If you have ever taken a Pilates class chances are you have done the Ab Series of Five. It is a series of 5 movements done to times each. This is a quick “how to” so that you can do them at home. Try and do them in quick succession without starts or stops. Remember to apply the six Pilates Principles to every movement to get the best results.
1) Single Leg Stretch ( beginner,intermediate and advanced strength levels)
- Lie on your back with your knees folded into your chest.
- Engage your abdominals and curl your head up bringing your gaze to your belly
- Place your right hand on your right ankle and your left hand on your right knee (think: outside hand on your ankle!)
- Stretch your left leg straight away from your body. Start with your leg straight up from your hip to the ceiling. Slowly lower it down only as far as you can maintaining abdominal control. Hold this position.
- Switch legs; holding onto your left ankle with your left hand, your right hand on your knee and your right leg out long and straight.
- As you get the hang of this position, you can speed up the movement.
- Do this 10 times.
Watch out for:
- Don’t let your body rock side to side as you switch legs.
- Neck tension. This means you are lifting your head with neck muscles, not abdominal muscles.