5 Best Pilates AB Workouts at Home

There is a series of exercises on the Mat called “The Abdominal Series of 5” that you can do whenever you want, where ever you are. And, if you’re doing it right you’ll be feeling it in less than 3 reps of each variation!

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • February 3, 2024
Home  »  Blog   »   5 Best Pilates AB Workouts at Home
5 best pilates ab services workout online pilates classes

How to Do The Pilates AB Series at Home

Pilates was designed to work the entire body in every workout – literally leaving no muscle over or under worked – which is why Pilates not just an ab workout. But, there is a series of exercises on the Mat called “The Abdominal Series of 5” that you can do whenever you want, where ever you are. And, if you’re doing it right, you’ll be feeling it in less than 3 reps of each variation!

Single Leg Stretch

Also, know as the Single Leg Pull. This exercise is easy to cheat your abs on. So, be careful that you don’t use your arms to pull you up. Instead, use your abdominals to bend your spine and your arms to pull on your leg for the hip stretch. As you switch your legs this is where you really want to pull in center because the abs will want to push out. Maintain your low ribs on the mat and your belly button towards your spine. In the beginning do 5-10 each side and you can rest before the next one. As you advance, just 3 each side no break before you go to the next one.

Double Leg Stretch

If you only have one minute to work out your Pilates abs series, then do this! Do it for a whole minute but make sure you do let your chest drop as your legs go out. Lift your chest up as your arms go back. And, as your legs bend in you’ll be tempted to drop your heels but this will def cheat you out of some good ab stuff. So, reach your legs and arms far and away from each other lifting your chest and hugging your outer thighs in. Then pull your knees into your chest from your abs. In the beginning 5-10 and then rest. But, as you advance do 3 good ones and skip the break and go straight into the next one.

Single Straight Leg Stretch

This one is easy to hang off your flexibility and also make it come from the quads. But, if you pull on your leg from your upper back muscles and reach the opposite leg away from your seat you’ll be able to find the longest flexion in your spine. And, as you switch your legs similarly to your Single Leg Stretch you want to focus on your abs pulling in as they will want to pop out on the switch. Do 5-10x each side in the beginning and then as you advance do 3 good ones each side and skip the break going right into the next one.

Double Straight Leg Stretch

This one will make you want to cheat your upper abs and counter balance your legs by “leaning back” as the legs lower. But, if done right, you’ll feel your abs from top to bottom getting challenged. And, to top it off, your upper back and glutes will get some love too! The key to this one working your abs the best is to press your head into your hands and lifting your chest up but pulling your low ribs into the mat and keeping them there. As your legs lower your chest tries to lift up and over your abs. Then to lift you legs, stretch them out as far as you can and you’ll feel your abs take the control and not your legs. Do 5-10x in the beginning and rest. As you advance 3 good ones and go right into the next one.

Criss Cross

Easy to think you know this one. I mean, it does look like “bicycle sit ups.” But, it’s all about your waist getting its twist on. And, if you have been doing the previous 4 correct you’ll be lucky to get 3 good ones out of this one! Focus on your armpit coming to your opposite knee and not cheating your abs by bringing your elbow to your knee. Do 5-10 each side in the beginning. Then, when you are more advanced, 3 good ones each side.

You’ll know if you’re doing these right. If by Criss Cross you feel like that was “easy,” then you likely were going through the choreography. So, focus on the strength of each exercise, the tips I gave above and what I said in the videos. I never skip these in my OPC classes because they are that good at strengthening your core and MORE! Because your core is not just your abdominals. It’s your glutes, inner thighs, abs and back!

Give these 5 a go and try to do them daily. If you have questions, let me know!

xx-LL

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links”, a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support. By watching this video, you agree to our Terms and Conditions, which you can read here:https://opc.me/tc

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

pop up summer tour | online pilates classes

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think its the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Props Needed:
Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, barrel or blanket and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, reformer box, pole and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

No props needed.

See you in class,
xx-LL 💋

WILD SIDE

Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

Pilates is one of the few movement practices that focuses on our side body! And, our side body is what keep us from falling! And, it's also integral to our posture. So, let's nerd out with our Wild Sides!

Let's have fun focusing on twisting, side bending and the spine shapes in between that help and our helped by our Wild Sides!

Mat class: Magic Circle
Reformer class: No props needed
Tower/Cadillac class: A reformer pole and the reformer box, but both are technically optional!
Wunda Chair class: Theraband or an old pair of leggings!

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

HIGH FIVE FOR ALL

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

In Pilates we often talk about the 5 spinal shapes… do you know them? No worries if you don’t yet as this month we’re going to explore them all! How tall, round, extended, rotated or bent from our sides that we can be gives us more power & control during exercise. Let’s see what we can feel when we put the focus on working toward these particular shapes… And, lookout for combo shapes!"

On the Reformer, please have a ball, Magic Circle and your pole. A couple of pillows and a Swiffer handle all make great substitutes!
Mat, Tower/Cadillac and Wunda Chair: No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

CAN WE KICK IT?

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Side Kick Series and Kneeling Side Kicks are great full-body exercises that require a lot of connections from front to back and head to toe. In your classes this week we will work on the connection of our upper back, glute/Thass®, and abdominal strength to help with these exercises and see how your practice links together. Single leg work on the reformer as well as side body work will give you more information to help you in your Side Kicks. No props needed for this class.

See you in class,
Mindi

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think it's the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx~LL 💋