Top 3 Pilates Moves for Toned Abs

Ah, Pilates, my first fitness addiction. I began practicing almost 5 years ago and teaching just over 4 months now. Today I’m sharing 3 classical Pilates moves that never fail to work. It takes 5 minutes to do this routine, so find a small spot on the floor and enjoy! single leg stretch.jpgimg_9840img_9841

  1. Start by lying on your back. Knees pulled into your chest.
  2. Lift head and shoulders off the mat
  3. Grab right shin with both hands stacked one on top of the other
  4. Extend left leg to a high diagonal
  5. Inhale as you switch legs
  6. Exhale as you pull left knee in towards chest
  7. Continue to switch. Do 10 on each leg.

Modification: head and shoulders rest on the mat. Continue to switch your legs.

Challenge: lower that extended leg closer towards the mat and/or lift another inch off your shoulder blades
single leg stretch-2.jpgimg_9842img_9843

  1. Start by lying on your back. Knees pulled into your chest
  2. Lift head and shoulders off the mat
  3. Inhale as you extend arms and legs go to a high diagonal
  4. Exhale as you circle arms around grabbing your shins while hugging knees into chest
  5. Do 8-10 reps

Modification: arms and legs are at a 90º angle instead of a 45º angle

Challenge: Lower your extended legs closer towards the mat while keeping that lower back on the mat

single-leg-stretch-3img_9844img_9845

  1. Start by lying on your back. Knees pulled into your chest
  2. Lift head and shoulders off the mat.
  3. Hands go behind your neck and extend legs straight to the ceiling at 90º
  4. Bring your feet into Pilates stance – heels together, toes apart
  5. Inhale as you lower legs to a place where your lower back remains on the mat
  6. Exhale as you lift your legs back to 90
  7. Do 8 reps

Modification: Create a triangle with your hands (index fingers and thumbs connect) and place it under tailbone to support your lower back

Challenge: Lower your legs closer towards the mat while keeping your lower back pressed on the mat to prevent injury.

Do this routine every day for a week and you’ll definitely feel your abs tightening.

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Let me know if you want to see any other Pilates-related posts! Would love to share.

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