Pilates Reformer Ab Exercises

Pilates Reformer Ab Exercises

Description

Into the Exercise (positive lift)

Step 1: Lie on your belly with your arms at your side, your palms facing up, and your head facing to the one side. Inhale deeply, then tighten your abdominal, buttocks, and hamstring muscles.

Step 2: Keeping your arms relaxed and your hands and feet touching the floor, raise your upper body and lift your face upward until you see the ceiling. Pause for one second.

Step 3: Raise your upper body another inch or two by lifting slightly more off the floor at the waist.

Out of the Exercise (negative lift)

Step 4: In one continuous movement, lower your upper body to the floor, turning your head toward the opposite direction, and then exhale as you relax your abdominal, buttocks, and hamstring muscles.

Timing & Repetition

The total movement should take at least 8 seconds: 2 seconds for the inhale; 1 second for raising the body; 1 second for the pause;

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1 second for the extension; 1 second for lowering the body; and 2 seconds for the exhale and release. Repeat the exercise 6 times, which should take at least 48 seconds.

Purpose

This exercise has three purposes. First, it will strengthen your lumbar, thoracic, and cervical muscles. Second, it will enhance the flexibility of your neck and rib cage. Third, it will enhance your neck’s range of motion by stretching your trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, and related muscles.

Levels of Difficulty

Level 1: Perform steps 1 and 2c (keeping your arms relaxed and your hands and feet touching the floor, raise your upper body and head off the floor just enough to look down at the floor). Then perform step

Level 2: Perform steps 1 and 2b (keeping your arms relaxed and your hands and feet touching the floor, raise your upper body and head off the floor several feet ahead of you). Then perform step 4.

Level 3: Perform steps 1 and 2a (keeping your arms relaxed and your hands and feet touching the floor, raise your upper body and head off the floor several feet ahead of you). Then perform step 4.

Level 4: Perform steps 1, 2, and 4.

Level 5: Perform steps 1-4.

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