Class #3029

20 Minute Abs

25 min - Class


Welcome to Class 2! Get right to the 'core' of the matter...your abs! Have fun with Amy and get ready for direct and intense work for your center - the center of you that guides and supports you through just about everything!
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video


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Hi everyone, welcome back. This is class number two. The theme for this class is abdominals. Alright, so each class is different as I've been saying or have said already. And today I really wanted to focus on the abdominal muscles because our pilates practice, whether on the mat or equipment really does, as you know, focus so much around the middle of the body.

We can't leave out our hips, we can't leave out our lower back, but so much of it is really powered from here. In the first class as you know, we focus so much about the breathe. Everything was breathe related. Bring that in to this class also and let's have fun with this ball, okay. So...

The round ball, just think about this as your lower back okay. And that you can create more of a roundness in that lumbar spine. So if I turn sideways, kind of, if this were inside me and I'm trying to make that shape. I'm gonna use the cue, take in the ball. So maybe from side if I take the ball in to promote more of a roundness back here, okay.

And I do like the ball images for my flexion because it really has helped me just gain more quality of movement through here, but also it really has helped me feel deeper work in my abdominals. So I hope that's gonna feel that way for you too. Alright, so let's take the ball in. We are gonna put the ball not between the knees, we need it higher up the body, okay. Towards your inner thighs.

So put it way up high. I want you to squeeze the ball and really think about taking that ball in toward your abdominals, okay. Hold on to the back of your knees. Let's just start with some breathing. Let's do three to four inhale exhale cycles.

Front to back, side to side, top to bottom. And on the exhale, contract your abdominals. We as the ball and start to feel that motion of movement of off your sitbones. The top of the sitbones to the back of the sitbones on the exhale. Inhale as you sit tall right up on top of the sitbones and exhale as you contract.

So I am squeezing the ball. But I want us to think about the lower abdominal muscles right now. Mainly the lower belly. From the hip bone, hip bone, pubic bone, okay. Keep going with that.

On your exhale think of shortening those muscles that come across the midline this way. That's from right hip, left hip. And pubic bone up to naval. Really think, very concentrated down low. Two more times.

(inhaling) And take the ball in. Curve the lower back, contract the abdominal. Inhale tall. You'll probably start to feel during this movement that the side of the abdominal muscles are starting to come into play as well. These oblique muscles.

You'll feel those shortly. Invite them in, exhale, here we go. Take the ball in. Okay. So nice pelvic motion with our lumbar flexion.

Take your arms forward. Now I want you just to pull one hip back and forth. I'm gonna do right hip, left hip. Right hip, left hip. Abdominals, abdominals.

Just keep that going. So I am, you're kinda seeing a little bit of movement sitbone to sitbone, that's fine. It's more coming from inside though. I want you feel right hip muscles, left abdominals. By the right hip, by the left hip.

Let's do eight more. Pull those abdominals in, in and four, three, two, and one. So I'm gonna have a rotation now. You can have your arms straight ahead. For today I'm gonna cross my elbows.

Just something a little different. Shortening those leavers, it might make this more intense because I can't use these, okay. You won't be able to use these either. So fold your arms, take a breathe in. To the right side, so you just practiced that feeling of pulling in, one side more than the other.

Do it there and come back to center. Going with four. (exhaling) Taking the ball in, inhaling now. (exhaling) (inhaling) One more to this right side. We'll do four to the left.

Tall and rotate. Abdominals are the focus today, here we go. Exhale and contract in, inhale sitting tall. Pulling the left abdominal muscles in but you are most likely feeling the opposite side as well because of course our obliques work together. And center.

One more time isolating the left direction. Now alternating to the right. Up and over to your left. Eight of these. (Inhaling) (Exhaling) So from class number one, be that ball, be that toy.

(exhaling) Expand and contract. Once again, each direction. (exhaling) It's gonna get a little more intense. Going all the way around the world. So come all the way up, now I want us to use the arms.

Reach out. So stay back on your right side, arms will come up and over to the left. Reach up to the left, return to center. Go the other way. (inhaling) (exhaling) So if that movement of the arms isn't working for you you can keep your elbows folded.

Just wanted to get a little more expression. And also the arms weigh something so they're acting like a weight for us to work against. So it might make the abdominal work a little more intense. Let's do four more there. Keeping it moving.

Squeezing the ball, take the ball in, literal ball. Three more. (exhaling) The goal of course when you do those arm movements in any of this is to not have that bellybutton pop away, but rather pull it in more toward you. Take this larger ball in all the way around and center and rest. Just round your back.

