Vital Pilates

5 Great Exercises for a Trimmer Tummy

These are my 5 favourite exercises for achieving a trimmer tummy. These exercises are simple, effective and easy to do anywhere. You just need a little floor space and maybe a mat.

These exercises can be worked through in order 1-5 as a short routine. Exercises 1 and 2 are slightly easier, so will start to warm you up and get your abdominal muscles moving and switched on. If you are new to Pilates you could start with exercises 1 and 2 and then add 3, 4 and 5 later.

Starting position

All exercises will start from this position:

Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet hip width. Spine is in Neutral which means your pelvis should be fairly flat and you should have a small gap behind your lower back. Put your hands behind your head, fingers linked taking the weight of your head in your hands, elbows wide and slightly lifted off the floor.

Exercises

Ab Prep

From your start position. Take a breath in to prepare then as you breathe out curl forward lifting your head and shoulders. Breathe in and hold, then breathe out slowly placing your head down.

Start with 6 – 8 reps.

Top Tip – Think about sliding your ribs towards your hips as you curl forward. Stay in Neutral!

Oblique Twist

For this exercise we are simply going to add a twist. From your start position. Take a breath in to prepare, then as you breathe out curl forward lifting your head and shoulders. Breathe in and hold , as you breathe out twist taking your right shoulder towards your left hip, hold on a breath in and then as you breathe out untwist and place your head back down. Repeat this twisting to the opposite side.

Start with 6 -8 reps.

Top Tip – Make sure your pelvis stays still as you twist. Stay in Neutral!

Hundreds

This is an original, classic exercise. From your start position. Using your breath out bring both knees up one at a time to a 90 degree angle. Take a breath in to prepare and as you breathe out curl your head forward. Take another breath in to hold and as you breathe out press your arms away long by your sides and lengthen your legs to a 45 degree angle. Hold the position and start to paddle your arms off the floor breathing in for 5 short breath and out for 5.

Keep going until you have completed 100 breaths.

Top Tip – When you bring both knees up to 90 degrees you can press your lower back down towards the floor (Imprint), this keeps your back in a safer position. The breath in is a sniff breath into the ribs and the out breath is a blow whilst pulling your tummy in. Don’t take the legs too low as this can pull on your back!

There are many variations for this exercise, some are to make it easier and others to help with back/neck issues. Some of the most popular are to keep your feet down on the floor, to keep the knees at 90 degrees or to keep your head supported.

Single Leg Stretch

From your start position. Using your breath out bring both knees up one at a time to a 90 degree angle. Place both hands on the outside of either knee. Take a breath in to prepare and as you breathe out curl forward. Take another breath in to hold and as you breathe out take your left leg away long to a 45 degree angle and keep your right knee bent. Hands are placed on the inside of the right knee and the outside of the ankle. Switch sides. Breathe in as you switch and out as you lengthen your leg.

Start with 8 -10 Reps.

Top tip – When you bring both knees up to 90 degrees you can press your lower back down, this keeps your back in a safer position. If you have neck issues you can keep your head down. If your head is up don’t drop it as you perform the exercise!

Criss Cross

Again for this exercise we are simply going to add a twist. From your start position using your breath out bring both knees up one at a time to a 90 degree angle. Hands remain behind the head. Take a breath in to prepare and as you breathe out curl forward. Take another breath in to hold and as you breathe out twist taking your right shoulder towards your left hip as you lengthen your left leg away long to a 45 degree angle, breathe in to come back bringing the knees back to 90 degrees, then breathe out as you repeat to the opposite side.

Start with 8 – 10 reps.

Top Tip – When you bring both legs up to 90 degrees you can press your lower back down, this keeps your back in a safer position. Keep your pelvis still as you twist!

That’s my 5 top exercises for a Trimmer Tummy.

I hope you enjoy doing these exercises but please remember Pilates is a commitment so to have that trimmer tummy you desire you will need to do these exercises at least 3 times a week. A good tip is to do them at the same time of day. If you do them 3 times a week have a day off in between each session. You could build it up to every day!

Why don’t you try these for 2 weeks and let me know how you get on? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

2 Responses

  1. Been doing these for a while and they definitely do work. My tummy is certainly trimmer. Can highly recommend doing them.

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