Three Pilates exercises to tone your tummy and strengthen your core

Fitness experts universally agree that a combination of cardio and strength training, as well as a healthy diet is optimal for weight loss. 

Anyone looking for a fun and challenging exercise to build core strength and tone belly fat should consider Pilates.

This mind-body exercise was developed in the early 20th century by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. 

And while there are many exercises you could do, Jacqueline Hinton, owner of Good Body Pilates Studio, shared her three favourite ab exercises to bust belly fat, with She Finds. 

Plank with a twist 

To really strengthen abs, a plank is a classic exercise as it can bring the burn. Jacqueline recommends adding a twist to turn up the intensity. 

1. Balance on your forearms and have a steady base with your legs reaching straight behind you, hips lifted off the ground with your body in a straight line.

2. Hold this pose for up to one minute while twisting your hips right and left. Focus on engaging the muscles in your core.

3. Rest for one minute. Repeat three times.

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Teasers with a twist 

This is a great full-body exercise that works abs, spinal extensors and hip flexors, and similarly to the plank, the additional twist is a great way to work the core. 

1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and squeezed together.

2. Extend your arms out into a ‘T’ position on the floor.

3. Lift the head off the floor looking towards your toes.

4. Sweep your arms into your hips as you roll up, lifting your upper body and lower body into a V position, balancing on your tailbone.

5. Twist your torso to the right then come back to the center.

6. Scoop the stomach in to peel back down to the start position.

7. Repeat ten times.


The Pilates move known as ‘swimming’ doesn’t involve getting into water. 

1. Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out. They should be opened a little wider than hip distance.

2. Lift your upper body and lower body off the floor, including your arms and legs. Your head should be in line with your body so that you are looking at the floor.

3. Keep the back of your neck long. Begin to kick your arms and legs like you’re swimming.

4. Do this for eight to ten counts. Repeat three times.

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