10 Minute Abs

Five exercises to build abdominal strength and endurance

Article by Laura SanchezQuan

Photography by Shannon Raske

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

Proper breathing during pilates practice helps engage with consciousness, muscles of the trunk, deep core muscles and pelvic floor to ensure your body is in the correct position to effectively and safely perform the exercise. Proper breathing is important for oxygenation of the body and circulation; breathing correctly is fundamental in Pilates.


Lie on your back, knees bent, arms down by your side, palms down. Bring your chin to your chest, straighten legs to the ceiling (or 45-degree angle). Stretch your arms along your side, pressing your lower back to the mat. Breathe in for 5 counts, breathe out for 5 counts, pump straight arms up and down. 

100 pumps, 10 full breaths 

Single Leg Stretch

Lie on your back, chin-to-chest with your head up. Inhale, one knee to your chest, and extend the other leg out as low as you can, with your lower back on the mat. Exhale, change legs, and pull the other leg into your body as you reach the leg out long in opposition.

6-10 reps

Double Leg Stretch 

Lie on your back with your chin to your chest. Head up, inhale, arms by your ears, with your legs out long. Lengthen. Exhale, sweep your arms around your ankles, and pull your knees tightly to your chest. 

6-10 reps


Lie on your back, chin-to-chest, eyes on your abs. Hand behind your head, straighten your legs to the ceiling. Inhale, lower your legs with control slowly, with your lower back on the mat. Exhale and lift straightened legs up to the ceiling quickly, spine on the mat, with sacrum flat.

6-10 reps

Criss Cross

Lie on your back, chin-to-chest, hands behind your head, and elbows wide. Inhale. Bend one knee to your chest, reach the other leg long, twist, reach your armpit to the opposite knee, and look back to the corner of the mat. Exhale. Stay up and change. Twist and reach. 

6-10 reps

Galiya Loustalot

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, Galiya Loustalot earned her degree in Philology (the study of the English language and Literature) from Suleyman Demirel University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She then lived in Thailand, United Arab Emirates, until settling in the Houston area in 2014.

Formerly an artistic gymnast and ballroom dancer, Galiya actively practices yoga and Pilates. She is passionate about Pilates, yoga and healthy eating. She loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to help others to become healthier and stronger through movement. At her boutique-style studio in Vintage Park; Pilates by Galiya’s Fitness, she caters to clients at all levels with small group Pilates classes, individual and duet sessions, as well as small group private events on equipment.

Outside of the studio, Galiya enjoys spending time with her husband and their two young boys.

Pilates by Galiya’s Fitness
142 Vintage Park Blvd., Suite B
Houston, Texas, 77070


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