We all wish for a cropped-top worthy belly. But we all know just how stubborn the stomach area can be. The good news is, if you put enough work into it and you are mindful of your habits, you can take the extra inches of your tummy in no time.
In this blog we’ll be going through five of the best Pilates moves that can help tighten, strengthen, and engage your core for a flatter-looking stomach. Let’s go!
Pilates is a low-impact exercise designed to promote flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. It was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates.
It emphasizes proper posture, core strength, and muscle balance. It focuses on the 'powerhouse' of the body which includes the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and lower body. An important thing to remember though is that Pilates isn’t an aerobic exercise.
Just like with any other core and abdominal exercise out there, you can’t use it to spot train. So to make the most out of its core-toning benefits, you should pair it with cardio. The combination of these two exercises can help torch belly fat and reveal toned core muscles.
5 Pilates Moves to Tighten Your Stomach
Single Leg Stretch
Lie on your back with a neutral spine and then float your legs to the tabletop position. Raise your head and shoulders up to the tips of your shoulder while engaging your abdominal muscles by taking your belly button down toward your spine.
Take a breath and then on exhale, extend your right leg out to 45 degrees while you grasp your left knee towards your chest. Alternate between the left and right leg. Maintain a stable pelvis and engaged core. Repeat 15 times.
Lie on your back with your core engaged and lower back pressed into the mat or floor. Bend your legs so your feet are flat on the ground, about hip-distance apart.
Lift one leg up and extend it out at a 45-degree angle. Reach your arms straight up to the ceiling.
Inhale as you lift your torso up, reaching your arms toward your toes, creating a “V” shape with your body.
Hold this position for 5 breaths, then slowly roll back down as you exhale.
Do two sets of 5 to 10 reps per leg, alternating legs with each rep.
Lie down on your back, place your hands behind your head and bring both knees towards your chest. Raise your upper body and bring the right shoulder towards the left knee. Then bring the left shoulder towards the right knee.
Do the sequence 15 times.
Pull your abdominal muscles in to curve your upper body up off the floor as you exhale. Deepen the abs, bringing your forehead toward your knees. Grasp your shins or ankles. Your pelvis is neutral, with your lower back slightly off the ground.
Reach your arms over your head and keep your legs long as you inhale. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and your abs pulled in as you reach your arms and legs in opposite directions. Extend as far as possible while keeping your abs pulled in and your lower back on the mat. Your upper body should stay lifted as you reach.
Sweep your arms out to the sides as you exhale, reaching around to grasp your shins. Deepen your abs and pull your legs in to center. Do not drop your upper body curve.
Repeat 6 to 10 times.
Slow Motion Mountain Climber
Start in a high plank with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bring one knee in toward your chest at a time. Keep your core, butt, and quads engaged to avoid rocking your hips.
Repeat 6 to 10 times.
On to You
Pilates is an excellent exercise for building a strong core. When combined with cardio on a regular basis, you can shape and tone your body and have your dream abs in no time.