These 10 pilates moves are a great way to sculpt your core — and strengthening your core is one of the best things you can do for your body and your overall fitness health. Challenge yourself with these 10 moves and feel your core strengthen along the way!
1. Single Leg Stretch
To do this pilates move, you will start lying faceup on your mat. Then, bring both knees in towards your chest, placing your hands on your shins. When you do this, make sure to not rest your head on the ground — lift it up off the floor. Once you do this, begin to extend one leg out at a time, alternating between legs. Repeat this move and make sure to keep your lower back on the floor, not lifting.
2. Leg Circles
Lying faceup on the mat, keep your arms by your sides, with your palms facedown to start. Then, you’ll extend one leg up perpendicular to the floor while the other foot stays flat on the mat. Circle the lifted leg in a large circle, keeping your lower back glued to the floor. Then, once you do this, reverse the circle. Repeat this process for however many reps you’d prefer on one leg, then repeat with the other.
3. Double Leg Stretch
Like the single leg stretch, in this one, you lie flat on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Make sure to keep your head lifted off the floor, but your lower back pressed down into the mat. Reach both arms above your head simultaneously as you stretch both legs straight out a few inches off the floor.
4. Scissor Kick
Start by lying faceup on your mat. Lift and extend a leg up until it is considered perpendicular to the floor below. Once you do this, bring your hands up behind the leg, pull it in toward you, and all while making sure your head is up and off the ground. Keep your leg lifted a few inches off the ground. Then, you’ll switch legs and repeat the process.
5. Criss Cross
On your mat, start by lying faceup, bringing both knees into your chest. Once you do this, put your hands on the back of your head and keep your elbows wide, lifting your head upward. Then you’ll bring your shoulder toward the opposite knee, lifting your leg aligned with your shoulder. Then bring the opposite shoulder toward the opposite knee as you extend the other leg. Repeat the process, continuing to alternate sides.
6. Roll Up
For the Roll Up, start by lying faceup with both arms stretched above your head. Make sure your arms are positioned directly over the shoulders. Once you do this, curl your spine off the floor and up to a seated position. Then, you’ll fold your torso above and over your legs all while making sure your core is staying tight throughout the process. Then, reverse this said movement and roll yourself back down onto the mat with ease, rolling from the lower back to the shoulders. Repeat the process.
Start by lying faceup with your arms stretched and extended out to your sides. Then, bend your knees directly over your hips, lifting your feet off the mat. Once you do this, let both of your knees fall to one side, keeping your back flat on the floor. Return to the start position and repeat the process for each side however many times you’d like.
8. Plank Leg Lift
This time, start in a position of a high plank. Make sure your hands are placed directly under your shoulders on the mat. Then, lift one leg off the floor as high as you can, but don’t go past your shoulder height. Alternate each leg. Repeat the process.
9. Slow Motion Mountain Climber
Like the last one, start this pilates move in a high plank position. Keep your hands placed directly under your shoulders on the mat. Then, bring one knee in towards your chest. Alternate your legs for this movement and repeat the process.
10. Bird Dog
For the last and final position, start in a position on the mat on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are placed directly beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Then, you will stretch your left arm forward and right leg backward, holding this position momentarily. Then, alternate with the opposite leg and arm.
I hope these ten pilates moves help you get kickstarted on sculpting your core!