Pilates and the Secret to Flat Abs, Part II

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> In our continuing endeavor to help you all get the most out of your Pilates workouts, we’d like to share with you one of our secrets: The “Aborama.” Never heard of it? Of course not! This is the pet name that we created to summarize five classical Pilates exercises that we string together in Pilates mat workout after workout, after workout… so much so that we got tired of writing down the exercises separately. The official components of the Aborama are as follows: Rolling Like a Ball, Single Leg Stretch, Obliques, Double Leg Stretch, and Scissors, and all Pilates certification programs include these staples of the Pilates repertoire. Many of you have probably already noticed that we use this special “Aborama” at Pilates on Fifth, in our Pilates on Fifth podcasts, and in most of our UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com mat workouts. Why do we love the Aborama so much? For one, it offers A LOT of bang for the buck, AND it offers Pilates enthusiasts and Pilates instructors alike an amazing, effective and easy way to alter the level of difficulty and endurance required.

For example, here are some recommendations and modifications for the Pilates Aborama:

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Level I

Level II

Level III

Level IV

Level V

Rolling Like a Ball

4-6 reps

6-8 reps

8-10 reps

10-12 reps

10-12 reps

Single Leg Stretch

3-4 sets; legs high

4-6 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Obliques

3-4 sets; legs high

4-6 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Double Leg Stretch

4-6 reps; legs high

6-8 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Scissors

4-6 sets; bottom leg high

6-8 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

So there you have it. Now of course, it is very common that you get a little ambitious and increase the repetitions of the first three, only the reduce them for the last two exercises. That’s OK!! Also, if you need to take a break and then resume, then do that, too! If you feel like your abs have fatigued and that they’re no longer supporting you, they’re probably not, and that only means band news for your lower back. And remember, if you’re not sure if you’re doing an exercise correctly, you can always visit our Pilates technique videos.

Moreover, don’t let ANYONE fool you! There is no magic number as far as repetitions go for Pilates exercises, and because  quality beats quantity hands down with Pilates, doing Pilates exercises incorrectly doesn’t really do you alot of good. As long as you’re going to put in the effort, you might as well get the most out of it!! Starting slow and then gradually increasing the reps and level of difficulty is not only smart (it will keep you injury-free), but it will also help prevent the dreaded plateau effect.

So, enhance your at home Pilates workouts with the Aborama, using the chart above to pick a plan appropriate to your level. And remember, it’s better to do a little every day than to exercise to fatigue one day and be incapable of doing any abdominal work for the rest of the week!! Take it slow, do a little each day, and you’ll be on the road to stronger abs, a healthier lower back*, and a flatter tummy in no time.

We truly want our blog to be the ultimate online resource on Pilates, so please e-mail us your questions about Pilates! We’re happy to answer questions on everything about Pilates!

*if you have back problems or experience in regular back pain, please consult your doctor!!

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January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings.

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