May 01, 2017

Watch this video and follow along as celebrity instructor and Health contributing editor Kristin McGee guides a 10-minute Pilates workout that’s perfect for beginners and pros alike.

During this sequence, McGee focuses on targeting your abs, especially the transverse abdominals, the deepest layer of muscle in your core. According to McGee, we should lead all of our daily activities from those muscles. They support us, give us good posture, and help us with twisting and movement. Plus, that deep transverse core muscle is what helps make your spine nice and long.

As you do this workout, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind. For starters, tune into your body, and really try to feel the connection both to your pelvic floor muscles and to your transverse abdominals. McGee suggests imagining you’re wearing a wetsuit, and it’s pulling everything in your torso inward.

While your core and pelvic floor should feel tight and engaged, be sure to keep your shoulders soft. It also helps to maintain a slight “C curve” in your spine, which allows your lower abs to be pulled even farther in, helping to activate and tone them.

Finally, use your breath to connect to your pelvic floor muscles and scoop in your abs as you go through each move.

Some of the moves may seem really subtle and simple—but don’t be fooled! This sequence is sure to have your abs aching the next day, in the best kind of way.