5 Abs Moves From LA’s Pilates Platinum That Are Way More Effective Than Basic Crunches

Hello, washboard abs.

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough
Photography by Sporteluxe // Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Ah, the six-pack. So desirable and yet oh-so elusive. It seems like no matter how many crunches we do at the gym, we still can’t get those washboard abs.

But after just one session at Pilates Platinum, we notice a serious difference in the way our abdominals look and feel. Tighter, more toned, and definitely sore! The secret? Working your upper and lower abdominals on multiple planes—not just flat on your back. By changing up your body positioning and your range of motion, you’ll be exercising different muscle groups than you would in typical ab exercises.

Varying the exercises you do keeps your muscles confused, and that’s a good thing. “Confused” muscles are forced to change and adapt to new exercises more quickly, which means you’ll see results faster when you’re constantly varying your ab workout.

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough demonstrates five of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles. Try going through all five exercises for three rounds, doing each movement for 30 repetitions. You will definitely see and feel a difference when you’re done!

1Double Leg Stretch

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Pro tip: Remember to keep your lower back flat on the mat as you extend your legs out to a 45-degree angle in front of you.

2One-legged Plank

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Pro-tip: Bring your knee as far forward to your chest as you possibly can while keeping your shoulders down.

3Side Plank Reach Under

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Pro tip: Glue your feet together and lift your hips high as you reach under your body.

4Butterfly Crunches

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Pro tip: Keep the front of your ribcage tight and contracted as you extend your arms above your head.

5Single Leg Extension

Pilates Platinum trainer Kourtney McCullough

Pro tip: As you switch your legs, try to lift your body higher and higher off the ground until the tips of your shoulder blades are off the mat.