Can Pilates Get You Abs? The Truth About the Core-Strengthening Workout

Pilates is a great workout that focuses on core strength, flexibility, balance and posture. If you want to get toned, lean and strong, then Pilates is definitely worth checking out, but does it give you abs?

Pilates can definitely help you get stronger abs, but it won’t give you a flat stomach overnight. The truth is, to get the kind of ripped abdominals often seen on fitness models and Instagram celebrities, you need to do a lot more than just Pilates.

Pilates can certainly help you build strong abdominal muscles, but if your goal is to have visible, six-pack abs, then you need to focus on both your diet and your workout routine. To see results, you need to be dedicated to eating clean and healthy foods as well as working out regularly.

That being said, it’s still an incredibly beneficial exercise routine for overall health and well-being, so if you’re looking for a way to feel strong and healthy, then Pilates is definitely worth considering.

Pilates has become very popular over the years because it helps build strength and endurance, improves posture, increases flexibility and reduces stress. It also provides a safe way to tone and sculpt your body.

There is a lot of debate surrounding Pilates and whether or not it can help you achieve the abs you’ve always wanted.

On one hand, some people say that Pilates is all about physical fitness and strengthening your core muscles.

On the other hand, others believe that Pilates is more than just a workout routine–it’s about having more flexibility, strength and balance in your body as a whole.

So what’s the truth?

It’s both of these and much more.

What are abs?

The abdominal muscles, or abs, are a group of muscles located in the front and sides of the stomach.They help to stabilize the spine and pelvis, and enable the trunk to move when we breathe and walk.

The main muscles that make up the abs are called the rectus abdominis. They run vertically down the front of our stomach, and attach to the pubic bone and hipbones.

When you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, your abs become hidden under a layer of fat. This can make it difficult to see them and to achieve the defined look that you are hoping for.

Most people think that doing Pilates will give them six-pack abs, but this is not necessarily the case. The abdominal muscles, or abs, are a group of muscles located in the front and sides of the stomach. They help to stabilize the spine and pelvis, and enable the trunk to move when we breathe and walk. However, Pilates exercises only work these muscles indirectly, so they are not necessarily the most effective way to achieve six-pack abs.

Why can’t Pilates give you abs? 

Pilates is a great workout for toning your core muscles, but on its own it won’t give you defined abs.  To get visible abs, you need to reduce your body fat percentage. Pilates can help you do this, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Pilates is a great entire body workout that is especially useful for toning your core muscles.  Abs are created by the abdominal muscles in conjunction with the obliques (the muscles that run along the sides of your stomach). The core muscles work together to stabilize the spine and pelvis, allowing the abdominals to contract and expand without compromising stability.

A Pilates instructor can help you create a fitness routine, but if you don’t back that up with a healthy diet you won’t see the results you want.

I’ve spoken to a number of clients who think weight loss is just about exercising more, but the truth is that without changes to your diet you will not see the full changes to your physical health.

If you’re finding a change in diet difficult I highly recommend consulting with a dietary nutritionist who can help you make the changes required to a more healthy diet.

What are the benefits of Pilates for abs?

Given all the above, you might be wondering why you would bother with Pilates if a flat stomach and defined abs are your main goals.

Well, first, I would strongly suggest adjusting your goals.  Instead of them being focused on how your upper body looks, instead focus on creating a lasting healthy lifestyle.  

Second, by incorporating regular Pilates into your life you will find a number of benefits.  Many of these will help with making changes to your body:

  • Pilates helps to build core strength. This is important because a strong core provides stability and support for the body.
  • Pilates can help improve posture, which is beneficial for both appearance and health.
  • Pilates can be used for functional movement – the kind that helps with everyday tasks.
  • Pilates has long-term benefits for endurance levels – something especially important if you’re looking to improve your performance in other exercises or sports.

All of these benefits will improve your quality of life and will make you more effective at any other forms of exercise you do.

How does Pilates work to strengthen the core?

Pilates is a full-body workout that helps to strengthen the core more effectively than crunches. In order to get the most out of your Pilates workouts, it’s important to maintain stability of the spine and use correct form.

Additionally, Pilates can help with fat loss from all over the body, not just your stomach area. The pelvic floor, abdomen, back, lungs and intercostals are all trained by Pilates exercises – making this workout a great choice for overall fitness!

While Pilates won’t burn large amounts of calories on its own, it is still considered a form of cardio exercise. And like any other form of cardio exercise, Pilates will increase blood flow and cell function. So if you’re looking for a total-body workout that strengthens the core muscles, give Pilates a try!

What are some of the best Pilates exercises for abs?

There are a variety of Pilates exercises that can help you achieve great abs. One of the most popular is the Pilates crunch. This exercise involves lying on your back on the floor and bringing your knees in towards your chest with your feet together. Then, you need to curl up and reach for your toes. Be sure to keep your back pressed firmly against the floor and don’t let your head or shoulders lift off of it.

Another great exercise is called The Hundred. To do this one, you need to lie down flat on your back with both legs in the air and bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold them there as you slowly pump your arms up and down 100 times (hence, The Hundred).

If these exercises seem too challenging, start off by doing basic crunches on the floor.

Remember: You want to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to Pilates exercises–take it slow and steady!


Donna Finnie

Donna loves to share her passion for Pilates with others. She is a fully qualified instructor who believes Pilates is for everyone, regardless of age, as it can truly help to increase strength, flexibility mobility and athletic performance.

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