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Published on May 30th, 2012 | by ScientiFIT


Summer Abs: Form is Everything!

Hamstring pull is a Pilates exercise targeting the upper and middle abdominal muscles. This exercise, however, is often executed with minimal attention to form.

Courtesy Of: BodybyLottie

Set Up:

  1. Begin by lying on the floor, both legs extended out in front of you.
  2. Pull the abdominal wall in and close down the ribcage.
  3. Push your lower back into the floor to further engage the abs.


  1. Keeping both legs straight, lift the left leg up directly toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Lift the right leg off the floor 4 inches and let it hover over the floor.
  3. Place both hands behind your left ankle, calf, or thigh (but NEVER behind the knee).
  4. Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor.
  5. FLEX (do not point) the toes on both the right and left legs.
  6. PRESS your left ankle/calf/thigh into your hands as if you were pushing your leg AWAY from you. This is where the ab work actually happens! Do NOT pull the leg in towards you. Push it away and press it into your hands.
  7. Switch the legs: lower down the left leg as you simultaneously lift the right leg up.
  8. Take a hold of the right ankle/calf/thigh with your hands and again, press the leg away.
  9. Switch the legs.
  10. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

To exit, lower down both legs on the floor slowly as you pull the abdominal wall in.

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About the Author

ScientiFIT is a site that translates the most recent scientific findings in the fields of fitness and nutrition into a language that is easy to understand by all.

2 Responses to Summer Abs: Form is Everything!

  1. Kristen says:

    Hi Mitra,
    Most of the time I have a habit to point my toes rather than flex them when exercising. Why it is bad to point your toes in this particular exercise?

    • ScientiFIT says:

      Flexing the toes will activate your hamstrings and glutes; pointing them will get into your quads. Generally, hamstrings are the neglected muscle group and quads greatly compensate for the strength of hamstrings. Thus, flexing the toes will activate the hamstring muscles instead.

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