Pilates exercises focus a lot on developing core strength, balance, flexibility, and posture. Exercises that build the abdominal muscles and back help strengthen your core. While many Pilates exercises are done on the mat, there are some exercises that make use of Pilates devices to intensify the workout. Some of the most popular Pilates abdominal devices are the Swiss ball, Pilates Ring, and the Reformer.
Using a Pilates Ring for Abdominal Exercises
A Pilates Ring is an inexpensive device that can enhance your abdominal workout. Pilates rings are light and flexible. They come in different sizes and provide varying degrees of resistance.
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This Pilates device can be used in some abdominal exercises. To tone your stomach muscles and buttocks, lie on the floor flat on your back. Bend your knees and keep your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Place the Pilates ring between the knees. Position your arms on the floor slightly away from your sides with the palm facing down. Squeeze the Pilates ring between your thighs. Exhale as you squeeze and inhale as you release. Repeat 10 times. This exercise engages your abs and buttocks.
Pilates Abdominal Exercises with a Swiss Ball
A Swiss ball is another inexpensive device that can be used with a Pilates abdominal exercise. It increases the challenge of your Pilates workout.
To perform the Swiss Ball Saw with Hamstring Stretch, start by sitting up straight on a Swiss ball. Both feet should be flat on the fall, knees bent and in line with the ankles.
Hold your arms straight to your sides at shoulder level, palms facing forward. Rotate your upper body to the right. Straighten your right leg and reach your left arm towards your right foot. Bend forward from the waist. Sit back slowly, one vertebra at a time. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. This exercise targets the muscles on the abdomen, obliques and lower back. It also stretches your hamstrings.
The Swiss Ball Pyramid is another Pilates abdominal exercise that uses a simple device to provide a challenging workout. In this exercise, your body moves from a plank to a pyramid position. The ball challenges your balance and core strength because your lower body is being supported by this movable surface.
To begin, lie face down on the ball. Walk your hands forward until the ball is under your shins. At this point, your body should be straight from head to toe. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor. Raise your hips toward the ceiling. The ball will roll slightly forward. Your body will now form a pyramid, with your hips as the top of the pyramid. Lower your hips back to the plank position to complete the routine.