Celebrities like Kate Hudson swear on Pilates, and it’s no wonder. These six key moves are really focused on the core, but your arms and legs are under tension all the time. This makes it much more challenging to hold your position – and gives you a workout for your butt and back, while really strengthening your abs. Get a leaner silhouette now with this 10-minute Pilates abs workout.
Do each exercise back to back without any rest. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end and repeat the workout 1-2 more times.
- Lie on your back with arms by your sides, palms down, legs long and hugged together. Scoop your abdominals in and up to lift both legs off the mat while you bring your chin to your chest.
- Keep your legs high enough so your back lengthens flat on the mat. The tips of the shoulder blades remain on the mat. Raise both arms 6 inches above the thighs.
- Inhaling slowly through the nose, begin pumping the arms straight up and down for five counts. Exhale and continue pumping for five counts. Keep your arms straight, pumping from the shoulders as if your arms are in water and you’re making waves.
- Continue inhaling and exhaling with pumps to a count of 100 pumps (or 10 breaths).
Single Leg Stretch
- Inhale while lying on your back; on your exhale, sink your abdominals in and up to lift your head and bend your right knee to your chest, while lifting the left leg straight out.
- Grab your ankle with your right hand and your knee with your left hand. Open your elbows out to the side and give your leg a vigorous pull.
- Inhale and switch legs, bringing your left knee to your chest; left hand goes to ankle, right hand to knee.
- Exhale and sink your abs deeper on the pull/pull.
- Continue switching legs for 10 reps. Be sure to scoop your abs throughout, keeping your back flat on the mat and body stable.
Double Leg Pull
- Start lying on back with knees bent hand next to calves. The back should be imprinted gently into your mat and abdominals are engaged. Head neck and shoulders flexed up off the mat.
- As you inhale, reach your arm straight back behind head and push your legs straight out to the diagonal.
- As you exhale, circle the arms back to start position and pull the legs back to table top position forming an ab crunch.
- Keep your neck relaxed and head lifted throughout the exercise.
- Continue for 10 reps.
- Start lying on your back and lift your right leg up and keep your body still as you make 8 clockwise circles, then 8 counter-clockwise.
- Repeat with your left leg.
- Lie on your back with one leg lifted straight to the sky and the other stretched out long, a few inches off the floor.
- Sink your abdominals deeply and lift your chin to your chest, taking hold of your top ankle.
- Pull first one leg with the hands and switch legs like scissors. Keep your body strong and stable while switching legs.
- Repeat eight reps.
- Start lying on your stomach with your arms by your sides. Lift your torso and legs up off the mat as you lengthen your arms forward by your ears, reaching long from fingers to toes.
- Lower down to starting position.
- Repeat 3 to 5 reps.
- Start lying on your side with your legs slightly in front of your hips.
- Turn your right toes up to the ceiling then lift and lower your right leg 8 reps without letting your hips rock backward.
- Keep your core tight the entire time. Repeat on the left side.