5 Pilates ab exercises that can be done in under 5 minutes
If you have ever been to a Pilates class, you will already be aware that there is a high chance you will find it difficult to laugh or cough the next day without feeling your abs! Who doesn’t love the feeling of sore abs though, right?
Pilates upholds its reputation for being one of the best ab workouts due to its focus on correct form and technique. Celebs and models alike are picking up this ever growing fitness trend and making it part of their daily life.
The best thing about Pilates, in my opinion? You can do it absolutely anywhere, without any equipment and you can still get a decent workout.
Below I have put together 5 of my favourite Pilates ab exercises along with descriptions, and sequenced them to give you the best ab workout. It will only take 5 minutes and you can do it as often as you like. You will perform each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest in between so you can set up for the next exercise. So, get your stopwatch out and give it a go!
But before you get started, it is important to know that this ab workout isn’t for everybody! Make sure that your doctor and/or physio has cleared you for exercise and is ok for you to do ab exercises, particularly if you have any injuries.
Pregnant ladies – as a pre and post-natal trained instructor, I advise you not to do this workout. Ab workouts like this one, are a big no-no when you are pregnant and there are much better exercises you could be doing for your body during this time.
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest in between.
Total workout time = 5 minutes
Set up: Lying on your back with your spine imprinted, legs in the table top position and your arms reaching up towards the ceiling.
Breath out, slowly lower one leg down while simultaneously lowering the opposite arm back behind you.
Breath in, lift your leg and arm back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Continue with this movement.
Set up: Lie on your back with your spine in neutral, knees bent and feet flat. Interlock your hands behind your head and let the weight of your head relax into your hands.
Breath out, lift up into an abdominal curl, keeping your spine in neutral. When you lift up into your abdominal curl, imagine there is a grape underneath your lower back. Try not to squash the grape as you curl up. Draw your ribcage down towards your hips as you curl up and try not to let your rib cage stick back out when you lower your head down. This will keep your abdominals switched on throughout the movement.
Breath in, lower your head and chest back down.
AB CURL WITH LEGS IN TABLETOP
Set up: Lying on your back with your spine imprinted and legs in the table top position. Interlock your hands behind your head and let the weight of your head relax into your hands.
Breath out, lift up into an abdominal curl, draw your ribcage down towards your hips and keep your lower back imprinted into the ground.
Breath in, lower your head and chest back down.
SINGLE LEG STRETCH
Set up: Lying on your back with your spine imprinted and your legs in the table top position. Lift up into an abdominal curl and interlock your hands around your right shin. Press your hands down into your shin to lift your chest and head off the ground, as high as you can.
Breath out, pull your knee in towards your chest
Breath in, change sides without lowering your chest down
Breath out, pulse the other knee in towards your chest. Continue to alternate sides
Set up: Lying on your back with your spine imprinted, legs in the table top position and your hands interlocking behind your head.
Breath out, curl up and rotate your chest towards your right knee. At the same time, extend your left leg out.
Breath in, rotate your chest back to the centre and bring your leg back to table top.
Breath out, rotate your chest to your left knee as you extend your right leg out.
Written by Alex Richardson | Owner of Duo Pilates + Creator of The Duo Pilates Method
Disclaimer: The content in this blog post ‘5 Ab Exercises You Can Do In 5 Minutes’ is written by Alexandra Richardson. The information within this program is designed to help individuals towards their health and fitness goals. It is not written to promote poor body image or extreme training regimes. You are completing the exercises within this workout program at your own risk. It is not specifically tailored to suit any injuries, health problems or any other problems that could be aggravated with low, moderate or high intensity physical exercise. If you are an individual with such problems, please seek medical clearance from a health professional before undertaking this program.
Alex is a Registered Nurse and qualified Pilates Instructor who has combined her love of Pilates and experiences as a Nurse, to form a passion for educating and inspiring people to use movement as a preventative to many health problems.
With a purpose to improve lives through movement, Alex created Duo Pilates; a Pilates studio based in Brisbane. More recently she has expanded the Duo Pilates brand online with an online E-book called ‘The Duo Pilates Method’, a 12 Week Pilates workout program that you can do from home.
She believes that in order to train our body the right way, we first need to train the mind to acquire body awareness.
You can follow Alex on social media or get in contact with her using the details below.
Alex Richardson / Owner of Duo Pilates