Pilates has shown us some great exercises for tightening and strengthening the body. For people who work out at home, you can get an amazing workout with nothing more than a mat, exercise ball, and determination.
As with most workouts you should not perform them if you have any serious aches or pains. Now this workout can be done at any time of the day. So even if you only have 10 minutes to sneak in a quick workout you can blast your abs quickly before getting back to other things.
The Tummy Tightener
Ideally you will do this routine two to three times per week. The exercises will be performed as a circuit doing one right after the next. Then repeat the circuit one to two times depending on fatigue and your own free time. The goal will be for 8 to 12 reps for each exercise.
Water Ballet – Sit on the mat with your legs curls around to the left side of your body. You legs will be flat on the ground. Place the exercise ball on the right side of your body and rest your right palm on the top of the ball. Raise your left hand straight overhead. Bend your body to the right side as your right hand rolls the ball away from you and your oblique muscles contract. Reverse the movement until you are upright. Complete your repetitions for the right side and then switch positions for the left side.
Rollover – This is more of a gymnastics move that works very well. Lie flat on your back with hands at your sides, palms down. Raise your legs so your heels are pointing towards the ceiling. Use your core muscles to then slowly roll your hips up and bring your knees toward your head while keeping your legs straight. Go as far as you can (or until your toes touch the ground). Hold that position for a few seconds before slowly reversing the motion back to the starting point.
Back Arm Rowing – Start in a seated position on the floor with your feet on the ground and knees at a 90 degree angle. Your back will be flat as you sit straight up. Extend you arms out in front of you and imagine you are grabbing an oar on a boat. Slowly lean your body back (keeping your back flat) while simultaneously pulling your arms towards your chest like you are pulling in the oar. Stop your body after it has gone about 45 degrees, pause, and then slowly reverse the motion to the original sitting position.
Ball Roll-up – Lie flat on your back with your knees bent 45 degrees and your feet resting flat on the exercise ball. Lift your hips off the ground to engage your abs and then slowly straighten your legs while rolling your feet across the ball. Pause then your legs are straight and then use your abs to draw your legs back to the starting position while rolling the ball back towards you.