Pilates is an exercise system designed to improve and promote flexibility, good posture, balance, and strength. It’s an incredibly popular and effective way to work out, and is beloved by millions of people around the world.

But a common misconception about Pilates is that it’s all about flexibility. On the contrary, many Pilates movements work incredibly hard into the core. And for anyone seeking to improve their overall core strength, Pilates may be one of the best options available.

So to give you a quick flavour of what we’re talking about, we’ve chosen 5 exercises that show just how core-busting a Pilates workout can be!

The Hundred

How to do The Hundred: Lie on your back with your legs in tabletop position. Exhale and bring your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor with your arms by your sides, palms facing down. Begin to pulse your arms, inhaling to a count of 5 and exhaling to a count of 5. Continue for a total count of 100.

Crisscross

How to do the Crisscross: Lie on your back and place your hands behind your ears, elbows pointing out to the sides. Bring your legs into tabletop position, exhale to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. Inhale and exhale, rotating right elbow to left knee whilst extending your right leg. Inhale back to centre and repeat on the opposite side.

Rolling like a ball

How to do Rolling like a ball: Sit upright, draw your knees in to your chest and wrap your arms around your legs. Rock back slightly so your feet come off the floor. Inhale and, keeping yourself in a ball, roll back to your shoulder blades, then exhale and roll forward to the starting position without placing your feet back down on the mat.

Roll-up

How to do the Roll-up: Lie on your back and lift your arms to the ceiling, fingers pointing in-line with the shoulders. Exhale to roll up to a seated position, reaching your hands towards your feet. On your next exhale, reverse the movement, rolling back down, with control, one vertebrae at a time.

Single Straight-Leg Stretch

How to do the Single Straight-Leg Stretch: Lie on your back with your legs perpendicular to the floor. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor and bring your right leg as close to your face as possible, holding the calf with both hands. Lower your left leg and hover it slightly above the mat, then pulse your right leg twice towards your face. Lift your left leg back up and swap sides.

More for the core

If you enjoyed this post and would like to know more about Pilates, why not read Why Pilates Is A Fantastic Workoutor, if you want to find out more about our classes, you can visit our Pilates page.