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Side Bend (Seated) Pilates Mat Excercise

side bend pilates mat exercise

The primary intent of Side Bend is to strengthen your shoulders, back muscles and oblique abdominals. Another significant benefit of Side Bend is the stretch it provides for the Adderall muscles on the sides of the body (obliques and quadratis lumborum).

Exercise Overview

Level Intermediate – Advanced
Repetitions 3

Objectives:

  • Stretch the muscles surrounding the rib cage i.e. Serratus and intercostal muscles.
  • Improve gain balance, grace and control.
  • Tone and trim the waist line.

Executions:

Start seated on your left hip with your left leg bent and resting on the mat. Your right leg is bent and in front of your left leg with the sole of your right foot flat on the mat. The knee of the right leg is lifted and pointing upwards. The eight hip is open and laterally rotated. The torso is supported by the left hand which is almost (but not quite) directly below the shoulder. Instead, the bottom hand is far enough out to the side so that the shoulder and wrist will be in one line once the hips are lifted (during the more active part of the exercise). The top (right) arm rests on the top knee, palm facing up.

Step-by-step Execution:

Step 1. Exhale in the start position.

side bend pilates mat exercise start position

Step 2. Inhale and lift the pelvis up, bringing the top arm overhead and squeezing the legs together. The body is supported by the right hand and the soles of the feet.

side bend pilates mat exercise 2

Step 3. Return to the starting position.

side bend pilates mat exercise 3

Modifications:

  • Leave the shin of your bottom leg on the mat and lift your top arm up and overhead.
  • Start with both knees and feet together, sitting on one hip. Perform the exercise with your hip staying on the mat.
  • To slow down the pace of the exercise, inhale in the start position. Exhale as you bring the arm overhead and stretch into the top side of the body. Inhale and stay. Exhale and lower down.
  • Move your feet a little further away from the body to minimize the lateral flexion in the body.