Exercises for abs, posture and balance


I am always giving homework to my pilates clients; I find it important to enforce the practices that we learn in class. Especially if you are new to pilates, the exercises you do at home should be simple, safe and have layers (modifications and challenges) depending on how your body feels that day.

Here are 3 exercises that I give as homework to help with abs, posture and balance that can be done everyday.

Lower Lift

Set-up: Place your hands behind your head, bend legs into your chest, curl the head and neck up and extend legs to the ceiling

Execution: Lower and lift the legs

Reps: 10x

Modification: Hands under your tailbone (fingertips should be showing) and/or bend your knees (together or diamond shape)

Challenge: When the legs are lower, hold for a second or two and then lift back up

Attention: Do not let your back arch and make sure your upper body is lifted so you do not strain your neck

Focus on using your legs to challenge your stomach

Serratus Push-ups

Set-up: Go onto your forearms and extend legs into a plank position

Execution: Try to press the shoulder blades together as you lower the chest to the floor and lift back up

Reps: 3-5x and do 3 sets

Modifications: Just hold your setup (plank)

Challenge: Increase reps and alternate between serratus push-ups and holding the plank position

Attention: Make sure your body is in one long line and your shoulders are down

Focus on your upper back, pulling your stomach in and working your quads

Heel Lifts (Standing Balance)

Set-up: Stand upright and heels together toes 2-3 fingers apart

Execution: Lift the heels and then lower, try to lift straight up instead of moving forward

Reps: 5x

Modification: Do not lift your heels very high

Challenge: Keep the heels lifted and together as you circle your arms, close your eyes or do both

Attention: Keep your heels together!

Focus on balance and using your back side (butt, inner thighs, calves, ankles and feet) and your core


– Fabletics Master Adrianne Yurgosky

Westside Pilates NYC