Mix up your abs routine with this circuit that takes top moves from three belly-toning practices—Pilates, yoga, and ballet—to strengthen your midsection and erase any muffin top. Try it on its own for a complete workout or tag it to the end of a cardio session for an extra core challenge (which is never a bad thing!).
How it works: Three to four non-consecutive days per week, do 15 reps of each exercise in order; repeat the entire circuit 3 times.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. Standing Roll Down Plie
Stand with heels pressed together, toes slightly turned out, inner thighs squeezed together, and abs braced in tight. Extend arms overhead by ears, palms facing away from body.
Keeping arms by ears, slowly roll down through spine, articulating through each vertebrae as if rolling down off of a wall (or try this against an actual wall), drawing abs in deeper to spine until fingertips are touching the floor. Bend knees out over toes, lifting heels off the floor and dropping hips down to the floor, lifting chest. Extend legs and reverse the motion to return to starting position.
2. Stepping Saw and Twist
Stand with feet together, arms extended out to sides at shoulder heigh, palms facing down, pressing shoulders down to hips and abs into spine. Keeping pelvis still and hips facing forward, exhale and rotate upper body to the left, pulling ribcage in tighter toward spine.
Step right foot out to the side wider than hips, reaching left hand to the outside of right leg, rounding spine and scooping abs in to bring chest toward thighs, twisting torso to the right. Return to starting position. Repeat in opposite direction to complete set.
3. Rocking V-Sit
Sit on a mat holding knees tucked into chest, balancing on sitz bones. Round back, drawing chin into chest and scooping abs into spine. Keeping spine rounded and abs tight, rock back onto shoulder blades.
Immediately rock back to starting position. Open into a V-sit by extending legs out as straight as possible and reaching arms overhead until body resembles a letter "V." Hold for 1 count; return to starting position.
4. Plank to Chair
Get in a plank position with hands and feet shoulder-width apart, abs braced in tight to spine.
Bend knees slightly and jump feet up to hands, landing with feet hip-width apart, legs in a deep squat. Immediately sweep arms by ears with palms facing in and lift chest, eyes gazing straight ahead, sitting back into chair pose.
5. Standing Mermaid
Stand with feet together, arms by sides, squeezing inner thighs together and bracing abs in tight. Extend right arm overhead and lean torso to the left, bending right elbow and lowering palm to the opposite side of head as hips press to the right.
Return to center and bend right knee into right elbow (try to tap arm to thigh), leaning torso to the right. Repeat on left side to complete set.