1. Ball Roll Out
Why it works: Tests show that even the deepest core muscles fire up during this exercise. At the same time, the hip muscles show a relatively low involvement so there’s little risk of back injury. Olson said this move is especially good for new moms because it helps realign and strengthen the spine after giving birth.
How you do it: Kneel directly behind a large exercise ball with your palms on top of the ball, arms straight. Slowly roll the ball forward and away from you, stretching your body out as you go. Roll out as far out in front of you as you can while still maintaining balance and without losing control of the ball.
Hold at the end point for a moment then roll back to the start.
2. Pilates Beginner “100”
Why it works: “I tested this move myself and even though you aren’t twisting spine side to side it’s really good at activating the oblique muscles on the sides of your waist,” Olson said.
How you do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet together. Lift your bent legs off the floor so that your knees are aligned over your hips. Stretch your arms out at your sides a few inches above the floor, palms facing down. Pull your bellybutton in towards your spine.
Inhale, then exhale deeply as you lift your chin to your chest.
Keeping your core tight and arms rigid, pump your arms vigorously up and down a few inches; as you do this inhale deeply through the nose for five pumps and exhale through the mouth for five pumps until you have completed 100 pumps. As you get stronger, you can straighten your legs out.