Okay, let's roll ourself down. And we can actually take the ball away for a moment. Keep it nearby, I think I'll just place it here. Yes. Pelvic curl.

This is a little recovery for the hip flexors. If you're like me, those were pretty active on those ball movements, okay. So feet apart, knees apart, heels in line with sitting bones, arms pressed down. Just two times. There's that ball image again.

Take the ball in. So although it's not direct abdominal work as much as it may be the posterior side of you. Its good to keep that image going that you're taking that in. So we want that beautiful long plank line from our shoulders to our hips, to our knees. Use your arms a little bit here.

Now let's go ahead and roll down. Keep that ball, taking that ball in, massage that lumbar spine. Just one more here, inhale. (inhaling) Maybe take the ball in, exhale. (exhaling) All the way up.

Inhaling. I can't help but visualize that toy from class number one. Now re-inhale. And I'm expanding, okay. Alright let's move on to some chest lift and really keep focusing on intensifying the work in this part of our body, alright.

With our breathe, ankles together. Interlace your hands and put them behind your head with your elbows slightly lifted up off the mat. Your upper thoracic spine should be on the mat right now. If you're arching there, try not to be. Lift your elbows more into your peripheral vision.

Take a breathe. Four chest lifts. So you wanna sink those abdominal muscles deep inside. Take that ball in and inhale as you lower down. Exhale as you take the ball in.

Remember to keep pulling in, pull the ball in, pull the ball in. And lower. Two more, exhale. This is gonna build. This basic chest lift position.

Don't forget, you can exhale these muscles here. Your obliques can also start to come into play. Almost like you're wearing a nice little belt around your abdomen, okay. So let's carry on, take a breathe again and exhale as you curl your way up. Now I want you to stay there with your upper body position, but take your hands behind your legs.

Let's use the arms, pull yourself up off your shoulders a little bit and allow the bottom of your pelvis to tip, or your tailbone to come up, okay. So I'm actually thinking of shortening the muscles from my pubic bone to ribs and really deeply contracting there. Now move the pelvis back to a level position and rock it back and forth. Inhale, rock it forward, that's the pelvis. Exhale, pull it towards your nose.

Inhale and exhale. So we're mobilizing. Class number one was about breathe mobilizing space. This is about moving the spine. What moves the spine?

Abdominals. And back muscles. And abdominals. And back, two more to go. Exhale.

The low abdominals to the upper abdominals. Really pull, release, and then lower everything back. Adding onto that, let's take our hands up. Inhale here. Exhale, now unsupported chest lift, okay.

If you need to put your hands behind your head, please do. Try to reach a little higher. That strength all the way from here to help you sitting up higher. Take an arm back. Put it back on your thigh.

I'm gonna actually hold on everybody. That's better for me, probably better for you. Keep it the other way if you'd like to and then exhale, hold on. Let's repeat the single arms. Our objective is to not change that body design because our abdominals are remaining in a contraction.

You can stay one arm at a time or take two twice. Lift and going all the way down. Give it a little moment of recovery but we're going right back up. Same pattern. (inhaling) (exhaling) Curl, hold on with your legs, pull yourself up, let your pubic bone tilt up toward your nose.

I'm going to start with my opposite arm now. Inhale. Exhale. Keep that body design, the same shape. Single arm again.

Don't forget to think about the side of the abdominal muscles coming into the mid line. Two times, I'm inhaling on the reach. May seem counterintuitive. (exhaling) Pull yourself up, one more time. Holding that belly down.

Okay, let's come down for a little break. Not for long, take a breathe. Right back up, same thing. Now, this arm, instead of just going back and forth. I'm gonna take it back by my ear, out toward you, and around to the back of the leg.

Challenging the abdominals. Other arm. (exhaling) So again, you wanna keep the body design. The spine shape the same, which is in flexion. That's abdominals.

Arm reaches. Its basically double leg stretch arms, right. And back, and open, around, hold. Last one of these. Out, around, a little recovery moment.

Next we're gonna do a little helicopter arm. Take a breathe. Same position, curl up. One arm only. Now just start moving them back and forth.

And touch your knee. (exhale) Four more, here we go. One, and two, and three. I'm gonna stay up, now both arms will go out around and they change positions. Reverse.

Out around, change positions. And then we're gonna stay up in the same place. All the way around, four more. Reach to the sides of the room. Expand, contract.

Coming up on the last one of each. Setting the tone, okay everybody come down and rest. Let's do a little pelvic curl. Again to stretch out the abdominals. Stretch out those hip flexors.

