm 5 weeks into my pregnancy, can I keep doing these pre pilates and beginner videos until I need to switch to pregnancy videos? I tried one of the pregnancy videos and I didn't feel strong enough for it.

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 24/11/2019 1:46 pm

Hi Bethenylyn! Yes you can keep doing pre pilates and beginner until you feel it's time to switch. If you feel like trying another prenatal video I pulled this list for you: So glad to have you with us!


Hi Alisa,

I started doing this as part of my morning routine. I was wondering, in the last exercise, why do you turn the leg outward slightly versus having the kneecap pointing straight toward the ceiling? Is it to activate more of the inner thigh muscles. Thank you.

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 09/01/2020 10:50 am

Hi mmostaf2,
Yes that's correct, it helps to engage the inner thigh when you turn the knee out slightly. Thanks for joining me for this series, it's a great way to start your day!


This will sound silly, but how do i keep from hurting my lower back doing these exercises?

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 27/03/2020 12:36 pm

Not silly AT ALL -- if you feel like your lower back is straining, the key is to do less. For example, if I'm instructing you to hold your leg for a count of 10 you can hold for 5 instead, OR keep it at the top level and don't lower it down. Also if you feel that you're overdoing something, take a short break (maybe even pause the video) and focus on taking deep breaths and relaxing. I know from experience that when you're trying to strengthen your core, the muscles that are used to doing everything can be stubborn to turn off so be patient and let your body know you're listening. Don't be afraid that if you change the exercise to make it easier you're not getting a benefit, just keep repeating the workout daily and you should notice a difference in just a few days. Let me know how it goes!


I just started the pre pilates and I really like it. I did the first two both on the same day. Im thinking I will do the 2nd for several days until it gets easier. How do I know when Im ready for the next video? 

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 13/04/2020 3:52 pm

Hi Ann, Great question - you should do each video until you feel strong enough to do the movement without wobbling in your pelvis when you're moving your legs or losing the connection to your lower belly when moving your arms.
Since you were able to do 2 workouts in 1 day I suspect you're probably going to be ok to move through this series pretty quickly but I would suggest doing our ClassicFit Series next (it's the 3rd Progression on our Beginner QUick Start Page).

If you find yourself needing to do a class several times before you feel strong enough to move to the next, you can alternate with any of the classes from this list for variety. Hearing cues from different teachers is helpful: Pre-Pilates Workouts.

Hope that helps!



I am coming back to pilates after a very long time. I did the stretchy morning mat and it was so hard, so I realized I have to go back to basics! Thank you for these pre-pilates progression videos.

I notice as I am doing the exercises with the arms up and with the shoulders pinned down, that I have trouble keeping my right shoulder in particular pinned to the floor the whole time while I'm moving my arm back. It isn't painful at all - but I realize I start to tense my shoulders and my right shoulder in particular, in a lot of the exercises.

Do you have any recommendations for how I should progress through these pre-pilates videos? I did videos 1 and 2 yesterday, and am doing them again this morning. I didn't have any soreness this morning from yesterday, but I'm really cautious about form, so I am wondering what I should be checking for in my shoulders, to make sure I am keeping myself safe as I do these workouts.

Thank you!

Alisa Wyatt Alisa Wyatt Topic starter 20/04/2020 3:53 pm

Hi mchohan!
I'm glad you're doing the pre-pilates, it's really amazing for building the strength that will make everything you do easier!

I have the same feeling in my dominant arm that you do--that joint feels tighter and more difficult to move without popping my ribs up as it goes back. I do notice that it gets better the more I practice, so maybe that will happen for you too.

I don't think it's bad to do more than 1 video per day so long as you don't end up super sore in places you don't want to be. If you start noticing a big drop in your form, then stop but otherwise, I think 45-60 min is the max you should do at once. Of course it's fine to do less, you'll still get results--it's all about doing something every day.


Hi Alisa - I am just starting to do pilates again using your videos. I decided to start with the pre-pilates videos to make sure I have my form right. One thing I noticed, which I have found before when doing pilates, is that when I lift both legs, my lower abdomen tends to pop out slightly although my pelvis is still in alignment. Is this ok, or is the goal to lift your legs without this happening?

I do have a fairly significant curve in my lower back and have tried your suggestion of putting a towel under there to try to help engage the core muscles, but my lower abs still pop our when I raise my legs.

Topic starter

Hi Sorcha, Oh this is a great question and your low back curve is part of the answer because it will make keeping your low belly pulled in more difficult than someone who has a very flat low back for example.

Here's what I want you to think about: If you feel as though you are losing the integrity of your abdominal wall when your low belly sticks out then definitely go back to lifting 1 leg at a time until you can keep control. If however, you feel as though someone could step on your stomach without falling in when you lift both legs -- you're probably doing fine. 

Let me know if that makes sense :).


Thanks Alisa, that is very helpful.