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Don’t abandon the abs!

Written by Mark Smith

April 22, 2020

The abdominal muscles are generally underused but with many of us at home more, either working at makeshift desks or resting more because we’re not working, they’re ignored even more!

It’s been encouraging to see so many people sensibly exercising, either walking, running or cycling – as long as this is done in accordance with the latest Government guidelines. With our abdominal muscles generally underworked, it’s important to keep them toned now in order to help protect your spine.

Here are a couple of Pilates exercise you can do when standing or even lying in bed – it will still be effective.

Stand up with your feet directly below your hips and your knees soft and slightly bent.
Now imagine your pelvic bowl really is a bowl full of water. If you tilt your pelvis forward by arching your back, the water will spill out the front and down your thighs. If you tilt the bowl backwards then you’ll end up with a wet backside!
Your aim is to find a point of balance so the water is perfectly still and won’t spill. To do this, gently tilt your pelvis backwards and forwards until you find a point where it feels comfortable and the water is completely level. This is different for everyone and is known as a neutral pelvis.

If you’re lying down, lay on your back with your head on a pillow so your neck is straight, arms down by your side. Think about balancing a wine glass on your belly button whilst repositioning your pelvis.

Now it gets interesting…imagine you’re wearing a belt with 10 notches. Without moving your pelvis and spilling the water, suck your stomach in as if the belt is as tight as possible on the tenth, tightest notch. Now slowly release the tension so the belt is on the third smallest notch and hold it in this position.

Your abs are now under a good healthy tone and your pelvis is in the correct position.
With practice, these movements will be really subtle and you can use them anywhere.