If you have ever tried to achieve the flat and toned abs of the workout gurus of Instagram, you will probably have noticed how difficult it is to target your lower abs. It is easy to do crunches to tone the upper abs, but it is much harder to feel the burn across your lower abdominals.
However, if there was ever a workout that would be able to do it, it is Pilates. Notorious for its ability to build a stronger core, certain Pilates moves can help to target those elusive lower ab muscles and give you the core strength you have been searching for.
And the advantage of focusing on your lower abs is not just a flat stomach as those muscles are also important for helping you stabilise your back and pelvis as well as overall balance. When working your lower abs, make sure to focus on the muscles you are trying to work and take it slow and steady in order to see the best results.
5 Lower Ab Pilates exercises
90 Degree Static Press
This move is the perfect way to start off a workout as it will definitely warm up your abdominals!
- Lying on your back with your knees lifted off the ground at a 90-degree angle keep your feet flexed towards the sky. Keep your head and shoulders pressed into the ground and press your palms onto the top of your thighs. Breathe in deeply. As you exhale engage your core and press your lower back into the floor as you press your thighs back into your hands. Hold for a second before releasing.
This is a deceptively good move for the lower abs – don’t let the tiny movement fool you because this will engage your core intensely.
- Sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, carefully lean back and rest your body on your elbows, with your hands facing towards your body. Engage your abdominals and slowly lift your legs (keeping the knees bent) up at a 90-degree angle. Holding this position and bring your legs over to the right side. Lower the legs to the middle and then over the right (tracing a ‘u’ shape in the air).
Lift and Switch
This is a fantastic move for not just the lower abs but the entire core. It may take a little practice to get good at it but you can start small and then work your way up (a great way to see the progress that you have made).
- Start on your back with your arms resting at your sides. Cross your feet at the ankles (or press the ankles together) and, using your core, lift your legs up straight. Hold for a second before bracing your abdominal muscles and lifting your lower body and legs off the ground (keeping your head and shoulders on the ground). Pause for a second before lowering yourself back down.
This move will help you to engage your abs and improve your control over them.
- Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms stretched back overhead. Press your lower back into the floor. Engage your abs. Pointing your toes and engaging the muscles in your legs and glutes, lift your legs and upper body off the ground to create a ‘V’ shape. Use your core to hold the position and slowly lower yourself back down to the mat.
This is a dynamic move that will help you to engage your core muscles and build strength in your spine, improving alignment.
– Begin from a plank position with your hands under your shoulders, toes pressed into the floor, and core engaged to support your back. Then jump your feet in and out, like you are performing star jumps or jumping jacks in the floor. Keep in mind that you need to keep your core and glutes engaged as you move.
Pilates is an exercise that works more than just your core. If you want to learn about the other exercises which Pilates offers then you need to do our Pilates Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.