Six Pilates Exercises You’re Doing Wrong


Pilates is a great way to work out, but if you’re doing it wrong, it can be painful and ineffective. Here are six common Pilates exercises that people often get wrong—and how to do them correctly. Polestar’s flexible design of pilates instructor course allows you to attend courses on weekends, minimizing time away from home and work.

Single-leg stretch.

This is another great exercise for stretching and strengthening the muscles in your hips and thighs. It’s also a great way to work on balance, so it’s good if you’re trying to transition into more advanced Pilates moves.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand with your back straight, abs engaged.
  • Take one leg out in front of you, keeping both sides level by pointing your toes down towards the floor.
  • Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the hip of your raised leg (don’t bend over too far). If you have trouble balancing at first, try placing something like a pillow or mat under one foot for added stability until you get used to doing this exercise correctly.

Basic hundred.

The basic hundred is a great exercise for strengthening the core and improving flexibility. It can be done on a mat or without one, depending on your fitness level. The basic hundred is also a good exercise to start with when learning pilates.

Finally, I recommend doing the basic hundred in the morning.

Double leg stretch.

You’re probably doing this one all wrong.

The double leg stretch is a great way to open up your hips, but it’s easy to get into bad habits that don’t serve your body well. Make sure you’re not doing any of these:

  • Keep your neck long and your head in line with your spine. If you find yourself leaning forward or rounding out through the back of your neck, it’s time to rethink things.
  • Keep your hips square to the front of the mat by staying on top of them throughout the exercise; don’t let them sink toward either side of the mat or tip up too much at all times during this pose.
  • Keep both knees over their ankles at all times—this will help keep tension out of both knees and prevent injury down the road! You’ll also want those heels flexed for maximum benefit (you can bend them as much as possible). Standing on one foot may make balancing easier if needed too!

Spine twist and curl.

The shoulders should not be pulled back or forward, raised or lowered, rotated or shrugged. The spine twist and curl is a great exercise for improving mobility in the mid-back region. However, many people tend to use too much strength when executing this move. This can cause poor posture and overstretching of certain muscles that lead to injury if done incorrectly for long periods of time.

To properly execute this exercise: Make sure your spine is aligned from head to tailbone with no arching or collapsing at any point during the movement (this ensures proper alignment). With both hands on your hips, inhale as you rotate right while exhaling leftward twisting; then reverse direction with each breath so that you are alternating sides as you twist back and forth – but don’t forget to breathe! You’ll want your shoulders relaxed throughout so they don’t get tight once finished with this exercise – it’s important not only during execution but after too!

The roll-up.

The roll-up is a foundational Pilates exercise that’s meant to strengthen your core and teach you to stabilize with less effort. But it can also be frustratingly challenging, especially if you’re new to Pilates.

Here’s how to do it right:

  • Start with the mat under your lower back, legs straight and arms bent by your sides. Maintain a neutral spine as you lift up through the ribs. Your head should remain relaxed throughout this movement—no scrunching or rolling of the neck!
  • Keep your ribcage lifted as your arms extend above you into an “L” shape (or even higher if possible), keeping them straight throughout this movement as well. Lower back down slowly; repeat 11 times on each side for one set of three sets total per day (three total sets).

Side kicks.

You will begin in a plank position with your hands on the mat and your feet tucked under you. You should be able to keep this form for 30 seconds before attempting the side kick, which is essentially an extended push-up.

To do a side kick, slowly lower one knee at a time toward the floor while keeping your legs straight and arms parallel to the mat. Do not bend your back or allow it to curve toward the floor; instead, keep your spine in line with both front and back legs as they align vertically—a 90/90 angle is ideal. If yours look more like 210/85 degrees, try putting some cushions under both knees to elevate them slightly so that they remain level with each other during this exercise.

As you continue lowering into a push up position (plank), move only one arm out at time so that it ends up straight above your head along with its corresponding leg; this creates balance between sides of body when performing plank kicks for beginners or intermediate Pilates practitioners who are familiar with building strength through core work but still need improvement when engaging their abdominals properly during these advanced moves as well as doing so safely without causing undue strain on muscles or joints due to improper posture.”

Pilates can be done incorrectly or with poor form, which can lead to injury and muscle imbalance.

Pilates can be done incorrectly or with poor form, which can lead to injury and muscle imbalance. Pilates is a great way to build strength and flexibility, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t follow the proper safety guidelines. Pilates exercises should be done at home or at the gym under the supervision of an experienced instructor who knows how to identify any potential problems in your technique.


Pilates is a great form of exercise that can help you improve your flexibility, mobility and strength. However, when done incorrectly or with poor form, it can lead to injury and muscle imbalance. When performing Pilates exercises, always remember to listen to your body and use proper technique so you don’t hurt yourself! Find out what area to master in Pilates as you become an instructor.