Want a strong core and defined abs? Look no further. Pilates is a great starting point. It is a great way to have visible and strong abs, that too, without any extra tools and fancy machines. All you need is a yoga mat, and you’re good to go!
It is a given fact that every Pilates exercise focuses on your core. However, if you’re a beginner, it can be hard to find comfortable and effective exercises.
Therefore, we have made this easy seven-step exercise guide that burns your core and is easy to do. Let’s take a look.
Pre-workout for Beginners
If you are a rookie to pilates workout, always do warm-up exercises first. Never jump straight to the actual workout. Remember, pilates may look simple; however, if not done correctly, they can seriously cause strain and stress your muscles.
Probably one of the most basic pre-workout exercises for a beginner is Imprinting. Here’s how to do it:
- Lay flat on your back, keep your knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
- Relax all your muscles, form your back, spine, hips, legs to your core.
- Next, visualize your spine lengthening and slowly sinking to the mat.
- Breathe in and out at least five times.
Always lay flat on your back with no gaps or curves in between. However, do not press your back against the mat too hard.
A mix of pre-warm-up workouts can lead to a less strenuous routine. Moreover, it will get your body ready for an epic session of pilates without building up tension in your muscles.
You can also use Exogun, it helps in circulation, which results in a great pre-workout routine and helps get rid of muscle soreness and fatigue.
Any core-focused exercise needs full body/mind focus for it to work. Doing a couple of exercises that do not follow a pattern for you can negatively affect your body. Here are some safe beginner-level exercises for you to start your pilates journey from home.
Solo Leg Circle
This exercise is a beginner-level exercise. However, it is an extremely important one.
How to do it:
- Lay flat on your back on the mat.
- Place both of your arms flat to the side.
- Now, bend one of your knees with your foot flat on the mat
- Straighten the other leg and make a circle, facing upwards moving down towards the ground
- Return your leg to the starting point and repeat for 30 seconds
Keep your back and shoulders flattened on the back. Keep them leveled to work your abdominal muscles.
Solo leg circles target your abs, thigh muscles, and hip flexors, all at once.
Criss Cross Leg stretch
This exercise is an alternate leg stretch. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your back, faceup
- Bring your knees to your chest
- Keep both of your hands at the back of your head for better support
- Keep your elbows stretched out and move your head slightly upwards
- Alternatively, bring your right elbow towards your left knee and your left elbow towards your right knee.
- Keep your lower back on the mat at all times.
- Do reps for 30 seconds or complete two sets of 15-20 reps.
While bringing your left knee towards your elbow, make sure your right leg is stretched out and does not touch the ground. Make sure you relax your shoulders, keep the focus on the abs.
This stretch exercise targets your core directly. It also works your leg muscles and your upper body.
This exercise is one exercise that is done by beginner-level newbies to professional pilates instructors. Scissor kicks remain a constant ab pilate workout. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with lying flat on your back on the mat
- Extend your legs in front of you
- Keep your arms straight on your side
- Now, lift each leg and bring it towards your face
- Simultaneously, move your shoulders off the floor and use your hands to grab each leg
- Form a V-shape in each rep, which means you will raise your legs at a 65-degree angle
- Perform two sets of 10 reps and continue switching your legs
Make sure you are forming a V-shape with your body while you do this exercise. If the V-formation is too hard for you, simply focus on keeping your shoulders off the ground.
This exercise targets your core muscles, including glutes, quads and keeps your core engaged.
Also, a beginner-level exercise, which helps you stretch your back. This exercise is an everyday move.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie flat on your stomach
- Place both of your hands to your side and keep your chin towards the mat
- Now, stretch your body in an upward curve, making a happy face with your body
- Your abs and feet should be off the floor with only your belly touching the mat
- Inhale when you stretch your arms and lengthen your spine
- Exhale when you lower your body back to the floor
- Do two sets of 5 reps.
Make sure you are breathing correctly. Do not over arch your back and neck. Instead, squeeze your glutes to help you arch your back.
A basic exercise to help your back stretch and lengthen. In addition to that, it targets your core and helps you stretch your abdominal muscles.
True to its name, this exercise is a must for an ab-pilates workout.
Here’s how to do it:
- Get on your mat with your back flattened
- Keep your arms straight out to your sides
- Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor
- Keep your feet at a 90-degree angle and point your toes outwards
- Now, rotate your legs to each side while keeping your back and arms flat on the mat
- Aim for at least two sets of 15-20 reps
Do not lift your head while you do this exercise. Let your core do all the work. Make sure your back is completely straightened and laid flat on the mat. Focus on engaging your core when you rotate your legs to each side.
This exercise just fires up your core. It stimulates your core muscles and targets your abs. Moreover, it improves your posture and body alignment.
Plank Mountain Climbers
We’re pretty you’ve heard about planks, as it is mentioned in every home-workout video. However, there are just so many variations of planks, and they sure do give results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start with your back facing upwards and your hands directly under your shoulder
- Then, lift yourself in a high plank position
- Make sure you support your plank with only your hands and feet
- Bring your right knee towards your left arm and your left knee towards your right arm, one at a time.
- Take your time. Your knees should not touch the ground, and your toes should only touch the ground when you return to where you started.
- Perform ten reps for two sets
Do not go faster; this exercise is best when you take your time with each rep. Make sure you are not rocking your hips. Instead, engage your core, quads, and your butt to maintain your plank position.
Breath evenly and distribute your weight throughout your body. If the wrist hold is too hard for you, switch to your forearms and support your plank with your hands clasped forward and forearms just below your chest.
You will feel the burn in your arms. However, when you bring your knee in with each rep, it engages and tightens your core. It squeezes your belly fat and targets your abs.
The Pilates 100
When you want those rock-solid abs, you will find some exercises to be a little more difficult than others. This exercise is one to give you a hard time in the beginning. However, we promise that it works dramatically.
Here is how to do it:
- Lie flat on your back on the mat.
- Bring both of your arms upwards halfway.
- Lift both of your legs at a 65-degree angle and lift your shoulder
- Push your arm down while lifting your legs upwards
- With each rep, lift your body in a V-sit position
- While you push your arms down, inhale five pumps of breath through your nose and exhale for five pumps.
- Make sure to hover your arms up and down, just above the floor, with each pump of breath.
- Challenge yourself to do ten complete breaths. Meaning, five pumps each time, every time you inhale and exhale. Altogether, it makes ten complete breaths in total.
Curl your head up to form a V-sit position. However, keep in mind not to strain your neck. If your neck is straining too much, lay back again and then get into position. In the beginning, you can also keep your head on the mat to reduce stress on your neck.
This exercise engages your core and breathing movements for a stronger and stable core.
Muscle Recovery & Relaxation
After a long and tiring workout session, everyone needs some time of muscle therapy to relieve their soreness. Well, what’s better than a massager? Exogun is a revolutionary massager that works deep into your tissues to give you complete recovery from sore muscles.
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Buy it now and say goodbye to expensive massages and salons. Take your massage kit everywhere you go; it helps:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increases blood flow for a speedy recovery
- Relieves muscle soreness and tension
Overall, Exogun gives you the best massage therapy for muscle recovery.Read: Exogun Early Black Friday Promotion, Don't Miss Up to 71% Discount Off Storewide!
These seven pilates - ab exercises are best to give you a strong and healthy core. If you follow these correctly, you can start seeing changes in your ab region in a matter of weeks.
A healthy and functional core is not only for aesthetics, but it does wonders for your balance and stability. In addition, it works multiple muscles like your pelvis, hips, back, and abdomen altogether. So, get your mats ready and work those muscles to gain visible abs in no time!
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