Pilates Inspired Abs
I don’t just love Pilates because I enjoy navigating through its 50 Shades of Grey looking equipment. Pilates carves and shapes my muscles like no other workout. I usually take 3 Pilates reformer classes a week – 1 traditional/classical and 2 endurance.
My girl Erica Lawless teaches traditional Pilates at studios all over the Los Angeles area – Pilates & Arts, The Los Angeles Athletic Club, Flawless Fitness. She explains that, “[Traditional] Pilates is a mind-body exercise method developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s intended to be practiced systematically to help rehabilitate injuries, correct postural imbalances, improve flexibility, and efficiently strengthen the body as a whole.”
The picture above shows my twin Samantha Abrantes and I at endurance Pilates studio FitMix in Los Angeles. She explains, “Endurance Pilates is an advanced faster pace class while still honoring classical Pilates technique. When taking this type of class expect to sweat, shake and feel challenged.” Boy is she right.
Since a Pilates reformer is too big (and expensive) to have at home, I use a resistance band to simulate some of my favorite exercises when I can’t make it to class. You can also use ankle weights, dumbbells or no gym accessories at all.
Here we go abs!
**video is double time so slow down :)**
Pilates Inspired Ab Combo
- Arm Assisted Crunches–
Begin with arms straight, wrists in line with your shoulders, legs in table top. Exhale, engage lats and press arms to the ground and while you extend your legs. To modify, keep legs in table top.
- Reach for your toes –
Toes to the sky and arms straight. Press your belly button into the ground and exhale while reaching for your toes. Shoulder off the ground the entire time or down between reaches for modified version.
- Leg Lifts –
Reach your arms by your sides and keep them strong and straight. Lower and lift your legs as far as you can go without arching your lower back. To modify, tuck your hands under your bum and bend your legs while you lower and lift.
- The “Hundred”-
This is one of the most classic Pilates exercises that uses a static position strengthen the core. I’ll let Erica explain, “While lifting the head and chest, legs extend out from tabletop to an extended position, arms reach down to the sides of the body while pumping up and down from the shoulder joint in a small range of motion.”
exhale for 5 counts, inhale for 5 counts, and repeat for 10 breath cycles …(5+5) x 10 = hundreds
Rest and Repeat