Pilates Exercises For Abdominal and Back Strengthening

Pilates is great for working on abdominal and back muscles. It focuses primarily on core stomach muscles and uses these as the center of all functioning and movement. Thus trying to strengthen the abs and back with Pilates sees only natural. With the use of some basic tools anyone can do these exercises at home. For more advanced physical therapy or strength training you should see a Pilates certified trainer who will be able to guide you through more advanced exercises on some specialized equipment such as the Reformer machine.

The Hundred

This is killer for your abs and will be very hard at first but become easier with time. Start by lying on your back and bringing your knees into your chest. Extend your arms at your sides so they rest comfortably next to your body. Lift your chin and chest up so your shoulder blades are about six inches off the ground. Then extend your legs out and left arms up at the same height. Pump your arms up and down in small movements while you exhale. Then inhale, flip your arms over so your palms are up and pump five more times. Repeat this sequence ten times for a total of one hundred pumps.

V-Sit Teaser

Be prepared to feel the pain on this one. Lay on your back with your legs straight out and your arms stretched out over your head. Using your abdominal muscles only lift your back and arms up at the same time you lift your legs. Keep your back flat and your legs straight. Your torso should remain in one piece and your body should bend at your hips so you come to a "V" position with your arms reaching towards your raised feet. Exhale and slowly rolls back down, allowing your back spine to arch and your abs to contract. Repeat three to five times to start. As you get better you can increase the reps.

Chest float

Lie on your stomach with your arms at your side and legs straight out. Let your forehead rest on the ground. Inhale in a deep breath then exhale out and stretch your arms out behind you lengthening them while pushing your shoulders down and lifting your head and torso off the ground. Keep your focus on the ground and make sure your head stays in line with your spell. Inhale and hold the position. Exhale and slowly release down. Repeat this ten times to start.