facebook google-plus linked-in twitter youtube Instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Instagram
machines matwork small-equipment

exercise of the month

Square Press Abdominal Exercise

May 2020


This exercise strengthens the abdominals, whilst challenging pelvic stability

Starting Position

Lie supine on the floor with the pelvis in neutral.  The arms are down by the sides of the body on the floor.  Inhale to prepare and exhale to engage the core abdominals and raise one foot at a time of the floor until the knees are bent at around 90 degrees above the hips. 


Inhale – to prepare

Exhale – to engage the core abdominals, and lower the thighs away from the body so that the feet come towards the floor as far as a neutral pelvis can be maintained.  The angle at the knee remains at around 90 degrees throughout

Inhale – to open out the knees and feet to shoulder width apart

Exhale – to maintain core engagement and return the legs back towards the body until the knees are once again above the hips

Inhale – to close the legs and return to the start position.  The legs effectively make the shape of a square.

Target Muscles

Core abdominals, oblique abdominals, rectus abdominis, hip flexors


Ensure that the pelvis remains in a neutral position throughout

Ensure the neck stays long and the shoulders stay away from the ears

Only move the legs away as far as a neutral pelvis can be maintained

Ensure the angle at the knee does not change.  Maintain a 90 degree angle throughout

Contra Indictions

Variation One

This same exercise may be performed with one foot on the floor and one leg in the air


Variation Two

Only push one leg away from the body if the weight of two legs is too much


Variation Three

The arms may be in the air, directly above the shoulders (easier), or outstretched behind the head (harder).

Share this exercise

July 2022

A lovely exercise for spinal articulation to open the back of the body and assist in coordination

View exercise >

Post a classified advert

Members of Pilates Union can list classified adverts.

Post an advert