Want strong abs? We recommend doing this 10-minute Pilates workout four times a week.

Criss-Cross - 5 Pilates exercises for abs - Women's Health & Fitness

Instructions: Throughout this sequence your hips will be in an imprinted position. You should be in this position whenever you have legs elevated in tabletop as this helps to protect the lower back and makes it easier to engage the abdominals. To achieve this, roll the hips towards you and feel how the lower back gently presses down into the floor, then tighten the lower abs.

1: Criss-Cross

Start by interlacing the fingers and placing hands behind the head. Imprint the lower back into the mat and lift the legs one at a time to tabletop. Inhale to prepare and curl up into a chest lift position to begin the exercise.

Exhale to twist the upper body towards the left, taking the right elbow towards the left knee and allow the right leg to straighten.

Inhale to bring the legs back to tabletop and the body through centre to our chest lift. Breathe out to twist to the other side.

As you twist, feel that you connect one armpit to the opposite hipbone. Avoid losing the height of your chest lift as you come through centre. To make this movement more difficult, keep the legs straight instead of having one bent. You’ll then perform the exercise with scissor legs, ensuring that you’re pointing your toes and not bending through the knee.

Perform 8 to 10 times each side, alternating.