Having a strong core—with visible abs or not—is basically the cornerstone for being a boss at all your workouts. Whether you’re attempting to nail a handstand press, a burpee like Kayla Itsines, or level-up your Pilates practice, you midsection pretty much has to show up for you. But if you ask Hilaria Baldwin, working out your core for the purpose of strengthening your pelvic floor is real name of the body-building, life-improving game.
In a recent Instagram post, the celebrity yoga instructor demoed a subtle yet totally game-changing lower abs move designed to target your entire pelvic floor, and her lengthy caption goes on to explain why that region needs a little extra TLC in the first place. “Reasons to work the pelvic floor: better sex, better control over bladder and poop, fitter body (particularly abs), more youthful body, more stamina… For women: easier childbirth and recovery,” she writes. And at the very least, her first-listed benefit totally holds up, since the pelvic floor contracts during an orgasm.
To add this pelvic crunch of sorts to your next abs routine, lay on your back with your slightly spread legs straight up in the air or with your knees bent. Then lift your chest and shoulders off the ground with your hands clasped behind your head, and hover your tailbone ever so slightly in the air as well. According to Baldwin, the desired sensation should feel like holding your bladder when you really have to go. (Psst: For all you yogis out there, it’s all about engaging the mula bandha.)
Once you’re really feeling the burn, release your bum and head back to the ground as slowly as possible. And if your tummy puffs up amid this exercise, the mom of four says to try to squeeze it in toward your spine to get even *more* out of this killer move. Three sets of 10 reps later, you’ll have crunched your way one step closer to a ripped pelvic floor, Baldwin-style.
If you’re looking even more excuses to roll out your yoga mat, Jessamyn Stanley says this pose is as energizing as a shot of espresso. Plus, these yoga moves pretty much feel like a massage.