Ab Prep

by STOTT PILATES on Mar 01, 2009


Supine, pelvis and spine neutral. Knees flexed, feet on mat, shoulder distance apart. Fitness Circle® resistance ring between thighs. Arms long by sides, palms down, scapulae stabilized.

inhale   lengthen back of neck to create slight cranio-vertebral flexion
exhale   maintain length through back of neck and pelvis neutral; stabilize scapulae and contract abdominals to slide rib cage toward pelvis and flex thoracic spine, reaching arms off mat level with shoulders. Squeeze Fitness Circle.
inhale   hold flexion by maintaining abdominal contraction while breathing into rib cage. Keep even pressure on Fitness Circle.
exhale   roll upper body down to mat, allowing cervical spine to return to neutral once head is on mat. Simultaneously lower arms and release pressure on Fitness Circle.

Complete 5-10 repetitions.


Target Muscles: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; rectus abdominis and obliques concentrically to create thoracic flexion, eccentrically to control return down; adductors to squeeze Fitness Circle; scapular stabilizers

Sequencing: initiate with cranio-vertebral flexion, followed by scapular stabilization, then abdominal contraction and thoracic flexion

Mobility: hip and knee extension and flexion


  • stabilize scapulae throughout to avoid upper-body tension
  • maintain neutral
  • keep even pressure on Fitness Circle during flexion
Ab Prep

Fitness Circle Lite

Use the Fitness Circle in the Ab Prep to engage adductors and create lower-body resistance. The sprung steel construction is ideal to help maintain alignment and activate deep torso stabilizers.

For more exercises from STOTT PILATES, visit http://www.stottpilates.com/warmup

STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates’ original exercise method. Master Instructor Trainer, Moira Merrithew, together with President and CEO of STOTT PILATES Lindsay G. Merrithew and a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, has spent more than a decade refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and programming. Each month we will outline a unique exercise you can practice at home or with your clients.

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 7, Issue 3

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author