Grueling Pilates Work For Those Abs

This is an Abs pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 14671)

I teach a Pilates class once a week, and our exercises are very deliberate and controlled. I also teach a kick class and like to add my Pilates ab exercises during floor work but with the same music bpm (usually 130-136). So, here are a few exercises I've modified to really work the abs. I usually do about 6-8 exercises for 30 seconds each, throw in a modified plank hold and then repeat the cycle once again. It adds up to about 11 or 12 minutes, and it's quite grueling. Here we go:

Pilates single straight leg stretch:

This will be particular challenging, so inform participants of the three modifications: 1) keeping the head and shoulders on the mat if they do this, make sure the back NEVER lifts; 2) take the legs higher--also a good idea with #1 to prevent that back from arching; 3) keep the hands in position one with the hands gently guiding the knee inward

Pilates scissors:

One modification can be keeping the head and shoulders on the mat, again making sure they never let the back lift up off the mat. Another modification is reaching behind the thighs instead, and repeating position #1 instead of moving onto #2 or #3.

Pilates double straight leg stretch:

You can modify this exercise by keeping the head and shoulders on the mat. You can also use a smaller range of motion by only bringing the legs down to about 60 degree angle.

Then, we usually flip over, stretch those abs, and move into our modified plank.

Pilates modified plank:

This exercise can be easily modified by bring one or even both knees down to the mat (they'll still work the abs). They can also push the hips up toward the ceiling to lessen some of the weight off the abs. They can also push up into a "regular" plank by putting the hands down on the floor instead of the forearms.

Then, you just start the three above exercises again with the 30-second increments and end there or with one more modified plank.

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions.



Added by Nancy Lamb at 12:36 AM on Tuesday, November 2, 2004 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
(Email: tkickforce@aol.com)
From: Bloomington, Illinois (USA)
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