PREP FOR ABS & TWIST

The Preparation For Abdominals is one of the most fundamental exercises in the Pilates Method. There are many variations for people at all levels and the idea is to build up to the one that feels right for you. As well as working your abdominals, the Prep for Abs also focuses on spinal flexion. Many people tense up in the front of their thigh (hip flexor muscles) when doing forward flexing abdominal exercises and this is a great way to engage those muscles and learn to keep them soft when doing the movement! Adding the twist also works the sides of your abs (obliques) so you really are getting an all-over abdominal workout!!


PREP FOR ABS & TWIST - FEET DOWN

1a. Start lying on your back, fingers interlaced behind your head, thumbs running down the side of your neck and your elbows slightly forward so you can see them in your peripheral vision. Have your feet flat on the floor, hip-distant apart with fairly close to your bottom. Press your head back into your hands and keep your spine in neutral. Take a breath in.

1b. As you breathe out curl your head, neck and chest forward sliding your ribcage towards your hips and keeping your eye gaze towards your knees. Breathe in and return to start. Repeat 10 times.

1c. For the twist… Repeat position 1 and as you breathe out, curl your head, neck and chest forward and take your right shoulder as far over towards your left knee as you can without your hips or pelvis moving keeping your elbows open. As you breathe in, return to centre. Breathe out and repeat to the other side. Repeat 10 times each side.


PREP FOR ABS & TWIST - KNEES IN TABLETOP

2a. Start lying on your back, fingers interlaced behind your head, thumbs running down the side of your neck and your elbows slightly forward so you can see them in your peripheral vision. One at a time, bring your knees up into a tabletop position and keep your knees squeezing together. Press your head back into your hands and draw your naval towards your spine gently pressing your lower back into the floor. Take a breath in.

2b. As you breathe out curl your head, neck and chest forward sliding your ribcage towards your hips and keeping your eye gaze towards your knees. Breathe in and return to start. Repeat 10 times.

2c. For the twist… Repeat position 1 and as you breathe out, curl your head, neck and chest forward and take your right shoulder as far over towards your left knee as you can without your hips or pelvis moving keeping your elbows open. Keep your knees squeezing together and make sure they stay even (i.e. not scissoring apart as you twist) As you breathe in, return to centre. Breathe out and repeat to the other side. Repeat 10 times each side.


PREP FOR ABS & TWIST - LEGS AT 90 DEGREES

3a. Start lying on your back, fingers interlaced behind your head, thumbs running down the side of your neck and your elbows slightly forward so you can see them in your peripheral vision. Extend your legs up into the air at 90 degrees. Press your head back into your hands and draw your naval towards your spine pressing your lower back into the floor. Take a breath in.

3b. As you breathe out curl your head, neck and chest forward sliding your ribcage towards your hips and keeping your eye gaze towards your knees. Breathe in and return to start. Repeat 10 times.

3c. For the twist… Repeat position 1 and as you breathe out, curl your head, neck and chest forward and take your right shoulder as far over towards your left knee as you can without your hips or pelvis moving keeping your elbows open. As you breathe in, return to centre. Breathe out and repeat to the other side. Repeat 10 times each side.