If you've ever taken a Pilates class or done a DVD in your living room, you know just how effective Pilates is for sculpting your abs. That's because every move starts by engaging your core (called your powerhouse in Pilates) and requires you to recruit those muscles for the duration.
You don't have to be very far into your workout to start feeling the burn, either. With the below Pilates-inspired routine from Elise Joan, Beachbody trainer and creator of Barre Blend, you'll feel stronger in just 10 minutes.
Joan designed this routine as part of our 30-Day Abs Challenge, but you can do this workout even if you're not participating in the rest of the month-long program.
Do: each of the exercises for 1 minute. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between exercises.
- Roll Up: Reach long through your arms and legs as you move through this exercise. If you need a modification, try a sit-up or crunch variation instead.
- Scissor: Keep your neck long and avoid crunching forward. To modify, bend your knees as you pull them in and extend them out at a 45-degree angle.
- Rock and Roll Up: You don't need to come all the way up to your tailbone; only rock as far as you're able to while maintaining control throughout the exercise.
- Supine Twist: Keep your shoulder blades on the ground as you twist with your top leg bent to the side.
- Tricycle: Engage your abs the entire time and avoid crunching your neck forward. To modify, place your hands behind your head, elbows flaring out.
- Criss Cross: Use your obliques (side abs) to pull your knee toward the opposite elbow, not your neck.
- Double Leg Lift: Only lower as far as you can without your lower back lifting off the ground.
- Dig and Drag: "Keep your abs drawing in, rather than pushing out," Joan says.
- Hip Lift: Pulse your hips just a few inches up and down. This movement should come from your abs and pelvic floor.
- Roll Down: Keeping your toes on the ground will make it easier to balance in this position.
Back to the 30-Day Abs Challenge