Uneven shoulders, one hip higher than the other and an uneven waist are all symptoms of the condition known as scoliosis. All of these signs are caused from a lateral curvature of the spine. In the most severe of cases, braces need to be worn, or surgery needs to be performed to correct the curvature. In milder cases, corrective exercises are performed. These involve strengthening the abdominal muscles that give support to the spine.
The spider is a range-of-motion Pilates exercise that works the abs. To do this exercise, stand facing a wall with your feet together. After leaning forward and placing your hands on the wall at chest height, tighten your abs and walk your fingers slowly up the wall. When your arms are fully extended and you have a straight line from your hands to your heels, walk your fingers back down and repeat. When doing this exercise, keep your abs and lower back muscles engaged and come up onto your tip toes when your arms are extended above your head.
Video of the Day
Pelvic tilts work the lower abs, and they are done from a face-up position on the floor. While lying on your back, bend your knees, place your feet flat on the floor and rest your arms at your sides. In a controlled motion, curl your pelvic bone inward and feel your lower back flatten out on the floor. Hold for a full second, tip your pelvis back and repeat. When doing this, make sure to focus on using your lower abs to create the movement.
Leg and Arm Extension
The leg and arm extension, works the lower back and abs with the help of an exercise ball. While lying across the ball on your belly, place your hands and toes on the floor approximately shoulder-width apart. Steadily raise your right arm and left leg until they parallel the floor. Contract your abs and lower back muscles to do this movement and hold for a full second. Slowly lower your arm and leg, repeat with the other side and continue to alternate back and forth.
Alternating Toe Touches
Alternating toe touches strengthen the abs and obliques, which are found on the sides of the stomach. While sitting up straight on the floor with your legs spread into a "V" shape, extend your arms out to your sides so they parallel the floor. In a steady motion, twist your body down at an angle to your left and touch your right hand to your left toes. Slowly return to the starting point and repeat with the other side. Alternate back and forth in a steady motion. If you are not able to reach your toes, go as far as possible.
The lower-body toner is a Pilates exercise that strengthens the abs from a face-up position on the floor. While lying on your back, lift your legs, bend your knees 90 degrees and level your shins to the floor. While keeping your back pressed into the floor, slowly extend your legs above you so your feet parallel the ceiling. Stop just short of fully locking your knees, lower your legs back down and repeat.