6 Pilates Ab Exercises to Get a Shredded Six-Pack

 

Strength, stamina, and posture are the keys to solid abs. And while you may associate Pilates with a bunch of moms in yoga pants—which you definitely shouldn’t, by the way—this popular and versatile discipline has plenty to offer when it comes to training your physique.

Each of these exercises will hit the major core muscles: transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi, spinal erectors, and, of course, the “six-pack muscles,” your rectus abdominis.

Note that all exercises (minus the warmup) are typically performed with light (five-pound) dumbbells. You can modified that to use a  lighter weight; beginners can eschew weights altogether. If you have lower-back issues, don’t extend your legs, keep the knees bent. If you have neck issues, leave your head down.

On the following slides, you’ll find five quick and easy Pilates exercises you can do anywhere—even in front of the TV.

10 Best Cable Exercises for Your Core >>>

Warmup Pelvic Bridges

Start: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground.

Cues: Extend your hips up until your feet and shoulder blades support your body. Do 10 reps.

10 Upper-Body Moves That Build Your Core Too >>>

Double-Leg Stretch Flyes

Start: Lie on your back with legs extended and arms wide.

Cues: Bend your knees toward your chest and bring your arms to your knees so the dumbbells touch. Do 8–10 reps.

Eight Best Dumbbell Exercises for a Six-Pack >>>

Double Straight-Leg Stretch

Start: Lie on your back with legs extended and arms wide.

Cues: Bend your knees toward your chest and bring your arms to your knees so the dumbbells touch. Do 8–10 reps.

The 30 Best Abs Exercises of All Time >>>

Star

Start: Assume a side plank—elbow on the floor, opposite arm extended toward the ceiling (hold a dumbbell in that hand), legs stacked on top of each other.

Cues: Bring your free elbow (the one in the air) to your top knee, then back to the start position. Do 8–10 reps.

Four Medicine Ball Moves That Carve Your Core >>>

Extension Arrow

Start: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended, arms by your sides and palms facing up.

Cues: Keeping your body elongated, lift your upper body and legs up with core braced. Do 8–10 reps.

5 Exercises to Work Your Abs to Exhaustion >>>