Blog Fitness Pilates Stand Strong, Move Mindfully: The Art Of Standing Pilates Exercises

Stand Strong, Move Mindfully: The Art Of Standing Pilates Exercises

Standing Pilates is perfect for days when you run short on time or traveling. Rolling out a mat or carrying one isn’t convenient everytime. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip your workouts. It only takes a few minutes to complete a standing pilates exercise. And, by the time you are done, you will feel a rush of energy throughout your body. Keep reading this article to learn more about standing pilates and a few other exercises to help you get started.


What Are Standing Pilates Exercises?

Joseph Pilates initially introduced pilates as an exercise while lying on the floor. He developed this routine to help rehabilitate WWI wounded soldiers. Later he modified this method into seated and standing positions. Joan Breitbart further introduced the Standing Pilates that we witness today.

Standing Pilates adapts many classical pilates mat exercises into a vertical plane. Working on body awareness, strengthening the core, and gaining mental confidence can help improve one’s balance and make it easier to perform new movements on one or both feet (1).

How To Do Standing Pilates Exercises?

Standing Pilates is great for beginners and even those who have practiced pilates for a long time. Check out these easy-standing exercises to add a new twist to your pilates routine.

See also
Barre Vs Pilates: Which Is Right For You?

Tendon Stretch

Follow these steps while doing a tendon stretch:

  1. Stand with your heels touching and your toes pointing outward.
  2. Place your hands behind your head.
  3. Lift your heels off the ground and lower them back down without separating them.
  4. Repeat this 5 to 10 times.
  5. The aim is to stay balanced without leaning forward or backward. Try to go straight up and down as if you are floating. You will feel your outer hips and inner thighs engaging.

Read More: The Pilates For Runners Guide: Use This To Improve Your Core Strength

standing pilates exercises


Here are the steps to follow while doing the marching variation:

  1. Stand straight with your arms stacked on top of each other at shoulder level. Keep your posture tall, avoiding slouching or locking your knees. Imagine your head reaching toward the ceiling.
  2. Lift one knee as high as possible from your center without shrinking or changing your height. Then, lower that foot and switch to the other knee.
  3. Repeat this movement to increase speed while maintaining balance without leaning to one side.
See also
Wall Pilates Guide For The Beginner Looking For A Sculpted Body

Wall Roll Down

To do a wall roll down:

  1. Stand with your back against a wall, keeping your feet about 10 inches away.
  2. Slide your shoulder blades down your back and raise your arms, placing them just within your side vision.
  3. Straighten your spine, engage your core muscles, and lead with the top of your head as you bend forward.
  4. While keeping your legs straight with slightly bent knees, gradually curve your spine downward, one vertebra at a time, until you reach as far as feels comfortable. Your arms should move alongside your ears.
  5. To return to the starting position, initiate the movement from your lower abdominals, just above your pubic bone.
  6. Slowly roll up, sequentially lifting each vertebra until your head rises on top.
  7. Repeat this sequence 3 to 5 times.

Does Standing Pilates Work?

Standing Pilates exercises are gentle and suitable for every physical condition. Besides being enjoyable and fun, standing-up pilates exercises have many physical perks for the practitioners.

Some of which are:

Improves Core Power

Pilates has established that all strength of movement begins in the core or torso. Some pilates exercises challenge their practitioners to execute the routine on one foot. This requires the torso to engage deeper (2).

See also
When To Start Doing Wall Pilates: You're Never Too Old (Or Too Young) For This Gentle Workout

Builds Leg Strength

The exertion of gravity and the entire weight on the legs may help enhance leg strength (2). Apart from leg strength, you will also improve hip mobility and work on your glutes.

Enhances Balance

Standing Pilates can help you improve your balance by making you more aware of your body (3), strengthening your core muscles, and giving you the confidence to try new movements while standing on one or both feet. It is an excellent option for people who fall or trip more frequently.

Unlike the popular belief, standing pilates can improve your leg and core strength. Curating a workout regime according to your health and fitness goals is essential. For more guidance, seek help from a professional trainer who can help you formulate a sustainable exercise plan.

Dropping pounds by the dozens without putting yourself through the wringer is everyone’s weight loss pipe dream. But what if we told you that the BetterMe app can make that happen? Keep yourself in prime shape with our fat-blasting workouts, delicious budget-sparing recipes, and body-transforming challenges with our app!

See also
Pilates Basics: A Guide On This Low-Impact Workout

standing pilates exercises

How To Do Pilates Standing Up?

Pilates is a versatile exercise. You can look for pilates, standing arm exercises, or the standing pilates leg exercises chair-version to spice up your dull workout routines. When doing standing pilates exercises:

  1. Begin by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and your posture aligned. Imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head.
  2. Engage your core muscles by gently drawing your navel toward your spine. This is vital to stabilize your torso.
  3. Relax your shoulders and keep them away from your ears. Maintain a relaxed and open chest.
  4. Start with simple movements, such as marching in place or gentle heel-to-toe rocking, to warm up your body and activate your muscles.
  5. Next, move to specific pilates exercises like tendon stretch, marching, and wall roll-down.

Always consult a healthcare professional before initiating a new exercise program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition or injury.

What Is The Hardest Type Of Pilates?

If you think you are ready to do advanced-stage pilates, you should explore some of the most challenging exercises out there. But before you leap into them, be sure to start under expert supervision. A few of the most rigid types of pilates include:

  • Backbend on the ladder barrel
  • Advanced thigh stretch on the reformer
  • Candle stick on the Cadillac
  • Advanced mat teaser with boomerang
  • Control balance off the reformer
See also
Pilates For Pelvic Floor Injury: Top Exercises For Improving Muscle Strength

Performing these exercises asks for a significant amount of strength and endurance. Beginners and older people should instead opt for easy-standing pilates exercises. Plus, many standing pilates exercises for seniors are known for their benefits and positive impact on overall physical health. Find the ones you enjoy the most and design a fun workout routine for yourself!

Read More: If I Were You, I’d Use This Wall Pilates Program To Activate My Body’s Natural Movement Patterns

standing pilates exercises

The Bottom Line

To sum up, standing pilates exercises offer a refreshing approach to fitness that can transform your body and enhance your overall perspective on life. By embracing the power of balance, stability, and core engagement, these exercises strengthen your muscles and improve your posture, flexibility, and coordination.

With that in mind, step up, find your balance, and let the transformative benefits of standing pilates lead you toward a stronger, more vibrant you!



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. The 4 most important types of exercise (2022,
  2. Core Galore: 15 Pilates Exercises to Develop Your Powerhouse (2021,
  3. These 19 Benefits of Pilates Will Inspire You to Fire Up Your Core (2021,
Get started