Adding This Prop to Your Ab Workout Boosts All the Benefits

On those days that you’re feeling revved and ready for a challenge, adding a prop to your ab workout can really up the ante. And in the most recent episode of Good Moves with Chloe de Winter of Go Chlo Pilates, you'll be led through a 15-minute Pilates routine that's bound to engage the core. Oh—and with her handy prop, “the magic circle,” this might feel like a 30-minute workout.

The reason for this, according to De Winter, is that the prop gives you a chance to engage additional muscles you might not otherwise use. For instance, she starts on the floor with her legs raised at a 90-degree angle. She then recommends placing the magic circle between the legs and squeezing the thighs to hold the circle in place. Now, as you continue to hold that circle, you engage your upper body as well. Your thighs and core are working to keep that circle held in place. This is an excellent 2-for-1 strategy if you want a challenge but only have around fifteen minutes.

Experts In This Article

In case you needed any more convincing, the core is an amazing muscle group to engage. The abs are actually a group of muscles, and, TBH, after this magic circle Pilates routine, you will likely feel all of them both during and after. Engaging the core can benefit so many other forms of movement (walking, running, dancing, sitting) in your life, Lee Wratislaw, manager of digital programming at Gold’s Gym, previously told Well + Good. "The core is the system of muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body," says Wratislaw. "A well-developed set of core muscles will prevent injury, improve posture, and deliver better balance and coordination. Strengthening the core will also prevent lower back pain and other hip and knee complications.”

Of course, if you don’t have a magic circle, there’s no reason to fret. De Winter says you can perform the moves without the magic circle. So grab a mat and this prop if you have it, and start engaging those abdominal muscles with De Winter.

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