Welcome to a new six-day challenge with the Pilates mat abs series, which is meant to challenge the core muscles to the max. Perform one move each day and focus on form, breathing and repetitions as described below. As a Pilates community, we will be showing each move on Instagram daily – please join us! Start by following @JoyceOlender and look for our Challenge poster to repost! Tag your videos with #InclinedAbSeries.
Entire Pilates Mat Abs Series – Inclined
If you do not have a Pilates Tower, simply perform all of these classical Pilates moves on a flat surface. By using a Magic Circle, we’re deepening the workout by pressing into the outsides of the circle, activating the insides of our shoulders, biceps and chest muscles. Again, if you do not have this piece of equipment, try an resistance loop or opt for no equipment at all. Here is the entire Pilates Mat Ab Series as performed by Joyce Olender, owner of Lowcountry Power Pilates. Each one is performed individually underneath.
Breathing Cues: Breath is the same for all 5 of the abs series (except lower lifts)
I-n-h-a-l-i-n-g oxygen in remember to e-x-h-a-l-e emptying your lungs completely out.
Repetition: Set of 10 (per side)
Move 1: Single Leg Stretch
Setup: Tabletop legs, curl chin to chest, extend one leg to 45 degrees, to table top leg place outside hand to ankle, inside hand to knee and alternate action, elbows stay wide to the side.
Focus: The ABS are pulling the thigh to chest and extending the leg long. Stay in that curled up position to really feel those muscles.
Move 2: Double Leg Stretch
Setup: Tabletop legs, curl chin to chest, just limbs move – lift arms straight up to 90 degree (ears) as legs go straight out to 45degrees. Circle arms in as you draw your thighs in together in one effort.
Focus: Keep those thighs hugging together the whole time! Challenge it by rolling your seat (butt) into yourself with each move.
Move 3: Scissor Kicks
Setup: Legs up to 90 degrees, curl chin to chest, reach both hands to the right ankle, as the other leg pulses down twice to 45 degrees.
Focus: Define the leg “pull pulling in” and “press pressing the action on the down down of the lower leg. Internally the navel is deepening deepening with each action of the limbs moving.
Move 4: Lower Legs
Setup: Lift legs straight up to 90degrees. Hands behind the head & curl chin to chest. inhale to lower the legs down to 45 degrees and exhale to lift them back up to the start position.
Breath: Filling the lungs to lower down slowly …. and exhaling up just as equally to lift them back up. Do not rush – complete 10 reps.
Focus: Do not allow your small of your back to disconnect off the mat. Watch that your not pulling on your neck. Let your powerhouse do all the work.
Move 5: Criss Cross
Setup: Lift to Table top legs, hands behind the head and curl up. Send one leg to 45 degrees and the opposite elbow will cross over to the opposite side of the bend knee pulling in toward your chest. Now switch.
Focus: Remember to keep your elbows wide to the side- guide with your shoulder to the opposite elbow
Keep your powerhouse box firmly planted to the mat. Your whittling your waste with this move 😉
Move 6: BONUS – Roll Ups
Setup: Laying down center on the mat, arms lift above the head, inhale and on the exhale curl chin to your chest and engage from the navel to roll up to reach to your toes.
Focus: Soften your knees and press down thru your ankles to assist in the move. Use breath to help you as well, making sure you use exhale to roll down and on the lift back up.