Having a strong midsection is important for much more than just looks! A lot of clients walk through my Pilates studio doors hoping to strengthen their abs, and I always explain to them that a truly healthy core also requires a strong back, obliques, and pelvic floor. A stable core helps us maintain good posture and balance, and complete everyday activities without straining our backs or getting injured.
The four-move workout below strengthens your whole core using a magic circle.
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Aim to do these exercises two to three times per week, and you should feel an improvement in core strength in as little as 10 workouts!
1. Kneel and bring your magic circle in front of you, turning it so that one of the padded grips is at the top and the other is on the ground. Place one hand on the top grip and one on the bottom grip.
2. Curl your toes under and flex so you can push through your feet, then scoop your core up and in and raise both knees about an inch or two off the floor. As you hover, gently push into your circle without crushing into it—this way your core is doing the work.
3. Lower down to starting position; repeat 8-12 times, alternating hand position. You can keep your spine rounded for an easier version or straight for a harder one.
1. Place the magic circle between your ankles and lift it into a plank position on your forearms.
2. Pushing through your toes and shoulders, guide your body forward, and then back using your ankles and arms. Avoid lifting your backside up or down as you move, and make sure you hold your core in and squeeze your inner thighs on the circle.