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3 Minute Belly Tightening Pilates

Written by Sylvia Favela

One of the unique methods used in everyday training to cinch in the waistline is Bodyweight Pilates.  Just flip through any fitness or trendy health magazine and you’ll notice Pilates moves are all over, and credited as today’s top celebrities favorite weekly fitness routine.

You’re probably wondering what makes these bodyweight Pilates exercises so different than a normal sit up?

Pilates movements focuses on recruiting the deep transverse abdominals, which are the main muscles to help keep the pelvis stable and in proper alignment to the spine.

When practicing Pilates keep in mind it’s not quantity, it’s quality.  When executed with control and awareness you’ll notice a tighter midsection.

Let’s face it?  No one wants a square box midsection, Right?!  Sexy curves and a trim waistline is what we are after!

Here are 3 Bodyweight Pilates Core moves you can begin to practice right away:

Mini Roll-Up

  • Lying on your back, bend both knees.
  • Extend both arms overhead and keep straight.
  • Inhale lift head, neck shoulders off the floor as you articulate through the spine to come up.
  • DO NOT use any momentum as you roll up, control your move as you go up and as you roll back down.
  • Both feet firmly planted on the floor.

Scissor Switch

  • Lying on your back, interlace hands behind head
  • Chest lift and keep shoulders as high off the ground as possible
  • Exhale bring right knee up in line to the hip, inhale to lower
  • Do all 10 reps on each side, do not alternate
  • Keep pelvis as still as possible

45 Degree

  • Lying on your back, hands interlaced behind the head.
  • Bring both legs up to a table-top position.
  • Squeeze inner thighs and glutes as you proceed through the movement.
  • Inhale extend the legs straight out at a 45 degree angle, Exhale draw the legs back into table top.
  • Keep chest lifted at all times and belly button pulled in towards the spine.

Pilates workout Summary, Do 10 reps of each move,  for a total of 4 sets. Do both moves in a row without stopping. No rest, but if needed add a 10 second rest between sets.

A few things to keep in mind when performing the Mini Roll-Up, Scissors Switch, and 45 Degree:

  • Keep your abdominals zipped in and braced at all times.  In other words keep your belly button pulled into your spine.  We are targeting the deep transverse abdominals and want them engaged the entire time.
  • Resist the urge to arch your lower back or tug at your hip flexors.
  • Keep your pelvis still by trying not to rock your hips side to side.
  • Let your head fall into your hands, no tension in your neck.
  • Keep your head in alignment with the spine.
  • Keep ribs pulled in towards the spine and down to the floor.
  • Do not tuck your chin to your chest or shrug shoulders up.
  • Breath! Inhale and exhale out through each move.

Check out the video for a follow along of the workout:

Bodyweight Pilates is a unique method of muscle control and engaging your abdominals without wearing down the lower back or stress on the joints.

Keep mindful thought while executing each move with control and awareness. These lower body moves will encourage the body to move in a fluid motion and increase body strength, stamina and develop a lean toned physique.

 

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Sylvia Favela

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