The 3 Pilates Moves That Have Actually Made a Difference in My Abs

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@amanda_montell

My historical allergy to working out is well documented (let's just say I once wrote a story called "An Editor Who Hates Exercise Ranks 5 Workouts From Most to Least Torturous"). Yes, I want a healthy cardiovascular system; yes, I want abs. But ugh, sitting still just feels so good.

Fortunately for my physical well-being, I discovered reformer Pilates last year, and it changed my damn life. I started going to a Pilates place called Studio Elevate in Los Angeles, which has dim lighting, chill vibes, knowledgeable instructors, and none of the cultish, intimidating atmosphere that often scares me away from L.A. workout classes. Pilates was the perfect workout for me. All you have to do is basically lie still on a medieval torture device–looking machine; wag your arms, legs, and torso around a little bit; and Bob's your uncle: The next morning, you wake up feeling like you got hit by a Greyhound bus (in a good way). After six months of going to Pilates just two to three times a week, I officially had abs—something my formerly sedentary existence would not have afforded me. No, it didn't give me a full-on six-pack or anything, but the abs are there for sure.

There were three abdominal exercises I did almost every class—and started to do at home on a yoga mat as well—which I am certain made the biggest difference in creating the muscle definition that is now visible around my midsection. (Spoiler: They don't include that torturous "hundreds" move most people picture when you mention "Pilates" and "abs" in the same sentence). These are easy Pilates moves for beginners that anyone can do at home. Allow me to demonstrate…

Want more fitness inspo? Next, learn the eight best butt workout moves.