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A strong core means better balance, better posture and looking better in your bathing suit this summer! To gain a stronger core, we are taking on the Pilates’s infamous ab series. The Pilates ab series consists of five exercises that use not only your abs, but will get your arms and legs moving as well. You don’t need any equipment to rock these five exercises, so why not plop down on the floor with us and follow along!
Single Leg Stretch: Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Lift your head, neck and shoulders. Extend your left leg, while keeping your right leg into your chest. Your right hand should be on your outside right ankle and your left hand should be on your inside right knee. Now switch! Left leg in, right leg out. Remember, the leg you have in towards your body should match the hand you have on your outside ankle! Keep your core strong so you’re not bouncing back and forth with your legs! Reps: 10x each leg
Double Leg Stretch: Lie on your back and hug both knees into your chest. Lift your head, neck and shoulders and place your hands on your shins. Extend both your arms and legs out at the same time to V (about 45 degrees). Flow your arms around in a half circle like pattern and legs back into the starting position. Reps: 10x
Single Straight Leg Stretch: Lie on your back. Extend your legs towards the ceiling and lift your head, neck and shoulders. Grab your right leg with both hands at the calf and gently pull your leg towards your face twice. Switch the legs and repeat the gentle pulling motion. Reps: 10x each leg
Double Straight Leg Stretch: Lie on your back. Extend your legs towards the ceiling and place your hands, palm over palm, at the base of the skull (don’t interlock your fingers!). Lift your head, neck and shoulders. Lower your legs as far as you can without arching your back and slowly lift back into the starting position. Reps: 10x
Criss-Cross: Lie on your back with your knees at a table-top position. Lift your head, neck and shoulders, supporting your neck with palm over palm hands at the base of the skull. Extend your left leg at a 45 degree angle while pulling your right leg into your chest. As your right leg comes into your chest twist at the waist towards the right. Bring your right knee to your left shoulder. Switch, bringing your right leg out to at 45 degree angle, left leg in, left knee to right shoulder. Reps: 10x each leg
Run through the Pilates ab series three times. And don't forget to stay hydrated when you exercise and if you're outside, put on that sunscreen! But, the biggest piece of advice we can offer about exercise is to find an exercise you love! Whether that be running, swimming, Pilates, yoga, kickball, just get out there and work it! Your body and mind will thank you!
XO Team Southerndoe
Content provided on this site, including without limitation to this exercise program is solely for informational purposes and are to be used at your own risk. The information on this website is the opinion of the author, and is not a replacement for medical advice. You should consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise program. Southerndoe cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained by the reader when attempting these exercises.