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Top 5 Pilates Exercises for your Abdominals

Posted on 1st March 2019 by

The abdominal (or tummy muscles) play a key feature in Pilates. ‘Setting the core‘ is often a starting point for many exercises.

The great thing about Pilates based abdominal exercises are that the movements are slow, considered and controlled. They very much focus on ‘quality’ movement, making sure you’re aware of your lower back, which, if you’ve ever experienced low back pain, is really important.

These 5 exercises that focus on your tummy area can help ease and prevent aches and pains around the back, hips and pelvis,

#1 Scissors

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre Engaged.
  2. Float your legs one at a time into the tabletop position (hips and knees bent to 90 degrees).
  3. Hold this double tabletop position, so both of your legs are bent up.
  4. Lower your left leg and tap the tips of your toes on the mat and then float the leg back up into the tabletop position.
  5. Lower your right leg and tap the tips of your toes on the mat and then float this leg back into tabletop.
  6. Repeat alternating legs.

#2 Hip Twist

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre engaged.
  2. Float your leg up into tabletop.
  3. Keeping your leg in tabletop, glide this leg outwards from your hip joint.
  4. Draw this leg back in again until your knee is directly above your hip.
  5. Repeat on alternate legs.

#3 Abdominal Prep

  1. Start in the Pilates rest position with your hands interconnected and placed behind the top of the neck to support the head. Elbows slightly lifted away from the floor, shoulders drawn down and in.
  2. Slide your ribcage downwards towards your waist to lift your head, neck and shoulders off the mat whilst maintaining the neutral spine position.
  3. Hold and then lower to the mat.

#4 Half Roll Back

  1. Sit on the mat with your legs in front, hip-distance apart. Bend your hips and knees a little.
  2. Roll off the back of your sitting bones and round your spine into a deep C-shaped curve from the crown of the head to the tailbone. Arms long, reaching forwards parallel to the floor.
  3. Scoop your tailbone upwards towards the ceiling and roll further back-wards off your sitting bones to round your pelvis and lower towards the mat behind you.
  4. Roll your body forwards to the starting position, moving from your pelvis.

#5 Criss Cross

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent up in the Pilates Rest Position. Legs hip width apart, shoulders drawn down and in and your neck long. Centre engaged.
  2. Float both legs one at a time into the tabletop position. Fold your hands one on another and place them at the base of your head for support. Lift your elbows into your peripheral vision. Then scoop your upper body into the abdo. prep. position.
  3. Reach your right leg forwards and upwards on a diagonal. Simultaneously, reach your right shoulder blade diagonally across towards your left hip, keeping the upper body lifted. Allow your head and neck to follow the diagonal movement of your upper body.
  4. Alternate legs and rotate your upper body to the right, reaching your left shoulder blade towards your right hip. Keep the upper body lifted throughout.
  5. Repeat alternating legs with rotation of your upper body. Keep your upper body lifted.

Although at first glance these exercises may not seem too challenging, when performed correctly, they may surprise you!

Read More

We have lot’s of informative and educational Pilates articles over on our blog, which you can find here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about joining our specialist Clinical Pilates classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford, take a look at the details of what we offer, our timetable of over 20 classes a week and more information about getting started with Pilates.

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