In the Small Pilates Ball Workout: Part 1, we warmed up and targeted the legs and backside. Now, it’s time to add 6 abdominal exercises to burn out our midsection. *Put in the time and effort now, to have the confidence to take that top off when you are poolside later!
1. Roll Like a Ball
- From a seated position, place the Pilates Ball underneath your thighs. Squeeze your feet towards your butt and squeeze the ball tight!
- Round your back and pull your abs in 100%.
- Balance on your sacrum with your feet off the ground.
- Roll back just until your shoulders hit the mat, then roll back up to a seated position balancing just behind your sit bones.
- Try not to let your hips shift forward and back as you roll back up.
- Hold for 2 seconds before rolling back again.
- Perform controlled rolls forward and back for 30 seconds. The key to control is to keep your abdominals pulled in tight.
2. Reverse Curls w/ the Pilates Ball
- From the Roll Like A Ball exercise above, lie on your back with your arms pressed into the floor.
- Keep your shoulders retracted and depressed as you slowly bring your knees to your chest.
- “Muscle it” up and hold at the top for 2 seconds.
- Slowly lower the legs back down and attempt to touch your toes to the floor while keeping your lower back on the floor.
- The entire time squeeze the ball super tight!
- Repeat the controlled curls for one minute.
3. Split Leg Teaser
- Make sure you can do the teaser without props first. See Mastering Teaser post here.
- Lie on your back with your right leg extended out straight over a Pilates ball.
- Pull your left knee up in the air and contact your abs in.
- Inhale to prep, exhale and straighten your left leg out as you reach for your left foot.
- At the top of the move attempt to straighten your spine (lift your chest), hold 2 seconds.
- Inhale again to prep, exhale and round your back (“diving into your shirt”) as you slowly lower back down pulling your left knee in again as much as possible.
- Repeated sequence for 30 seconds.
- As you get the hang of it, attempt to “pop” the pilates ball by pressing that right leg into the ball as hard as you can. This will make your leg wobble more, so try to keep it as still as you can.
- Switch legs.
4. Roll Up w/ Pilates Ball
- Start in the “Up” position, seated with abdominals pulled in tight.
- Press legs together and down into the floor. Keep your legs active!
- Press your hands together into a Pilates ball.
- Inhale to prepare, exhale and reach for your toes and simultaneously pull your abs in as if someone was pulling you away from your feet.
- Inhale again, exhale and slowly roll down with control bringing the ball overhead.
- Inhale to prepare, exhale and slowly roll up reaching for you toes again.
- Repeat sequence for one minute.
- To make easier, bend knees and use your arms to pull your body up (without using the pilates ball).
5. Diagonal Roll Up w/ Pilates Ball
- This is just like the Roll Up exercise above, except your feet are about hip width apart and you are reaching at a diagonal.
- Reach to the outside of your left foot, roll down and reach the ball over your right shoulder.
- Stay on the same side for 30 seconds.
- Repeat sequence on the opposite side (right foot/left shoulder).
6. Stacked Leg Twist & Reach
- Lie on the floor with a ball stacked between your legs and your right leg on top (shown above).
- Reach your left arm out as far as possible.
- Inhale to prep, exhale as you twist and reach over passed your top (right) leg. Twist from your ribcage, not your head.
- Slowly lower down, reaching arm back out to the side again.
- Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Switch sides.
- Focus on keeping the legs as still as possible and you perform your twists.
- Bend your knees with your feet on the floor and ball in between knees if you feel any strain on your lower back with this exercise.
You’ll be ready to hit the beach in no time with this workout…
*Consult your physician before starting this or any new exercise program. Also, eat a healthy, whole foods diet and do cardiovascular (heart pumping) exercise at least 3x a week.