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The best Pilates exercises to improve your stability

Welcome back for part 2 of our ‘best of’ Pilates exercise lists, where we recommend our top 5 exercises for specific problems. We’ve already covered posture and strength, and this time round we’ll be covering flexibility and stability.


When we talk about stability in the world of Pilates, we’re talking about Joseph Pilates’ key principles of centering and control, or in other words, if you were living life as a tree, the ability of your trunk to support your branches, and therefore allow them to get on with their own things, without them hurting themselves for trying to things that they shouldn’t have to.

1. One leg stretchKicking off our top 5 Pilates exercises for stability is the one leg stretch, which aims to challenge your stability in the face of rotation forces. Your Pilates instructor might advise you to imagine balancing a glass of your favourite drink on your still knee, which should hopefully provide some extra motivation to nail the precision principle during this exercise!

2. Shoulder  bridgeTwo key areas that really benefit from stability exercises are the front of your hips and the back of your pelvis. Our star of the show, the shoulder bridge, is the best one for the job, challenging you to maintain the stability of these key areas by activating the core and glutes whilst you perform the exercise.

3. One leg kickAlso helping to stabilise the back of your pelvis is the one leg kick exercise, which might look easy at first glance, but mastering it is tricky, and there are lots of ways that we can make it trickier for you if it is too easy, to make sure you’re properly challenged.

4. Swan diveNames can be deceiving, and whilst this exercise might not be quite as exciting or dramatic as the name might suggest, it’s a great choice for anyone who needs to improve the stability of their neck and shoulders whilst incorporating deep core work.

5. Arm openingsThe arm opening exercise is not only great for improving your flexibility, it’s also great for improving the stability of your shoulder blades and your mid back, an area which is hugely important if you want to steer clear of shoulder, neck and back problems, which aren’t much fun to have!