Flatten your belly, tone your abs, and strengthen your core with these simple Pilates-based moves. No crunches required!
By Kelly Marages
Exercise: The Roll Up
Targets: Lower belly
One Set: 5 to 8 reps
Starting Position: Lie on your back and bend your knees, putting the soles of your feet on the floor (your legs should form a triangle with the ground). Keeping your shoulders on the mat, lightly hold the backs of your thighs.
One Rep: Curl your chin to your chest, lifting your shoulders off the mat. Release your thighs and try to touch your toes as you continue to roll your body up and flatten your legs against the mat. Without pausing, bend your knees back into the triangle shape and roll back down, feeling each vertebra touch the mat until you're back at the starting position.
To Make It Harder: Put legs into the "V." Keep them flat on the ground the entire time as you gently raise your upper body and reach for your toes.
Wrong Way: Don't poke your chin forward. Look at your belly to keep your head in line with your spine.