Pilates was incepted by Joseph Pilates in the late 1920s.  It is a fitness regimen centered on the mind while controlling the body.  Thus, Pilates promotes one’s well-being through the connection of the mind and the body.

Pilates combines cardiovascular or aerobic routines, yoga flexibility exercises, and weight training muscle workouts.  The following exercises strengthen the abdominal muscles; trim the waist, reduces sores in the lower part of the body, and improves body’s spine alignment.  These routines will strengthen your abs with Pilates:

1.  Pelvic tilt.  Using a mat, lie flat on the floor.  Raise your knees above the floor and feet flat on the mat.  Contract the abdominals to make your stomach feel tight.  Inhale and then exhale as you lift your pelvis and your spine one vertebra at a time.  Inhale as you hold your position.  Exhale as you slowly release your pelvis and each vertebra at a time.

2.  Small hip roll.  Using a mat, lie flat on the floor.  Raise your knees above the floor and your feet flat on the mat.  Put your hands over your hips.  Contract the abdominals to make your stomach feel tight.  Inhale as you hold down your hip with your hand, while you roll the knees to the other side.  Exhale as you bring your needs back to the center.  Inhale as you roll your knees to the other side, while you hold down your hip with your hand on the opposite side.  Exhale as you return the knees to the center.

3.  Hip roll.  Using a mat, lie flat on the floor.  Raise your knees above the floor and feet flat on the mat.  Place your hands behind your head and inhale.  Tighten your abdomen and exhale as you turn your knees towards the floor and your feet no longer flat on the floor.  Let your head turn in the other direction to complete the stretch and then inhale.  Perform the same to the different side.

4.  Chest lift.  Using a mat, lie flat on the floor.  Raise your knees above the floor and feet flat on the mat.  Place your hands behind your head.  Tighten your abdominals as you exhale to lift your head and shoulders off the floor.  Exhale as you lower your head and shoulders back to the floor.

5.  Oblique reaches.  Using a mat, lie flat on the floor.  Raise your knees above the floor and feet flat on the mat.  Place one of your arms behind your head.  Place opposite hand over the other hip.  Exhale as you extend your arm to reach across and beyond the hip towards the side of your thighs.  Inhale as you lower your head and your shoulders to lie back flat on the floor.

6.  Arrow.  Lie down on a mat with your face on the floor.  Put your arms on the side with your forearm and the back of your hand facing the floor.  Gently push your lower abdomen to the floor.  Tighten your abs as you exhale, move up your palms towards the ceiling, and raise your head and shoulders above the floor.  Hold the position and then inhale as you lower your arms, shoulders, and head.

Pilates is a great way to workout without bulking up your body.  It promotes a strong body without straining your muscles.  It helps you achieve a toned body without the risk of injuries.  You will gain a flatter stomach without lower and back pains.  You will have long and lean muscles without lifting so many weights.  Go Pilates for a beautiful, sexier and leaner you, without the stress!

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