For most fitness enthusiasts, having more than just flat abdominals is not enough. If you are one of the many looking to get six pack abs, then you should know that core training is a must. Today, Pilates is one of the most popular physical conditioning programs that focus on strengthening the muscles of abdominal walls and core – resulting in six pack abs.
Though Pilates is also known to help improve muscle control and flexibility, endurance, and overall body strength, there are a few Pilates moves that targets the abdominal area to finally get six pack abs to come out from under a layer (or layers!) of fat.
Here are the 3 best Pilates Moves for Six Pack Abs:
The Hundred is a classic Pilates move that got its name from the 100 short breaths you inhale and exhale (5 ins and 5 outs for 10 sets) while doing the exercise. It’s the perfect warm up exercise as it gets your blood moving and your breath going strong.
1. Lie on a mat with your feet off the floor and knees bent together at a 90-degree angle.
2. Inhale as you bring your chin down and curl your neck and upper spine off the mat. Exhale as you extend your arms straight but just a few inches of the floor with your palms facing downward.
3. Pump your arms up and down in a controlled movement in time with 5 short inhales and 5 short exhales.
After 10 sets, bring your knees in to your chest while keeping your spine still curled off the mat. Then firmly grasp your knees as you roll your head gently back to the floor.
Watch this YouTube video on how to do The Hundred the right way.
The Roll Up
The Roll Up is another classic Pilates mat exercise that is said to be so effective that one roll up is equal to at least six regular sit ups. If you are bored with other core strengthening exercises like sit ups or crunches, do the Pilates roll up.
1. Lie on a mat with your legs a few inches apart and your hands extended overhead with palms facing each other.
2. Inhale as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor and exhale as you move your outstretched hands towards your feet until your body is in a C position.
3. Inhale again as you begin to roll back down and exhale while as you roll down one vertebrae at a time.
Repeat up to six times.
The Criss Cross is a challenging exercises that will get you those six pack abs. It targets the obliques, helping define the waist and achieve postural stabilization.
1. Lie on a mat and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle over your hips.
2. Inhale as you lift your head to your chin, scoop the abdominals, and interlock your fingers behind your head.
3. Exhale as you extend your left leg at a 45-degree angle and rotate your torso so that your left elbow is reaching for your right knee.
4. Alternate extending your legs and rotating your torso, making sure to inhale when bringing your trunk through center and exhale as you rotate your upper body.
Repeat up to six times.
Remember, doing these Pilates exercises alone will not get you the six pack abs you want. Get the most out of your core strengthening program by also doing cardio workouts, eating healthy, or perhaps wearing an ab toning belt while doing your exercises. It will take time and a lot of effort before those six packs will show up, but they will all be worth it.