7 Ultimate Pilates Ab Workouts for a Powerful Core

7 Ultimate Pilates Ab Workouts for a Powerful Core

Pilates Blog 10 minute read

A robust core isn't just about aesthetics; it's the powerhouse of your body. Pilates, with its focus on controlled movements and core strength, is the perfect regimen to sculpt and fortify your abdominal muscles. Here, we explore seven transformative Pilates ab workouts that promise not only a toned midsection but also improved posture and enhanced overall strength.

1. The Pilates Hundred

A quintessential Pilates move, the Hundred emphasizes breathing while working on your core muscles.

How to:

  • Lie flat on your back with legs in tabletop position.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
  • Pump your arms up and down, breathing in for five pumps and out for five.
  • Complete ten cycles to reach a hundred.

2. The Roll-Up

This move challenges your core stability and flexibility.

How to:

  • Start lying down with arms extended overhead.
  • Inhale and begin to curl your upper body off the floor.
  • Exhale as you continue to roll up to a sitting position.
  • Slowly roll back down with control.

3. Double Leg Stretch

An excellent exercise for deep core engagement.

How to:

  • Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest.
  • Hold onto your ankles and lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
  • Extend both legs straight while reaching arms overhead.
  • Circle arms around and grab your ankles again, pulling knees to chest.

4. Scissor Kicks

Perfect for targeting the obliques and lower abs.

How to:

  • Lie flat with hands behind your head, elbows wide.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
  • Raise one leg straight up, grabbing it with both hands, while the other leg hovers above the ground.
  • Switch legs in a scissor motion.

5. Plank to Pike

A dynamic move that blends the benefits of planking with a pike movement.

How to:

  • Start in a plank position with hands directly under shoulders.
  • Keeping legs straight, pike your hips upwards, forming an inverted V.
  • Return to plank position.

6. Criss-Cross

A rotational move to fire up the obliques.

How to:

  • Lie on your back with hands behind your head.
  • Bring your knees to tabletop position.
  • Rotate your upper body, bringing the right elbow to the left knee while extending the right leg.
  • Alternate sides in a bicycling motion.

7. Saw

Great for oblique strengthening and spine flexibility.

How to:

  • Sit tall with legs spread wide and arms extended to the sides.
  • Rotate your torso to the right and reach your left hand towards your right foot.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Enhancing Your Core Routine

While these exercises promise a rigorous core workout, consistency is key. Incorporating these moves into your routine 3-4 times a week can lead to visible results and enhanced core strength. Always remember to maintain proper form to prevent injury and to maximize the benefits of each movement.


Pilates offers a holistic approach to core strengthening. These seven exercises, when performed regularly and correctly, can provide a solid foundation for a powerful core, improved posture, and overall bodily harmony. Embrace the Pilates philosophy of controlled, mindful movement, and witness the transformative effects on your abs.

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