Strengthen your core and abs with this 30-minute Pilates-inspired workout

Limber up your body and tighten your mid-region with this pilates for abs workout

Woman does a V-Sit as part of a Pilates inspired workout
(Image credit: Getty)

One of the best things about Pilates is that you can practice this low-impact exercise at any time and place.

In fact, all you need is one of the best yoga mats, a selection of some of the best workout clothes for women or men, and some floor space to start improving your flexibility and strengthening your body. 

To help you find your flow, we’re sharing one workout from certified Pilates & Yoga teacher, Nicole McPherson (opens in new tab). McPherson has created a 30-minute Pilates-inspired workout that specifically targets your abs and helps tone your core. 

So it really is a great all-rounder if you're looking to challenge your mid-region, improve your range of motion and enjoy a super satisfying stretch in under an hour. 

“You could do this workout on its own, or combine it with one of my other workouts for a full body burn," McPherson says. "All you need is yourself and a mat, no equipment needed.” Ready to get started? 

If you're new to Pilates, don't worry. In this half hour tutorial, McPherson eases you into each position by showing and telling you what to do, explaining each move and how to get it right. 

Like with any form of fitness, it doesn't matter if you can't flex or bend as low as the trainer. What does matter is your form and making sure you are listening to your body as your flow through the workout. 

McPherson's workout uses key exercises and some of those you might expect to find in the best workouts for abs, like bicycle crunches and isometric exercises, which involve holding the body in a position with no muscle or joint movement, like performing the plank position. 

The 30-minute session also includes stretches that can challenge your core, and improve your flexibility at the same time. According to Harvard Medical School (opens in new tab), increasing your core strength can reduce your risk of falling. That's because your abs are the 'sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body'. Plus, Pilates workouts like the one above, can help test your core. 

Plus, if you suffer from back pain, according to research published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (opens in new tab), Pilates can also have a positive effect on decreasing pain in this area.

Prefer yoga? Check out these beginner yoga exercises instead. 

Becks is a freelance journalist and writer with more than 7 years of experience in the field. She writes health and lifestyle content for a range of titles including Live Science, Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Stylist, The Independent, and more. She also ghostwrites for a number of Physiotherapists and Osteopaths. 


Health has been a big part of Becks’ lifestyle since time began. When she’s not writing about the topic of health, she’s in the gym learning new compound exercises. And when she’s not in the gym, she’s most probably reading.