You don't need weights to strengthen your core — try these five Pilates moves instead

Use these low-impact moves to develop your abs, boost your balance, and improve your stability

Woman performing the scissor exercise
(Image credit: Getty Images/ undrey)

Despite what you may have heard, you don't need loads of weights or equipment to strengthen your core. Instead, you build muscle using bodyweight exercises alone, with hundreds of options for targeting your mid-body muscles.

Enter this Pilates routine from certified instructor Georgia Weibel, comprising five bodyweight moves that recruit your core muscles by challenging you to move in a slow, controlled manner. 

You don't need any equipment to take part, but we think you'll benefit from a yoga mat to help make your workout surface a bit more comfortable. To try this routine, perform 10 repetitions of each of the five moves, one after the other. Repeat this sequence for three rounds in total. 

Your posture plays a vital role in these exercises, and small adjustments can make a big difference. So, be sure to check out Weibel's demonstrations to practice your technique before you start to get the most from your training.

Watch Georgia Weibel's five-move core workout

This workout is focused on targeting the whole core, but what's the difference between abs v core training? Despite often being used interchangeably, the two terms don't mean the same thing. 

Your abs make up a portion of your core (the exterior muscles including the obliques, transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis, responsible for the six-pack shape). But working your entire core involves strengthening an even wider range of muscles to forge a strong midsection.

If a visible six-pack is your goal, it's also important to remember you can't spot target areas of fat on your body. To help with this, consider increasing your daily activity levels and focusing on workouts that burn more energy. 

You can use a HIIT workout for fat loss to work your muscles and improve your cardio fitness. It also keeps your heart rate high and helps to boost your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn throughout the day). 

If you're new to abs workouts like this, you'll likely feel some soreness the next day. This is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is caused by tiny tears in your muscles fibers that your body needs protein to repair. 

Although you can get protein from your diet, some people enjoy blending up a post-workout shake to stay topped up, The best protein powders for weight loss are a great option, too, as they're low in fats and sugar.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors,, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.