20-minute home Pilates workout

Looking for a simple, effective workout you can do at home? Our Pilates instructor, Olivia Tyler, leads a 20-minute online class to help you stay fit and flexible.

This quick Pilates workout focuses on back mobility and glute strength, which is particularly important if you spend a lot of time sat down.

The class is split into 6 exercises, some of which you can modify for more of a challenge. There’s also a relaxation section at the end, which you can enjoy for as long as you like.

During the workout, remember to move as your body wants to, go at your own pace, and breathe deeply in time with each movement.

So don some comfy clothes, choose a spot with plenty of space around you, and grab a mat or towel to cushion you.

How to perform the exercises

Neck and spine stretches

  • Drop your chin to your chest, then slowly raise it to the ceiling – repeat 5 more times
  • Lower your chin to chest as you curve your spine forwards. Place your hands on your thighs as you lift your chin and extend your spine. Then drop your body down to a forward fold before slowly rolling up to a standing position – repeat 3 more times
  • Drop your chin to your chest and slowly roll down to a forward fold. Roll up the way you came, before lifting your chin and sticking your chest out at the top – repeat once more.


  • From standing, roll your body down once again and walk your hands out in front to a plank
  • Hold your plank position with a straight back for 20 seconds
  • Then drop your right knee down, followed by your left.

Elbow to knee stretch

  • From an all-fours position, reach your right arm forwards. Then tuck your chin under, bringing your elbow underneath you and curving your spine as much as possible – perform this 4 times
  • For a challenge, reach your left leg back while you reach your right arm forwards, in a balance. Then bring both limbs underneath you at the same time, so your elbow touches your knee – do this 4 times altogether
  • Then repeat on the other side 4 times for each variation.

Side stretch

  • From all-fours, bring your left knee towards your right hand, tuck the back leg behind and sit down so you’re facing the side of your mat
  • Place your left hand or forearm down, stretch your right arm out and reach it up and over to the left, holding the side stretch for a few seconds. Then bring your arm back down the same way – do this 4 times in total
  • For an extra challenge, you can add in a twist. Come into the side stretch, twist your upper body to the left and place your right hand or forearm on the floor – do this 4 times
  • Switch your legs around and perform each variation 4 times on the other side.

Glute stretch

  • Swing your legs around so you’re facing the end of the mat with your legs bent. Tuck your tailbone under and roll down to lie on your back
  • Tucking your tummy in, lift your pelvis slightly and squeeze your glutes up into a bridge. Hold for 10 seconds, and slowly roll your spine back down to the floor – do this 4 times
  • For an added challenge, you can add in a leg raise. Once you’re up in a bridge, raise your right leg straight up to the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Then lower your leg down so it’s parallel with your left leg, place your foot down, and slowly roll your spine down – do this 2 times on each side if you can.

Leg and spine stretch

  • Lying down on your back, bring your right knee up and hug it into your chest
  • Put your hands under your right calf and extend your right leg up as you lift your head up towards your knee
  • Hold for 15 seconds and bring your head down. Keep holding your leg up for another 5 seconds, before bringing your leg down too
  • Perform this twice on each side.


  • Lying down, take a deep breath in, followed by a big deep breath out
  • With each breath, think about the weight of your body pressing into the floor. Feel how heavy your skull is, feel the shoulders pressing in towards the floor, feel the weight of the pelvis, and notice the ankles and wrists. Let everything sink into the mat
  • Inhale deeply into your abdomen, and exhale deeply out
  • Then, squeeze your hands into a fist, hold, and relax your palms down – do this once again
  • Next, tense your glutes, hold, and release – do this one more time
  • Finally, shrug your shoulders up to your ears, hold, and let go – repeat once again
  • Continue the deep, heavy breathing with big inhales in and big exhales out
  • Carry on relaxing for as long as you like.

If you’re after more online exercise classes, check out our home workout videos.

Last updated Tuesday 24 January 2023

First published on Tuesday 7 April 2020