And lower down. Once again take that ball in, mobilize your spine. Press, okay. So a lot of focus right onto the, basically the front line right here. We're gonna work a little bit more on the lower ability or lower abdominals and stability of the spine using the ball.

So, where'd it go? Here it is. Okay, place your pelvis, your sacrum right on top, okay. And just check in for a moment. So the ball adds quite a bit of challenge because it demands that we stabilize.

Left to right, we don't wanna wobble. So what helps us stabilize often are the abdominals, but it's the relationship of legs and back as well. But again this class is about mainly abdominals, okay. Walk your knees together and your feet together for more challenge. You can keep them apart if you need to.

Let's start with our arms by our sides. You could probably already start to feel and see the rocking and rolling. So if we just take about three breathes together. (inhaling) And let's get right into the center of our body for support and strength. Inhale (inhaling) (exhaling) Exhale once again.

And hopefully that recovery time kind of allowed you focus and get in there, okay. A familiar movement, bring a leg to tabletop. We're going to do it on an escalation. We breathe first. (inhaling) Either leg.

(exhaling) Let's do eight of them. (inhaling) How stable can you be? How stable can you stay? How much more can you take the ball in? (exhaling) On the escalation phase.

Inhaling. It's just as important when you step the leg down as well. It's a fairly low level skill. But you can get a lot of work out of the abdominal muscles or in the abdominals in something simple like this. Okay, same thing one last time.

Just one leg to tabletop, and lower it down. Exhale. Now a little combo, it'll be leg leg, up up. So here we go, on an exhale. (exhaling) (inhaling) Down, exhale, exhale.

(exhaling) So there's more room for movement here. (inhaling) Start with the other leg. (exhaling) Inhale. Down, down. (exhaling) Just keep going, breathe in for air.

You may think of sinking your abdominals in before you move. (inhaling) (exhaling) Second leg. (inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) One more round trip each side. (inhale) Sink in first, take in the ball and then move the legs. (inhaling) (exhaling) Last time, starting with your second leg.

(inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) okay, setting the tone. Let's bring both up at the same time. (inhaling) (exhaling) Toe taps, marching like a little rhythm on your own. I'm gonna exhale and... (exhaling) You might wonder where's the inhale.

So, let's do inhale for two. (inhaling) (exhaling) That's better. (inhaling) Two more sets. (inhaling) (exhaling) Bring in those abdominal muscles and you're taking your ball in and stay, okay. Moving onto some frogs, some scissors, some bicycles, some helicopter.

Very familiar exercises for you. And if you haven't done it on the ball it's a lot of fun, it's very challenging here. So again, we're really wanting to bring this in. Take your ball in, whoa I'm moving a lot. Take a breathe, four frogs.

Heels pressed together, you reach your legs away on a diagonal if you can. Inhale, pull it in. So think of the exhale happens before the legs. So you get that sense of those muscles inside. Ready to stabilize you as you take your legs away.

Two more. (exhaling) Inhale. The sides of the abdominals come in too. They pull into this side, they pull in, they pull into the mid line, and in. Scissors.

Little external rotation feels nice. One leg away, one leg towards your chest. Keep stabile. Let's inhale as we come up. (inhaling) And exhale change.

(exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) You could certainly flex your feet. You can point them stronger than I have it. I'm really focusing on my abdominals. Really contracting in, taking the ball in. (inhaling) (exhaling) Taking the ball in.

Four more to go. One. (inhaling) (exhaling) Two. Nice straightened knees. Let's move this right into bicycle everybody, so bend and extend.

Bend, so now the challenge with this movement of the legs increases the challenge of contraction in the abdominals, I think. To stabilize so you don't fall or wiggle. Four more, reach. Hold. Reach.

So each time you hit a little scissor in there, bicycle and scissor, bicycle, scissor. Let's reverse it, this top one bends in. Touch the mat and brush. (inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) Four more. (inhaling) Take in the ball.

(inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) (exhaling) One more. And then we'll do a little helicopter. We're all ready for it. So open out. Whoa, and all the way around.

So for me this is really challenging. My right to left stability. So I've gotta focus on that right left side that we warmed up with at the beginning. Those rotations. Let's inhale out to the martini glass as I sometimes call it.

Exhale all the way around. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale, and exhale. Let's go four more.

Martini glass, helicopter. They're not even closely related in life. And exhale. Once again each side stabilized. Use those abdominals, use the breathe.

Last one, and then we'll be coming off the ball but first fold your knees in, okay. Put your feet down, lift your ball away. And just like toggle your legs from side to side. And this one should make your back feel pretty good too. You've done a good job of taking the ball in.

