This Pilates Mat Workout Is All About Strengthening Your Knees and Feeling Good
The beauty of Pilates is that you don't have to be free of all joint issues to feel good midworkout. The practice is designed to stabilize and strengthen your knees. So, for people like me — whose sensitive knees dictate their fitness routine — the no-impact sweat is my go-to.
Certified Pilates instructor, the founder of the Movement Culture Collective, and a Glo instructor, Mark Osmundsen, proves this point with his mat workout below. It's centered on strengthening the knees, preventing future knee injuries, and finding proper alignment to better support all functional movements.
"Strong knees are an essential part of Pilates, and any functional workout, because the bulk of our weight depends on proper alignment of the knee joint to stay pain and injury-free during all types of movement — even walking," he says.
When practicing the moves below, Osmundsen stresses that no matter your knee strength, proper alignment (especially ensuring that the hips and ankle joint are in proper positioning!) is most important. And if you're dealing with pain, check in with a medical professional before beginning anything new, or to seek personalized advice.
"Take time to gently warm up the whole body before this workout, possibly with some light cardio or short yoga flow," he says.
Cooling down is important, too. After your session, Osmundsen suggests stretching the thighs, glutes, and hips by taking some figure four stretches, Half Pigeon poses, and a pike stretch — hold each for 20 seconds.
With all that said, don't forget that this session is all about feeling good — enjoy yourself and feel comfortable taking rests as needed!