Men and women alike rue over the perfect abs they once had that have now been replaced—by a beer belly or post pregnancy flab! Juggling a successful career and family at home is no easy task; it barely leaves room to catch your breath. Time is precious. So, instead of wasting money and time at the gym, you can do these simple Pilates exercises for abs to get back your abs of glory.
Pilates for Abs
1. The Hundred:
Before you jump into Pilates, you need to warm up with these exercises. The Hundred is practiced by almost all Pilates coaches as it warms up the body by improving your breathing and heart rate while stretching and relaxing your spine and chest. It also strengthens the muscles and accelerate the flow of blood in your body. To do this, you have to lie on your back, lift your shoulders and curl forward with your legs stretching at a slight angle. During this exercise, you belly remains tight and sucked in.
2. Ball Exercises:
You can use the Pilates ball to get a great workout for your abs. This stability ball is less stable than the exercise mat, which adds to the resistance. Besides, stretching on the ball gives your body an organic rubdown and intensifies the abs workout.
[ Read: Medicine Ball Exercises ]
3. Double Leg Lower Lift:
To do this exercise, you have to stretch your legs vertically upwards. Now pulling the inner leg and keeping the ankles together, rotate them slightly. Put your hands behind your head and keep the elbows wide open and inhale. During exhaling, suck in your tummy and push your lower back to the floor. Doing this in reps of 6 to 8 is very beneficial for trimming the waistline.
[ Read: Pilates VS Yoga ]
There are various squeezes in different Pilate workout abs routines. The inner thigh squeeze while sucking in tummy helps in abs definition and can help you get those fab abs!
[ Watch Video: Pilates For Beginners ]
5. Back Extension with Rotation:
Lie on your stomach, placing the palms under your forehead. Raise your head, shoulders and chest off the floor and rotate your upper body to the right and go back to the lying position. Do six reps switching sides.
A lot of the stretches of Pilates are targeted towards reducing tummy flab. Using stability balls help in intensifying a workout.
[ Read: Yoga Exercises For Stretching Your Body ]
7. Dolphin Arm Plank:
For this pilates abs, you have to rest on your elbows (that should be directly under your shoulder) and knees. Keeping your abs tight and the legs together, step into a plank position. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths. Do 1-2 reps.
8. Leg Kick:
Lie on your stomach with both legs together, extended behind you. Now you need to swing the right foot as far as you can and kick out twice in the air. Doing six reps by switching sides helps in toning the abs.
9. Criss Cross:
To do this pilates for flat abs, lie flat on your back and bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor. While keeping your hands behind the head, exhale while scooping in the stomach. Your pelvis should lie flat while your chin and shoulder blades are drawn up off the mat. Now extend your left leg and rotate your body towards the right knee while exhaling. Switch legs and inhale. Do 6 reps and increase to 10 with time.
10. Ball Leg Curl:
Doing leg curls help ward off tension from the neck and shoulders. Lie down on your back. Grasp the exercise ball with the help of your thighs and calves. Now, start to squeeze the exercise ball by pulling your legs towards your back. After a short pause, slowly return back to the original position. Remember to hold your breath out while squeezing.
Many of us, who are too busy to go to the gym, often do a few laps of crunches to reduce belly flab. But these isolated exercises seldom show results. Instead, you can do Pilates that engages your entire body to increase the intensity of the workout. So be ready to flaunt perfect abs! Don’t be scared to push your body, remember—‘No Pain, No Gain!’
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