3 Pilates Exercises for Your Abs (That You’ll Love)


With so many core exercises out there, people ask me what the best Pilates exercises for your abs are. They may not be the three that you are expecting, but I have very specific reasons why I chose these three exercises.

Top 3 Pilates Exercises for Your Abs

Our abdominals have four important functions. One, they help stabilize our trunk. Two, they help with our postural support. Three, they help our spine move, and four, (which is very important and we don’t think about very often) is they literally hold our organs in place, which is very important for obvious reasons.

The three Pilates exercises for your abs that I have chosen address postural support, stabilization, and articulation, and of course, by strengthening our abdominals, we are also helping them be able to hold our organs in place, so that’s sort of an automatic.

Criss Cross Pilates: Exercise That Works Your Core

The first exercise I’ve chosen is criss-cross because it moves our spine in rotation as well as stabilizing our pelvis, so you are both stabilizing and moving at the same time. Criss Cross is a core body exercise that strengthens your abs and lower back while training your entire core to have more stability. 

Beyond Abs – Quadruped Elbow to Knee Has a Variety of Benefits

The second is the quadruped elbow to knee, which focuses a lot on the stabilization of the trunk, but also the movement and articulation of the spine in a thoracic bend. This exercise has the potential to produce a variety of benefits, including improvements in your core muscles, rotary stability, spinal alignment, reduced low-back pain, postural control, shoulder stability, hip alignment, shoulder mobility, and spinal stabilization.

The Wall Roll Down is Good for Your Abs and for Your Stress

The third is the roll down. As well as focusing on the abs, you also are concentrating on relaxing the shoulders, which is where many people store tension. You can use it as a stress-reliever at any time during the day. The roll down has you articulate through your entire spine as you roll down onto the mat or floor or whatever and then rolling back up, so you’re trying to imprint your spine into the mat, one vertebra at a time. Really working on that articulation, while at the same time, needing to stabilize the pelvis and the legs.

Remember to Breathe

I like those three Pilates exercises for your abs because they all incorporate articulation and stabilization at the same time. Now, remember, when you’re breathing (which is very important to do when you’re doing all of these exercises) if you want to access your abdominals while using your breath, you need to make sure that you are forcefully exhaling the air out. If you are just breathing your normal breath, you will not access your abdominals. The abdominals are only accessed with a forceful exhale, so remember that, when you’re trying to access your abs during these exercises, to really be aggressive about pushing the air out, like you’re trying to blow out a bunch of candles on a birthday cake.

pilates exercise for your abs - exhale

The other thing to think about with the breath is deciding which breath works best for you. It’s different for different people. Some people actually move better, move with more articulation and grace, if they’re moving on the inhale because they’re using their diaphragm muscle to help stabilize.

That is something to play with, so you want to think about whether you’re feeling better movement and articulation in the spine with an exhale or with an inhale and you decide what works best for you.

All right, enjoy these three exercises. Getting those abs to help you stabilize your trunk, help with your posture, the articulation and movement of your spine, and keeping those organs in place. Have an amazing day!

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