Flat Belly Pilates Session: Exercises & Benefits

We think (too) often that to have a flat bellyit is absolutely necessary to chain the crunches Until exhaustion. Could have been a good idea if it wasn’t totally ineffective. When the objective is to have a flat stomach, only the solicitation of deep abdominal musclesas the transverse or obliquecan bring you the results you are looking for.

And for that, nothing better than breathing or sheathing exercises. It is for this reason that the pilates method is number one in my ranking of sports to lose belly fat!

Pilates exercises for a flatter stomach

Before practicing and enjoying the many benefits of pilates, it is important to fully understand the method. This approach is based on three fundamental principles that make it unique, but above all, its success:

  • Breathing : like the technique of hypopressive abs, the breathing is central to all exercises. We adopt a thoracic breathing while keeping the belly well in. It must be regular, controlled and deep. This breathing will allow you to properly engage the transverse muscle, the guardian muscle of the flat stomach.
  • The voluntary contraction : you have to learn to feel, but above all to control your body. For this, we voluntarily commit our abdominal muscles and his perineum for a deep work, in full awareness of his abdominal belt.

My flat stomach pilates session on video

Criss Cross

criss cross pilates flat stomach exercise

The Criss Cross represents one of the fundamentals in the world of pilates. This is an excellent movement for training and tighten your abs, both transverse and oblique. A perfect combo to flatten your belly and refine your waist.

My advice for performing the movement well:

  1. Lie on your back, hands behind your head, elbows wide apart;
  2. Raise the top of the bust to the shoulder blades so that they graze the floor;
  3. Pivot the bust to one side by stretching the opposite leg upwards;
  4. Alternate the movement to hold ten breaths.

Attention ! The rotation must be done exclusively by the waist and not by the hips. Also avoid applying pressure to the neck with your arms. Only the abs should be used.

To increase the difficulty a little more, you can speed up the movement. It will give you cardio work in addition to the abdominal sheathing. However, make sure you have mastered the movement before going any further. The benefits of pilates come first and foremost through his mastery.

The Shoulder Bridge

shoulder bridge pilates slim belly

The Shoulder Bridge is a fairly simple exercise in its execution, but very intense for the transverse. It is a static movement that will allow you to work the abdominals, but also the hamstrings, the glutes and to soften the spine. A movement to adopt!

My tips for maximum efficiency:

  1. Lie down on your back, extend your arms along your body, bend your legs and place the soles of your feet on the ground at pelvis width;
  2. Raise your glutes so that you are resting only on your feet and upper back.
  3. Keep your back straight, with the natural arch of your body;
  4. “Swallow” the belly while adopting a regular and deep breathing.

Once the movement has been mastered, there are several ways to make it more complex. For example, a variation is to take off one of your feet. If it’s still too simple for you, use a Swiss ball to create greater instability. It is the search for balance that makes it possible to build your deep muscles.

The standing start board

The board is perhaps the best known (and most hated) exercise in pilates. It is very effective and really allows you to work your muscles in depth. To make it a little more fun, a standing variant exists: the vertical plank. It allows to make the dynamic movement to work more playfully.

What to remember from the movement:

  1. Standing, tighten both heels and open the tiptoes;
  2. While exhaling, wrap your back, vertebra by vertebra, until you touch the ground with your hands;
  3. Using your hands and without moving your feet, move forward until you reach plank pose. Be careful not to wobble your hips;
  4. Hold in plank pose for 5 seconds;
  5. Do the opposite movement in order to find the initial position.

If you want to increase the difficulty, you can slow it down and break it down, step by step, while holding longer in plank pose.

The roll-up

Like the Shoulder Bridge, the Roll-up is a simple exercise, ideal for beginners. It is very interesting to work the abdominal strap, but also increase the mobility of the spine. In its operation, it is very similar to a bust survey.

If you are a follower of my articles or my videos, you must be wondering what he does in this list knowing that it is not an exercise that I recommend. The reason is quite simple: in the pilates methodthe technique is completely different, which allows effective work while ensuring protection of your lower back.

