Pilates is a core-centric routine that can help you achieve perfectly sculpted abs. If you’re looking to define your midriff and trim your waist, here are some equipment-free Pilates exercises you should definitely try:
- Lie on your belly with your palms at chest level, pressed onto the floor. Your legs are about a hip apart.
- Prepare to get into the plank position by engaging your back and shoulder muscles. Slowly but simultaneously, lift your arms and lower body from the ground until the line from your crown to your heels forms about a 45-degree angle with the ground.
- Note that while your palms and toes are supporting your body, most of your weight should be carried by your core. Tuck in your pelvis and breathe in deeply.
- Breathe out as you lower your upper body and bend your forearms so that instead of your palms, your elbows are touching the ground. Press your elbows against the floor and spread your shoulders away from the spine. The chest should be open, collarbones away from the sternum. The neck doesn’t strain. Do all of these without losing the incline of your legs.
- Hold this pose for about 30 seconds to a minute while inhaling and exhaling properly.
Single leg kick
- Lie on your stomach with your upper body supported by your forearms. Your palms are either flat on the floor or are clasped together. Your shoulders are relaxed and your chest is broad. Your neck is elongated; you are facing front. Your legs are straight and extended behind you.
- Inhale. With your abs pulled in, swing your right leg twice to the direction of your butt. Exhale every time you kick.
- Switch legs while inhaling: extend your right leg, and lift your left leg.
- Repeat step 2 with your left leg.
- Complete six to eight repetitions.
Double leg lift
- Lie on your back and lift both of your legs up to form a 45-degree angle with the floor. The heels of your feet should be touching.
- Place your palms on the base of your skull, so that your chest is open. Lift your head and your shoulders, squeezing your abdominals.
- Inhale and gently raise your feet as straight as you can, up to 90 degrees. Stretch your hamstrings by pointing your toes toward the ceiling.
- Exhale as you lower your legs. Make sure that you do not arch your back, but push it to the floor.
- Repeat six to eight times.
Back extension rotation
- Lie on your stomach and place your palms under your forehead.
- Engage your lower back muscles to raise your core, chest, shoulders, and head off the floor.
- Slowly, rotate the upper part of your body counterclockwise, lifting your right side as you do so, as if you’re pulling something from the ground. Your arm forms a straight line with your shoulder. Your left elbow helps support your weight as you twist, but your core is holding you up. Keep your neck straight.
- Hold for two beats, then ease back to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise, but this time, lift and rotate the left side of your body.
- Complete six repetitions on both sides.
Getting a firm and strong core is just one of the many benefits of Pilates. Discover all that the exercise can offer by joining a Pilates class at C2 Body. Sign up for a life-changing class today.