Building Abdominal Symmetry With Pilates

February 24, 2012

Working on rocking a well-defined set of abs by the beginning of summer? Sit ups, crunches and leg raises are great, but check out this study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. The results might convince you to plan out a totally different type of abdominal workout.

Using MRIs, researchers determined the volume of rectus abdominis, obliques and transversus abdominis muscles on 9 healthy inactive women. Then they put them through a standard 36-week pilates program. Rectus abdominis volume increased an impressive 21% while the other two muscle groups increased 8%. Even better, pilates training developed greater symmetry between the dominant and non-dominant sides. If you want to get a balanced look, incorporate a similar program into your training. And for a sweet tip on abdominal fat reduction, see today's Breaking News post at