In order not to transform the exercise into a bust up, respect the following steps:

  1. Lie on your back, knees flat, arms along your body, palm down;
  2. Inhale while stretching the arms towards the sky, palms facing each other;
  3. Exhale while wrapping the spine, vertebra by vertebra until you find yourself seated, back perfectly straight;
  4. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction while focusing on the breath.

Attention ! The arms should not be used to bring you into a sitting position. Only your abs should allow you to straighten up.

Other pilates positions for the belly

Of course, there are many exercises and variations for lose weight in pilates. Here I give you some more dynamic moves that will give you some extra cardio work. It will help you achieve your flat stomach goal without traumatizing your joints or your back.


Swimming is, as its name suggests, an exercise that mimics the strokes of a swimmer. Throughout the exercise, be careful not to adopt too great an amplitude and not to move the hips. We concentrate on the abs by bringing the navel towards the column and we breathe.

My advice for a top movement:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach, arms in a V in front of you;
  2. Raise your shoulders and legs slightly off the floor;
  3. Make small beats while growing as much as possible.

Just like the board, the Swimming offers an excellent sheathing work. Here, the postural muscles have a central role, since they will support all of the lower and upper limbs. On the other hand, it will be more intense because it is more dynamic. So don’t panic if the beginnings are difficult.

Assimilate the movement well and progress at your own pace. Depending on your level, you will be able to hold the position longer and kick faster and faster.

The Hundred

The Hundred is available in various variations that will allow you either to warm up the body before a session, or to enjoy a powerful sheathing work. Whatever function you give it, mastering this movement well is essential, because it is the basis of many pilates postures.

The fundamentals to master:

  1. Lie on your back, arms along the body;
  2. Bend your legs to 90° then close your knees and heels together;
  3. Lift your shoulders and arms slightly off the ground to make small beats.

To help you follow a good breathing, the simplest pattern is to perform 5 beats on inspiration and 5 beats on expiration. Performed ten times, you will reach the 100 repetitions which make the specificity of the movement: the Hundred.

If you find it too complicated, you can absolutely put your feet and shoulders on the ground at first. Once the posture is well mastered, you can gradually raise your legs to 90° and then completely vertical. For the more experienced, the legs can be extended with the feet at face height.

The Rocker

Much more funky exercise, make way for the Rocker. On the other hand, small disclaimer before going further in the explanations. This is a complex posture that can be difficult to master, especially if you are a beginner. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get there at first. It’s like everything, with a little practice, I’m sure you can get the trick very quickly.

Despite its difficulty, I recommend this posture, because it is very complete. In addition to powerful sheathing work, it will allow you to soften your hamstrings and rest your back. She’s pretty fun and will definitely change your sports routine.

Stages of a rocker that rips:

  1. Sit on a comfortable mat with the soles of your feet facing the ground;
  2. Grab your ankles or feet depending on your flexibility and comfort;
  3. Extend your legs to the maximum and hold the position for 10 full breaths.

If you can’t straighten your legs, don’t panic, I myself have some shortcomings in terms of flexibility. Work on it and practice holding the position with your legs bent. For the more adventurous, add leg openings and closings while maintaining a good balance on your glutes.

Pilates, cardio and nutrition for a lasting flat stomach

flat stomach lasting thin sports nutrition

Pilates is not a miracle method that will transform your little belly overnight. To achieve your goals, you will need to set up a sports routine.

You can get started in my pilates program and/or my videos to get you started. At the same time, it is essential to adopt a balanced diet and especially adapted to your digestive system.

We do not always realize it, but digestion plays an essential role in a flat stomach objective. Even with all the goodwill in the world, a bloated belly will still be a bloated-looking belly.

Finally, my last tip for a flat stomach is to incorporate cardio sessions into your workouts. They will allow you to work your heart and especially to lose a maximum of calories.

Some questions I can see going on the networks

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