A Pilates instructor recommends this 10-minute routine that's "more effective than 100s of crunches" for strengthening your core

Strengthening your core could alleviate backache and make everyday activities easier

A Pilates class
(Image credit: Getty Images / AzmanJaka)

Your core is (quite literally) at the center of most movements you do, providing support, stability and power for your entire body. 

And while crunches will work your mid-body muscles, they’re not going to provide a comprehensive core-strengthening workout alone. 

Instead, Pilates instructor Amanda Blauer prescribes swerving them all together with her short core-focused routine. 

There are five exercises and the session should only take 10 minutes or less from start to finish. So, what are you waiting for? 

How to do Pilates Instructor Amanda Blauer’s Pilates routine for core strength

When people set out to train their midsection, the six-pack muscle (or rectus abdominis) tends to get most of the attention. 

The main function of this muscle is flexion of the trunk, or bringing your ribcage closer to your pelvis, which is why you’ll feel them working during crunches and sit-ups

But there are plenty of other muscles to consider, such as the spine-supporting multifidus and the obliques which play a crucial role in bending and twisting movements. Even the hip flexors and diaphragm are counted among the core muscles.

We need to train all of these muscles to keep them working effectively. This way, they can keep fulfilling vital functions like transferring power between the upper and lower body, maintaining your posture and sparing the spine from excessive load.

That is what Blauer’s routine sets out to do, challenging the core to move the spine in a range of ways. It also recruits your core muscles to keep you stable and supported with several variations of the plank and side plank. 

So, when it comes to crunch time and you have to choose your next core workout, this is well worth a go. 

Need some cushioning to support you during core workouts? Have a look through our guide to the best yoga mats

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.


Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.