Say goodbye to sit-ups (and how to get a really strong core)

Let’s talk about core strength.

First, a few misconceptions about what it means to have a strong core:

  • The best way to get a strong core is to do a lot of sit-ups
  • Strong abs = a strong core
  • A flat tummy/thin midsection = a strong core

Nope, nope, nope. 

The truth is:

  • Traditional sit-ups (as we knew them back in gym class) are NOT the most efficient way to build a strong core. 
  • Strong abs are important, but a strong core goes beyond the “6-pack” muscles. Building a strong core means strengthening muscle groups related to the glutes, lower back, abdomen (including hip flexors & pelvic floor), adductors (think hips & outer thighs), and the transverse abdominis (deep core stabilizers). 
  • The size of your midsection does not determine the strength of your core. 

Pilates is widely known as one of the most effective ways to build and maintain a strong core. 

Primarily because Pilates teaches you how to engage the right muscles, in the right way, at the right time. It also teaches you how to move with intention, precision, and control. That’s why you can get an AMAZING core workout in a short amount of time.

Additionally, through Pilates we learn how to breathe. Breath is important because it affects the way we move and the way we use our muscles. For example: pelvic floor issues, are often related to poor posture and improper breathing. But the good news is, this can be greatly improved through consistent Pilates workouts!

We all know that core strength is important, but where do we start? 

This 7-minute Pilates Core Workout is a perfect addition to your regular routine. Click here to access this quick routine on YouTube! 

Sisterhood members: for your convenience, we’ve added this workout to your Workout Library! You can find it in your app along with other full-length workouts to build a strong core: Core Strength and Posture + Pelvic Floor are two community favorites!

xo,

PS: Not yet a member of The Balanced Life Sisterhood? Click here to get on the list to be notified about exclusive opportunities to join us!

Ready to finally stay consistent with exercise – even when you’re short on time & energy? Join me for the FREE Creating Healthy Routines Workshop & walk away with an exercise routine you can put into action immediately!

20 Comments
  1. Sandy 4 months ago

    Hi Robin,
    Is it okay to do Pilates if I have sciatica?
    Heard through the internet it was not a good idea.

    • Hi Sandy – thanks for your message! We don’t have specific workouts to help relieve sciatica pain, but Pilates in general can be excellent for helping bring balance to your muscles and keep your back strong and healthy.

      There are some Pilates exercises with more intense stretching that may not feel comfortable – in those cases, you’re encouraged to follow modifications so that you can avoid pain and do what feels best for you. Our workouts include modifications so that you can modify (or skip) based on your needs and comfort level.

      If you’re cleared by your medical provider to do Pilates, I encourage you to give our workouts a try. If you’re a member of The Sisterhood, you may find the ‘Lower Back & Hip Release’ workout to be helpful. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Marilyn Peoples 4 months ago

    Love it.

  3. Tisha 4 months ago

    I have a Diastasis recti issue. Can I do these workouts?

  4. Sarah Lawrence 4 months ago

    Hi! In this post, Robin mentions the “Quick Pilates Core Workout” and posts the link to the YouTube version. She also mentions that the workout is in the Sisterhood library, however I’m not finding it there… am I missing something? I’d love to save it to my favorites there.

    • Hi Sarah! The Quick Pilates Core Workout is in the Workout Library – I would recommend clicking “Clear all search & filters”, typing in “core” in the search bar, then “show more results”. It should be the first workout that pops up. Let me know if this helps! 😊

  5. Lisa Hangs 3 months ago

    Thanks Robyn! This workout is WAY more effective than the core workout I usually do!

  6. Melanie Apodaca 3 months ago

    This was so nice, as I got my quarantined yesterday and couldn’t go to my gym. Thanks!

  7. Albertina Geller 3 months ago

    Just wanted to know can Pilates help to get a six-pack muscle? I am thinking to start working out at home so I will definitely follow your video. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • Hi Albertina! Everybody is different, but our Pilates workouts are absolutely great for helping build a strong core! 😊

  8. Susan Freeland 3 months ago

    Loved the short but great core workout!

  9. Nanoveda solutions 3 months ago

    Great post.

  10. Vikram Singh 3 months ago

    Thanks for posting such basic core tips which would surely strengthen core muscles.

  11. Hung Cao 3 months ago

    Nice post! Love it!

  12. Skarlett Young 2 months ago

    This is actually true. Squats will definitely not give you a very strong body no matter how hard you try. Be sure to also resort to third-party exercises that will strain your muscles, including auxiliary ones. It is important to do as many torso exercises as possible if you are particularly interested.

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