Ultimate Abs: 5 Exercises for a Toned Core

Ultimate Abs

Try this Pilates move for a strong core. | iStock.com

Ultimate Abs: 5 Exercises for a Toned Core

Fitness trends goِ out ofِ style nearlyِ asِ soon asِ people evenِ know whatِ theyِ are, soِ it’s remarkable Pilates hasِ managed toِ stick aroundِ for soِ long.
It probablyِ hasِ a lot toِ doِ with theِ workout program’s focus onِ core strength.
Most Pilates routines call uponِ theِ muscles aroundِ your midsection, soِ it’s nearlyِ alwaysِ a great abs workout.

1. Wind down

For thisِ move, sit inِ the center ofِ the mat withِ your knees bent andِ your feet lightly resting onِ the ground.
Sit straight upِ soِ your shoulders, back, andِ hips areِ allِ in alignment.
Bend yourِ elbows andِ curl yourِ hands intoِ fists directlyِ in front ofِ your chest.

You can do this exercise from home, too. | iStock.com

2. The hundred

Begin lying onِ your mat withِ your legs togetherِ andِ your arms atِ your sides.
As youِ tighten yourِ glutes andِ core, raise yourِ feet offِ the ground, keeping yourِ toes pointed.
Extend yourِ arms inِ front ofِ you soِ your hands areِ just aboveِ your hips andِ raise yourِ upper backِ andِ shoulders off theِ mat.

3. Double-leg stretch

Start onِ your backِ with yourِ knees lifted directlyِ aboveِ your hip points, heels together.
Extend yourِ arms outِ to yourِ sides asِ you lift yourِ shoulders andِ upper backِ off theِ ground, keeping yourِ gaze justِ belowِ your knees.
In a slow, controlled movement, simultaneously extend yourِ arms andِ legs inِ opposite directions asِ you exhale.

4. Extension arrow

Two women are strengthening their core muscles during Pilates. | iStock.com

Begin onِ your stomach withِ your arms atِ your sides andِ your legs extended inِ a straight line.
Maintaining steady breathing, gently arch yourِ backِ to lift bothِ your arms andِ legs offِ the ground.
You canِ check outِ a variation usingِ dumbbells byِ heading toِ Muscle & Fitness.

Make sure you’re working your back muscles, too. | iStock.com

5. Roll-up

Raise yourِ arms soِ they point towardِ theِ ceiling withِ your palms facing forward.
Moving slowly, engage yourِ abs andِ exhale asِ you slowly roll upِ toِ a seated position.
As youِ move, bring yourِ arms downِ so theyِ endِ parallel toِ theِ ground.

The roll-up doesn’t hurt your back or neck. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund