Pilates Core Exercises - 3 of the BEST
The core we refer to is your torso - from top of your neck to base of the spine, and all muscles in an around the area. Core muscles not only include "the six pack" but also levels of abdominal muscles that wrap around your torso, pelvic floor and also back.
These include: rectus abdominal, transverse abdominal, pelvic floor, back muscles and abdominal obliques. All of these muscles are very important - most back pain is attributed to weak abdominals.
OBLIQUE ABDOMINALS are core muscles that wrap around your torso.
In this position, lift diagonally across the body - left armpit to right knee and vice versa. The obliques are the muscles around the "corset" area and consist of the external obliques and the internal obliques.
The obliques engage when you want to twist and bend sideways. They're a bit like an old fashioned corset - and that's what they do - support you.
A quintessential pilates core strength exercise - the " HUNDREDS " :
Hold this position, and pump arms up and down slowly. Inhale for 2 breaths and exhale for 2.
The SINGLE LEG STRETCH is another fantastic abdominal core strength exercise.
In this position, stretch out the left leg, placing your hands on the right knee. Then change to the opposite. Inhale on one side, and exhale on the other.
The pic is an advanced version of the Plank. To begin, rather than placing the ball under your feet, place it under your hips then graduate to knees and then to your feet. The important thing to remember is to hold your body in a "straight" plank position, do not drop your hips to the floor. Your core muscles are working beautifully here.
Additionally, if you pick up a ball, the possibilities are endless .... Check out our Stability Ball Exercises page. Ball exercises are fabulous for improving core strength.
The transverse abdominal wrap around your body like a girdle. Although evidence suggests that these muscles are automatically engaged before exercise, pilates methods encourage you to learn how to "turn on" those muscles during exercise. There are 2 ways of doing this:
This VIDEO below is a more advanced exercise ... .