Let's change the plane of gravity. We're gonna face each other. So I'm turning to face you. Get in a side line position. Tuck your arm underneath your head for a little pillow support.

Your legs long, right underneath you and just have your ball nearby, okay. You'll need it for something. But all you'll want is to focus first is this top abdominal muscle side. These obliques here, okay. Can't leave these out, they're working up here, but these are, think about these as what will pick up the legs.

Okay so let's prepare with a breathe. We'll do eight of them. Lift the legs. Inhale, down. So familiar exercise for most of us.

But deepen your sense of the oblique muscles now. Then on your exhale, each side of your waistline tapers in toward the spine. Four more. And lower. And three.

Breathe in top to bottom, front to back, side to side. Okay our last one, we're adding on. Alright, I need to move my ball a little bit. So guys bend your knees, roll, you're gonna lift this, roll a little bit onto your back hip and reach and touch your toes. Really feel that contraction from the side of you to help you sit up and reach to that pinky toe.

Stretching back out, arm goes overhead. (inhaling) To the pinky toe. (exhaling) Eight times. So I'm not really pushing down on the bottom elbow. I'm trying to lift off of that bottom elbow.

Good, and four. We've got four more. Stretch and contract. It's a balance thing as well. (exhaling) (inhaling) And boy, very isolated.

Hope you feel what I'm feeling. Right in that side, hold hold hold. Okay, flip over to the other side. That stuff works wonders right in the side of the abdomen. Okay stretch out long, legs together.

Just hold this at the ready. Bend your elbow, get long, breathe. Eight times. Pick up the legs, lower the legs, pick up the legs. So I'm thinking every exhale that both sides of my abdominal muscles are coming tapering in (exhaling) toward my spine.

(inhaling) (exhaling) (inhaling) Three more. (exhaling) (inhaling) Thinking length, long strong abdominals. Last one we held it there, okay. Pick up the ball, put it overhead. You're bending your knees, you're pulling and you're rolling onto the back of that hip a little bit and trying to touch your pinky toe.

And reach. And contract. And lengthen. And contract. Its not unfamiliar if you feel a little different on side to side.

You hear us say that all the time. So in the less coordinated side, maybe that's the side that needs more strengthening. Perhaps you might need more stretch. Either way, enjoy the abs. Last three, exhale.

Stretch long. We'll put this feeling to test on our last one here. Hold. In a teaser, come on up. Okay class, people, let's go down.

Teaser with a little twist. And hold your hands, the ball in the hands, extend one leg. I'll be coming up and turning toward you. Why don't you do that, and you're gonna turn toward me, okay. The ball can be a useful tool right now just to reach with.

Inhale up to the teaser, press your knees together. One leg teaser. Inhale. Okay, I'm turning towards you. (exhaling) inhale toward my leg and exhale all the way down.

Two more here. So we have used all these abdominal muscles. These ranges through this class. This little ab blast class number two in our challenge. All of these ranges from the very beginning to here.

Hold it. Switch your legs at the top this time, you're gonna change. Roll it down. And sitting up, inhale, all the way up, reach. Twist.

Use those twist muscles that you just found in that last exercise. Told you you'd be putting them to use. And reach. And twist. And center.

One more guys, you can do this. I can do this, reach, twist. Now find center, pick up that second leg, hold your teaser position. Imagine taking the ball in. Take the ball in.

Take the ball in. (exhaling) We did it, we did class number two. Thank you so much. Can't wait to see you for class number three, I have some great things planned. Hope to see you then, bye bye.

Ascend Mat Challenge: with Amy Havens


2 people like this.
Love it 💕
2 people like this.
Cool class. I am liking the way this class builds on the previous one.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Ewa and Vanessa ! Yes, each class builds on the previous one, a progression of sorts! So happy you're both here with me!
1 person likes this.
My abs thank you.
Tais challenge is really exciting ! The first two classes gave me a feeling of "freshness". Isn't it possible to take two classes by day ? I'll have to travel without possibility of training before 8 days, and I'm sorry to have to interrupt the challenge...
1 person likes this.
Evelyn ~ Unfortunately these videos can only be unlocked one at a time. If you are interested in doing more than one per day, you can try repeating a class and then adding the new one after or you can supplement with another one of Amy's classes. I hope this helps!
2 people like this.
AB solutely fabulous Amy!! My abs are sore but happy now!! Thank you!!
1 person likes this.
Great ab work . . Thanks Amy!
1 person likes this.
Loved this! My abs were burning! 😀
1 person likes this.
Loved it. Thanks so much
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