Best Pilates Moves for Beginners to Get Rock-Solid Abs

Kneeling Arm and Leg Reach

How to do it: Start on all fours on top of your mat. Make sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders and that your knees are right beneath your hips. Your spine remains in a neutral position (i.e. no slouching or arching). Inhale. As you exhale, reach the left arm up and by your ear while you lift the right leg straight behind you. Point the toes of the lifted leg. Hold for a breath. Return your arm and leg to where they started. Repeat on the opposite side. Perform 8-10 reps on each side for 3 sets.

Pro tips: Stabilize that torso by pulling your navel in. If you are struggling to maintain your balance, try just lifting one arm or one leg separately and build strength from there.


How to do it: Start in a tabletop position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Lift your knees off the floor and squeeze your butt. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Tighten your core and imagine yourself as one straight diagonal line from head to toe. Avoid slouching your hips to protect your lower back. Also try not to hike your hips. You want to keep everything in line to engage your abdominals. Once you find the sweet spot, hold for 20 seconds to a minute. Perform 3 sets.

Pro tips:While it’s important to squeeze your abdominals in this position, don’t hold your breath! It will just cause panic and make this position even more difficult to hold. Breath evenly in and out through the nose. If your wrists are bothering you, come down to your forearms.