If you’ve ever tried Pilates before, you know that it’s a lot more intense than it looks! Pilates is a killer workout because every move hits your abs and your core.
Because of all the core work, Pilates is one of the BEST workouts to get a tight tummy, a sculpted, sexy six-pack, flat belly, and a slim waistline – not to mention it strengthens your back and your spine, helping to prevent back pain and improve your posture.
I have been teaching both mat Pilates, and Pilates on the apparatus (the reformer, cadillac, and chair) for over 7 years. So, as you can probably guess, most of my ab workouts are very Pilates based. This 5 minute workout consists of six of the most popular exercises.
These are basic moves, found even in the most beginner classes, but are so beneficial that you will find them in the most advanced classes as well. This quick workout will hit all areas of your core — upper abs, lower abs, obliques, and lower back.
5 Minute Pilates Ab Workout
- Single Leg Stretch – Laying on your back, hug your RIGHT knee in towards your chest. Exhale to lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground as if doing a sit up. Lift the LEFT leg off the floor so that it reaches up diagonally. Inhale to switch your legs, and exhale as you hug your LEFT knee in towards your chest. Inhale through the center as you’re switching and exhale to hug the RIGHT knee back to the chest to complete ONE repetition.
- Criss Cross – Starting again with your RIGHT knee in towards your chest, bring your hands behind your head, and exhale to lift your head and shoulders up and twist your LEFT elbow towards your RIGHT knee. Inhale as you twist back through the center and start to switch your legs. Exhale as the RIGHT elbow reaches towards the LEFT knee to finish ONE repetition.
- Double Leg Lowers – Start with your hands behind your head and your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Exhale to lift your head up as if you were doing a sit up and hold that position. In that curled up position, inhale as you lower both legs down towards the floor without letting your back arch. Exhale to bring your legs back to the ceiling. Repeat, keeping the head lifted for all 10 reps.
- Scissors – With your legs straight up towards the ceiling and your arms down by your side, exhale to curl your head and chest up as if doing a sit up and grab behind your RIGHT thigh (or if you’re flexible, your calf or ankle). Inhale as you scissor legs to the other side and exhale as you grab behind the LEFT thigh, calf, or ankle. Switch to the other side to complete ONE repetition.
- Double Leg Stretch – Hug both knees in towards the chest. Exhale to lift your head and chest up to a sit up position. Inhale as you reach your arms up overhead and your legs out diagonally. Exhale as you come back in to hug your knees in to your chest.
- Back Extensions – Laying on your stomach with your arms reaching overhead, inhale to lift your arms head and feet off the floor and lengthen through your whole body. Exhale as you allow your body to relax back to the floor.
Have you ever done Pilates before??