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
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.

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.

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

amazon mat, reformer, cadillac website pop up (1)

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

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) 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.

    LOVE A TRANSITION

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    I'm not a big fan of cardio anymore. I used to be! OMG did I use to be! I loved to run! But, the move to Vegas made running half the year torture. And then I discovered that cardio isn't super awesome as I age. SOOO.. in come more Pilates and weight lifting. That being said, getting your heart rate up is amazing. So, when you flow...meaning you transition from one exercise to the next without stopping you will feel your heart rate spike! It also can be quite the challenge. So full permission to rest!

    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.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

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

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

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

      TWIST LOVE

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Continuing our love month with another spine shape to love -Twist! Again, if you can't twist you can still enjoy this workout on the Mat or Reformer because we still explore the power of Round, Extension, Side Bend and Tall!

      Twisting is tricky and key! Its one of the first spine shapes we lose if we take it for granted. So get ready to explore all the twists. And, find strength while doing it!

      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.

      WISH I WAS A BALLER

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class, we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Props needed:
      Reformer - small ball and sitting box
      Mat - small ball

      See you in class,

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

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

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

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

      WINTER WONDERLAND

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

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

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

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Every Which Way But Loose

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Pick any Pilates exercise and you’ll find there are multiple directions of movement or reach to focus on. No need to make ourselves crazy trying to master them all! Pick one or two or maybe something new as we explore the Rowing Series on the Mat and the Reformer. We’ll reach, circle, bend, extend, and anchor …moving every which way but loose!

      -Tami-Adrian

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights (or cans of soup) and a mat!

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

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

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