Copyright (c) 2011 Claudel Kuek
These Pilates flat ab exercises are great for strengthening and tightening of the abdominal muscles. After 4 weeks of working on your abs with these moves, you will be happy to find that your clothes fit better around the waist, your stomach is more taut, you become more conscious of the way you hold yourself and you look and feel positively different from before you started. Your waistline will be slimmed, you will stand taller, and you will eliminate the flabby tummy syndrome.
As an added bonus, the strengthening of the core with these Pilates flat ab exercises and using that strength to stabilise and lengthen the torso and its surrounding muscles, your posture is improved. Good posture is important in maintaining the equilibrium of the body resulting in improved mobility and stability, increased breathing capacity, proper joint and muscle alignment, overall balance and symmetry. Contracting your abdominal muscles, lifting them in and up your spine, creates a foundation built to withstand the weight of your body and the tasks of everyday living.
Let’s begin our program towards getting the Pilates flat Abs that everyone is eager to have! Listed below are the 7 Pilates ab exercises to achieve the flat abs of your dreams. Do these exercises at least 4 times a week and remember to drastically cut down on your intake of refined carbohydrates, refined sugars, fats and oils.
Lie back with arms by your sides, legs extended. Pull belly button in toward the spine as you lift your shoulder blades off the mat bringing your chin to chest. While in this position, pulse your arms up and down for 100 counts (inhaling for 5 counts, exhaling for 5 counts).
Lower Abdominal Lift
Lie back with arms by your sides and legs extended toward the ceiling, toes pointed. Contract belly muscles and exhale to slowly lift hips straight off the mat a few inches. Slowly lower to start on your inhale. Do this with control and without rocking the hips. Lift and lower for 10 reps.
Lie back with your knees bent, fingers laced behind your head. Lift your shoulder blades off the mat and exhale to twist your right shoulder toward your left knee as you extend right leg out. Pause at the inhale and then exhale to twist to the other side. Work up to 15 reps on each side.
Lie back with legs straight and arms extended overhead (but not touching the floor). Pull belly button in toward your spine. Exhale as you bring arms overhead and lift shoulder blades off the mat, curling all the way up until arms are parallel to legs. Exhale again as you slowly uncurl back to start. Do this 10 times.
Lie face down on mat with legs and arms extended. Inhale as you slowly lift right arm and left leg off mat as high as you can (extending fully your arms and legs away from each other in opposite directions). Hold for one count and then lower to start as you exhale. Repeat on opposite side and work up to 12 reps on each side.
Lie face down with legs extended, forearms resting on the mat shoulder-width apart, hands in fists. Tighten abs, tuck toes under and lift hips off the mat so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels as shown. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing normally and then lower to start. Rest before repeating 3 more times.
Standing Side Crunch
Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, knees soft, elbows bent, hands in fists by your shoulders. Tighten abs and exhale as you lower your torso to the left, then to the right in one continuous movement, keeping your lower body very still throughout. Inhale as you come back to upright starting position. Work up to 30 reps on each side.
Here’s to a great new way of living with your newly acquired Pilates flat-ab look!
Mrs Claudel Kuek, Pilates Director of PowerMoves award-winning Pilates studios located at Bishan Park, Dempsey Hill and Rochester Park; with Pilates Mat and Pilates Reformer classes for men and women who want a more streamlined, lithe and youthful body with the bonus of a healthy heart and a recharged mind. Click here to find out more about the anti-ageing effects of Pilates.