Changing hormones make it harder to maintain a slim waistline as we age. This is because excess calories tend to be stored in the abdominal area.
However, weight gain in the abdominal region is not inevitable. Abdominal exercises are also useful. Pilates workout and exercises are another weapon of your choice. This is because it strengthens your core muscles overall. Michelle Dozois, a Los Angeles Pilates instructor, says her clients often ask for Pilates-focused ab workouts, so she developed one.
For the best results from your Pilates program, do it 3 times a week, every other day, and focus on pulling your belly button into your spine with each repetition.
1. Toe Dip
- Lie on your back and angle your legs at a 90-degree angle. Squat down with thighs lifted and calves parallel to the floor.
- Hands are at your sides, palms facing down. Keep the abdominal muscles tense and press the lower back to the floor.
- Now inhale and lower the left leg to 2 (“down, down”) while keeping the back straight. In the next step, exhale and raise the leg to 2 (“up, up”) back to the starting position.
- While doing this, focus on moving only from the hips and lowering the toes to the floor (without touching the floor). Do the same for the right leg.
- Next, repeat the exercise until you have completed 12 repetitions with each leg.
2. Double Trouble Leg Circles
- Lie supine on the floor with your hands under your buttocks, legs extended, and your partner should be facing you so that the soles of your feet are almost touching.
- Raise your legs straight up in the air and gently lower them back down while tensing your core and resting your back on the floor. Stop when it becomes difficult to hold this position.
- Next, keep your abdominal muscles tensed as you slowly draw a clockwise circle in the air with your feet. To avoid bumping your feet, you and your dance partner should go counterclockwise.
- Perform this exercise clockwise for 30 seconds and then reverse direction for another 30 seconds. However, if you have difficulty completing the movement, that is, if you find it difficult, try bending your knees to 90 degrees.
3. Cross Cross
- Start in the same position as the Toe Dip, but this time place your hands behind your head and extend your elbows out to the sides. Bend upward until your head, neck and shoulders touch the floor.
- As you inhale, rotate your torso to the right and bring your right knee and left shoulder closer together.
- Extend your left leg in a diagonal line from your hips to the ceiling and turn to the left as you exhale.
- Bring the left knee to the right shoulder and extend the right leg. This is one repetition. Finish 6 repetitions.
4. Leg kick
- Lie on your left side with your legs extended and support yourself with your left elbow and forearm.
- Then lift your hips off the floor, raise your head toward the ceiling, and support yourself on the floor with your right hand slightly in front of you. If this is too strenuous for you, simply rest your head on your outstretched left arm.
- Then raise your right leg to hip height, bend your foot so that your toes point forward, and exhale as you push off.
- In the next step, bring your right leg forward as far as you feel safe.
- One repetition is to kick twice as hard as you can (“kick, kick”) and then inhale as you point your toes and swing your leg back past your left leg.
- To complete the exercise, you must complete 6 repetitions without lowering your leg, then switch legs and repeat the exercise.
5. Lateral bend
- Place your left hand under your left shoulder and sit on your left hip with your left leg bent in front of you. The right knee is pointing up, and the right foot is flat on the floor in front of the left foot.
- Finally, place your right arm next to your right knee. Now tighten your abdominal muscles, squeeze in your left hand and lift your hip off the floor.
- As you lift your left knee to the floor, extend your right leg through and bring your right arm overhead, forming a line with your right fingers and toes.
- Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Then repeat the exercise on the other side.