5 Pilates Moves That Tighten Abs

by BeFit Fitness Genie

Pilates exercises offer a fabulous core workout that builds strength, improves flexibility, and develops control and endurance throughout the body. While some Pilates exercises require an instructor (at least in the beginning) and specific pieces of equipment, there are a number of Pilates floor exercises that can be done anywhere. With these Pilates moves that tighten abs, you don’t need any special equipment, but a floor mat can be helpful. You can do these floor exercises three to fives times per week in about 15 minutes.

5 Pilates Moves That Tighten Abs

You can do the following basic Pilates moves at home or in the gym on a carpeted floor or on a mat.

Roll Ups

Lie face up with your arms extended overhead, palms facing the ceiling. Extend your legs with heels together and toes turned outward. Inhale. As you exhale, raise your arms over your chest. Pull your abs in, and roll up to a seated position. Continue rolling forward until you are bent over your legs, reaching your hands forward. Inhale, then exhale while you reverse the sequence to return to your starting position. Do 1 set of 5 reps.

Single Straight Leg Stretch

Start with the legs in a tabletop position and the head, neck and shoulders lifted, curled up into a chest lift. Protect the lower back by rolling the hips toward you and gently pressing the lower back into the floor, tightening the lower abs.

Extend one leg up towards the ceiling, placing your hands behind the back of the leg. Extend the other leg out in front until it hovers just off the floor.

As you inhale, allow the legs to come through the center. Exhale to scissor your legs, switching sides. Curl your upper body up towards the leg rather than drawing the leg towards your body. For a strong stretch through the back of the leg, grab closer towards your ankle without bending the knee.

For a more intense exercise, you can interlace your fingers, placing your hands behind your head, still staying lifted, and keep scissoring the legs. Alternate your legs, performing 8 to 10 times on each side.

Double Leg Stretch

Lie face up with your knees bent over your hips, heels together with pointed toes. Lift your shoulders and extend your arms on either side of your legs, palms facing each other. Inhale, then exhale as you extend your legs in front of you, bringing your arms back overhead, palms facing your legs. Return to starting position. Do 1 set of 15 reps.

Criss-Cross

Start this Pilates move by interlacing your fingers and placing your hands behind your head. Press your lower back into the floor and lift your legs one at a time to tabletop. Inhale to prepare curling up into a chest lift position to begin.

Exhale to twist the upper body towards the left, taking the right elbow towards the left knee allowing the right leg to straighten in front of you.

Inhale to bring the legs back to tabletop and the body back to center in the chest lift position. Breathe out to twist to the other side with the opposite leg. As you twist, you should feel like you are connecting one armpit to the opposite hipbone. Avoid losing the height of your chest lift as you come through the center.

To make this movement more challenging, keep your legs straight instead of bending one. Do the exercise with scissor legs, ensuring that you are pointing your toes and not bending your knee. Alternate, doing 8 to 10 times for each side.

Toe Taps

Start Toe Taps by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor by drawing your pubic bone towards your belly button and engaging your lower abs. Lift your legs one at a time to a tabletop position. Stack your knees directly above your hips with your shins parallel to the floor. Inhale to prepare and exhale as you begin to tap one toe towards the floor, moving from the thigh. Inhale to lift the leg back to the start position. Alternate tapping toes, ensuring that your legs are back in tabletop before switching to the other side. Keep your waist cinched to avoid arching your back. Only go as far as you feel comfortable.

To make this move more challenging, reach your arms up to the ceiling to lessen your support and tap the toe farther away from you. Perform 10 to 12 on each side.

These Pilates moves that tighten abs can be done in just 15 minutes three to five times a week. In addition to flattening your abs, they also strengthen other core muscles offering greater stability and balance. For faster results and ripped abs, you can do these along with more Pilates moves and abdominal exercises by following a program that specifically targets abs like the BeFit 30 Day 6 pack Abs Fitness Program. By following videos with abdominal moves and fat-burning exercises (as well as diet information and recipes), you can get the results you desire in a short amount of time and keep yourself on track to your goal.


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