My Top 5 Mat Pilates Exercises for your Core


I often get asked what are the best exercises to strengthen your core? Well first let’s establish what muscles comprise your core. Most people think of their lower abdominals only as their core muscles. The core actually includes muscles of the lower back (erector spinae, quadratus lumborum), abdominal muscles (internal/external obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus) and muscles of the pelvic floor and hips (glutes).

Your core most often acts as a stabilizer and force transfer center rather than a prime mover. It is important to first achieve core stability to protect the spine and surrounding musculature from injury in static and then dynamic movements”. (Jeff Kuhland, Coach, Lynchburg, Virginia, United States, MovNat, Mobility & Recovery).

My top 5 Pilates mat exercises to strengthen your core:


Bridge strengthens your glutes, lower back and hamstrings. Challenge your stability by adding in single leg variations.




Clams strengthen Glutes especially Glute Medius which is important for pelvic/hip stability





Quadraped strengthens abdominals and lower back muscles for trunk stability.





Criss-cross strengthens abdominals, including obliques, transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus and helps improve core endurance.




Plank or Front Support works all core stabilisers; lower back, abdominals especially transverse abdominus, glutes and also improves shoulder stability. Add in the fitball to increase stability challenge.



Do 10-15 of each of these 5 core mat Pilates exercises 3-5 times a week. Please take into consideration that these exercises need to be done under the supervision of a trained Pilates instructor or Physiotherapist. These exercises should never be painful if they are stop them straight away and consult a healthcare professional. Please book a Studio or Skype session with me today to learn the correct technique for these 5 Mat Pilates Exercises for your Core.

Strengthening your core not only gives you nice flat abs but it also improves sporting performance, reduces the risk of injury and prevents lower back pain….do you need any other reasons to incorporate Pilates into your exercise routine?


Briony xx


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