Teaching beginners Pilates is a tremendous challenge! Many instructors fail to make this rich and deep exercise method simple and easy to learn.
Here’s an exception! This wonderful teacher selected 4 (plus one bonus exercise!) and really makes them easy and enjoyable to learn. And like every Pilates exercise, they are so effective for strengthening and stretching at the same time. Even just these 5 will make you feel more balanced and stable due to the emphasis on core muscles.
Beginners Pilates Workout | 4 Exercises To Strengthen Your Core
Bikini body season is nearly over but having flat abs and a strong core is an accessory that looks and feels good all year round!
Having trained as a dancer for many years and now working as a fitness instructor I love to play around with different abdominal exercises to work mine and my clients whole core!
Pilates exercises: Strengthening the core
We have many layers of abdominals:
✓ The rectus abdominals
✓ Internal and external obliques
✓ Our deepest layer the transverse abdominals.
The typical “crunch” abdominal exercise works mainly the rectus abdominals (the muscles that produce the six-pack look) and the obliques, however many people forget to work their transverse abdominals.
With strong transverse abdominals you gain amazing core strength and these muscles hold in the obliques and outer layer of abdominals, reducing bulk and creating a lovely toned flat stomach.
The following series of abdominal exercises are easy to do wherever you are and need no equipment – except for maybe a mat or towel to lie on to protect your spine. If you do this series of exercises 4-5 times a week you will start to feel and see a much stronger, flatter core within a few weeks!
Exercise #1: Single Leg Lowers
a) Start by lying on your back with your feet on the floor, making sure you have a neutral spine (small pocket of air between the floor and your lower back) place your hands down to the side of your body and keep your head and neck relaxed.
b) Pulling in your lower abdominals float one leg to a table top position and then the other. Both knees should be directly over your hips and toes should be in line with your knees.
c) Inhale and slowly lower one leg away from you as if you are dipping your toe in water hovering the toe just off the floor.
d) Exhale and engage through the lower core to draw the knee back in to the starting position.
e) Repeat alternating legs, ten times on each leg.
Modification: If this pinches in the lower back make the movement smaller only lowering the leg a few inches away.
Exercise #2 Single Leg Extension
a) Start by laying on your back feet on the floor, hug your knees into your chest and curl your head neck and shoulders off the floor.
b) Inhale and on the exhale keep hold of one knee with your arms as you extend the other leg away from you as low as you can without touching the floor.
c) Inhale and on the exhale this time switch legs extending the other leg away.
d) Repeat 10 times.
Modification: To make this exercise slightly easier don’t take the extended leg as low to the floor.