The rectus abdominis muscle has large tendons that stretch from right to left across the muscle. Those bands actually lay on top of the rectus abdominis, so when the body fat in the belly area is reduced and the rectus abdominis muscle is developed, you see the muscle between each indentation. Pilates exercises work the entire group of abdominal muscles.
- Roll-Up Lie flat on the floor on your back, with your legs straight and your arms stretched out behind your head. Make sure your low back isn’t arching. Breathe in and begin rolling up through your spine, floating your arms up in the air. Breathe out as you roll up through your spine and press your ribs down. Stretch your arms and body forward. Breathe in and then breathe out as you roll back to the starting position.
- Teaser Lie flat on the floor on your back, with your legs straight and your arms stretched out behind your head. Make sure your low back isn’t arching. Breathe in and begin lifting your legs and rolling your shoulders off the floor. Breathe out and press your ribs down as your legs and upper body roll off the floor. Lift your arms and legs until they reach a 45-degree angle, with your arms parallel to your legs. Breathe out as you slowly roll back to the starting position.
- Roll Over Lie flat on the floor on your back, with your arms by your sides, palms down, and lift your legs to a 90-degree angle. Breathe in and begin to reach your legs over your head as your pelvis tilts backward. Keep your palms pressed down on the floor and end with your feet and legs parallel to the floor. Breathe out and slowly move your legs back to the 90-degree position, placing one vertebra at a time on the floor.
By performing advanced supine (on your back) exercises, like jackknives; rotational (circular) movements, like oblique medicine ball slams; and suspended (from a hanging position) movements, like knee tucks and L-sits.
- Jackknives Lie flat on the floor on your back. Sit up, reach your right hand to your left toes, then lie back down. Alternate arms and legs.
- Oblique Medicine Ball Slams From a standing position, hold a medicine ball at one hip, then lift it overhead and pivot your body to slam it down on the floor on the other side. Repeat, alternating sides.
- Hanging Knee Tucks Hang from a bar with your arms overhead and tuck your knees up to your chest.
- Hanging L-Sits While hanging from a bar with your arms overhead, raise your legs straight out in front of your hips, making an L shape with your body.
Whether you call it aerobic, cardiovascular, or endurance exercise, you’re probably talking about the same thing: getting your heart pumping faster and oxygenated blood flowing, with the goal of improving your cardiorespiratory fitness. But it benefits more than just your heart.
- Intensity How hard a person works to do the activity, such as moderate (the equivalent of brisk walking) and vigorous (the equivalent of running or jogging) pace.
- Frequency How often a person does aerobic activity.
- Duration How long a person does an activity in any one session.