Want to sculpt and trim some of the excess fat from your waistline? Try incorporating some Pilates moves into your routine!
Basically, Pilates targets your core already. But if you want to achieve flatter and more sculpted abs then step up your game with these 21 moves that is sure to give you a six-pack!
1. Full Plank with Leg Lifts
Start in a high plank position. Alternate between right and left leg lifts while keeping your core contracted.
2. Standing Criss Cross
Start standing with feet hip-distance apart and hands behind your head. Float one leg off the floor and rotate toward the lifted leg as you draw the knee up and across toward the opposite elbow. Straighten your leg back and face forward, but don't touch it to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 knee-to-elbow touches, then switch legs.
3. Oblique Ab Crunches with Stability Ball
Keep your stability with your back on the ball and your feet on the floor. Easily, with your abs firm, make your normal oblique crunches, about 20 reps on each side.
4. Side Bend
- Sit with left knee bent, left foot flat on the mat two to three feet (60-90 cm) out from you (the closer the foot, the harder the exercise). Right foot should be on the floor tucked behind the left ankle. Place right hand flat on the floor one foot (30 cm) away from your right hip, preparing to support the upper-body weight.
- Inhale and, as you exhale, ?lift your hips off the mat as you extend both legs fully-without pushing your feet out-drawing inner thighs toward one another to a side plank. Your right leg is slightly behind the left, with only your feet and right hand touching the floor. Keep exhaling while extending your left arm overhead (shown). “This is a beautiful movement that looks like a rainbow,” says Ivic. “There is a lot of work happening in that supporting arm.”
- Slowly lower to the mat, and repeat five times; switch sides.
5. Oblique Pike Push Up
Start in a plank position and cross one foot in front of the other, rotating your hips toward the front foot so they face the side. Draw in your bottom hip using your abs and pike your hips up behind you. Lower your hips and return to the crossed-leg plank. Maintaining your feet as is, try one push-up. Repeat the pike and plank 10 times, then switch sides.
Start in a side plank with your feet stacked, one hand on the floor for support and the other by your side, reaching for your feet. Raise your top arm and leg together into a star position and hold 1 count. Lower back to starting position and repeat 10 times.
Lie on your stomach with your arms reaching overhead, pulling your abs away from the floor to protect and lengthen your lower back. Lift your legs, arms, and head off the mat.
Keeping your knees straight, lift your entire right leg and left arm a few inches away from the floor. As you lower your right leg and left arm, lift your left leg and right arm away from the mat to complete one rep.
Continue alternating sides in a slow controlled manner, keeping your torso stable, for a total of 20 reps.
8. Single Leg Circle
The single leg circle is a classical Pilates mat exercise, and one of the best for challenging your core strength and pelvic stability. The abdominal muscles must work hard to keep the entire torso controlled despite the circular movement of the leg in the hip socket.
9. Double Leg Stretch
Lie faceup and bring both knees in toward your chest. Curl your head up and place your hands on your knees.
Extend both legs out in front of you as you reach both of your arms overhead. Try to get your legs as straight as you can while still keeping your lower back on the floor.
Circle your arms out and around back to your knees as you pull your knees back in toward your chest.
10. The 100
Start lying on your back. Bring both knees into the chest to form a tabletop position. Bring your head, neck, and shoulder off the mat. Arms are long at the sides. Extend legs long and lower as far as possible while keeping the abs engaged and back connected to the mat in a slight imprint.
11. Double Leg Stretch
Hug both knees into your chest with your head lifted forward and your elbows wide. Inhale with control as you reach your legs forward and arms backward—stretching in opposition—and drawing your abdominals in deeply to support your spine. Exhale slowly as you deepen back into your hug position, using the pull of your knees into your belly and chest to expel more and more air from your lungs. Repeat six times.
Any twisting motion is great for stimulating digestion and massaging the internal organs and entire core region. I particularly love the saw; it feels so good for the entire body and stretches and strengthens the obliques and lower abdominal muscles. Sit up nice and tall with your feet hip width apart. Open your arms to your sides and twist towards your right foot then imagine sawing off the right pinky toe with the left pinky finger. After three little pulses, scroll up through the spine and twist in the opposite direction and repeat. Do each side five times.
13. Shoulder Bridge with a Stability Ball
Start your position on your back. Lie supine, spine neutral, both knees bent with one foot on the ball and one on the mat. While inhaling, extend your hips up off the mat. Keep that position and then while exhaling, lower your back down. Make about 20 reps for each side.
14. Spiderman Plank
Start in plank position and float one leg off the floor behind you. Draw the knee to the side toward the same elbow, then extend it straight back behind you, never touching the floor. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
15. Roll Back and Up with a Stability Ball
Sit with your legs extended straight out in front of you, feet flexed. Hold the ball in front of you at shoulder level, arms straight. Keep your chest up and back straight. Contract your core and glutes, then slowly roll back until your back is flat on the floor and the ball is directly overhead. From that position, bring your chin to your chest and slowly roll back up to the starting position.
16. The Gymnast
Start in a crab position with your wrists under your shoulders and feet under your knees, hips lifted in line with your ribs. Draw your hips back to straighten your legs, keeping your butt hovering off the ground while squeezing the lower abdominals. Bend your knees to bring your hips back up to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
17. Footwork on Stability Ball
Lie on your back on the mat and keep your arms by your sides. Then, start bending your knees and place your feet on top of the ball. Make sure you have your heels together and toes pointing slightly outward in a small V shape. Keep your abs firm and contract your glutes to lift your hips an inch off the floor, then roll the ball away from you until your heels are on the ball. Then, bend your knees to roll the ball back to the starting position. Make about 20 reps of this exercises, always having your abs firm.
18. Banana Lifts
Start on your side with your legs straight and stacked, arms over your head. Inhale and reach your body long, then exhale and lift your legs, head, neck, shoulders, and arms off the floor by squeezing the top side of your obliques. Hold a beat, then return to start. Repeat 10 times and switch sides.
19. Swan on a Stability Ball
Lie facedown with your legs extended shoulder-width apart behind you. Position the ball under your chest and rest your forearms on the floor, palms down, elbows close to your body. Bring your shoulder blades back and down, press your palms lightly on the floor, and slowly lift your head and chest as you lengthen your spine. Hold for two or three seconds and then return to the starting position. Make about 20 reps of this exercise.
20. Can-Can Corkscrew
Start resting on your forearms, legs lifted to tabletop and lower back tight to the floor. Keep your upper body still and rotate your hips and knees to point to one side, then extend the legs straight. Keeping the legs extended and together, circle them down and around to the other side, keeping your abs tight to maintaining a C curve. Bend your knees back to a tabletop at the center. Repeat 20 times, alternating sides.
21. Mermaid with stability ball
Place your ball on your left side, and start bending your left leg in front of you. Keep your right leg behind you. Then, place your left hand on the ball with your elbow slightly bent. Then, extend your right arm out to your side at shoulder level. Make sure to keep your abs firm and roll the ball out to the left as far as you can while reaching your right arm over your head. Hold the position for about three seconds, then roll the ball back toward your body and return to the starting position. Make about 20 reps and then switch sides and repeat.