How to Do Pilates Exercises for Flat Abs
The fifth and last exercise in the series is
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I'm Audrey Laurelton, owner of Equilibrium Pilates in Montclair, NJ. I'm here for About.com today to show you how to do a Pilates flat ab series.The first exercise in this series of 5 is the single leg stretch. We are going to begin with the head lifted, eyes at the navel, right hand comes to the right ankle, left hand below the left knee. With the elbows lifted, we are going to extend that left leg out above the hip height of 45 degrees. We are going to draw the knee in and then we are going to change legs. So find a nice inhale and exhale to change legs. From here, we want to complete 8 - 10 sets. The next exercise is the double leg stretch. We are going to start by grabbing the ankles, knees into the chest, and elbows lifted. Take a nice big inhale as you stretch those legs out and reach those arms up by your ears. Bringing the arms around, you are going to exhale, drawing the knees back in and pulling those legs in tight. The third exercise is the single straight leg stretch. We are going to reach the right leg up, grab that ankle, give it two little pulls to stretch, release the leg and change. Pull, pull, release. Pull, pull, release. Again, the core stays nice and stable.The fourth exercise is the double straight leg stretch. We are going to take one hand on top of the other. Place the hands behind the head with nice, wide elbows. Extend the legs up to the ceiling in Pilates stance, which is heels together and toes apart, squeezing those inner thighs and back of the legs. Inhale to lower the legs, keeping that lower back flat and exhale, lift them right back up to 90 degrees. The fifth and last exercise in the series is the criss cross. Again, we are going to have one hand on top of the other, both hands behind the head. Lift nice and high. Exhale and twist out. Inhale as you come center and exhale twist. Inhale lift, look back as you exhale. Make sure that elbow is off the mat and change. Thank you for watching and for more information, go to: health.about.com.