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Beginner Pilates for Nurses: A 5-Step Series to Help Strengthen Your Body

Pilates is a total-body workout that focuses on improving flexibility and strengthening your core, which makes it great for a nurse’s demanding schedule!  So to help you improve your overall performance at work and feel great throughout the day, we partnered with a certified Pilates instructor and nurse to put together this 5-Step Beginner Series.  The best part? You can easily do these in your scrubs at work! Try taking a break with a few co-workers to do these steps to help you re-energize.


5-Step Series:


  1. Single Leg Stretch,  8-10 reps on each side


Bring your knees to your chest, grab hold of your shins, and inhale slowly. As you exhale, curl your head, neck, and chest off the mat.


On your next inhale, extend your left leg out into a high diagonal and place your right hand on your right ankle with your left hand on the inside of your right knee. (Make sure to relax your shoulders while keeping your elbows wide.) Exhale slowly and switch legs.





  1. Double Leg Stretch, 5-8 reps


Inhale slowly and bring your knees to your chest.  Exhale deeply and use the momentum to curl your head, neck, and chest off of the mat.


On your next inhale, extend your legs out into a high diagonal while simultaneously extending your arms in the opposite direction.





As you exhale, circle your arms around and grab your shins to bring your knees back into your chest.





Note: Be very careful not to extend your legs too low!  Extend them to the point where you are comfortable and your lower back remains flat on the mat. For an extra challenge, try not to let your abs pouch out as you extend your arms and legs and really tighten your core and pull that belly button in as you exhale!


  1. Single Straight Leg Stretch, 8-10 reps on each side


Curl your head, neck, and chest up and extend both legs straight up to the sky. Lower your left leg down and hold the back of your right leg at the calf or thigh. Gently pull that leg towards you twice.




Switch legs and pulse that leg towards you twice as well.


Note: If your hamstrings are too tight to keep your legs perfectly straight, feel free to have a soft bend in your knee. Also, if your hips are tight, try turning out your feet slightly to relieve any tension.

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