Side Bending in Pilates: When will I learn?

Side Bending in Pilates: When will I learn?

Alycea Ungaro recently weighed in with her move of the month: Pilates Side Bends.

Really? I thought we were friends.

I get it.

Friends make friends do Pilates exercises they don't like.

Awesome friends insist they do it twice!

Not just me, I bet

Everyone can benefit from more of these when-do-we-move-like-this-in-life side-bending exercises. We want lots of strength and lift in both sides of our waist – and Joe Pilates has given us specific exercises just for this purpose.

So get used to that Short Box, 'cause it's not going anywhere.

Find a good friend to give you a delicious stretch in the Mermaid.

And dust off your Mat.

Do what you have to do. 

Get Ready to feel fabulous!

The Shape is Key

Side Bending in Pilates: When will I learn?

Any imbalance will show up like gangbusters in these side bend exercises. Revel in the side that is possible. And become obsessed with the gimpy-er side – it needs some tough love. Remember it doesn't have to be pretty to feel good afterwards.

Pilates is not a spectator sport…generally.

1. The Shape of All Things Pilates: Side Bend

A Killer Short Box Can't Hurt

Side Bending in Pilates: When will I learn?

Short Box Series is one of the unsung heroes of the Reformer repertoire. Loathed by countless Pilates teachers and practitioners, the Short Box continues unrelentingly to shower us with benefits. If only we appreciated all that these exercises contribute to our wellbeing. Especially the really gruesome ones… well, they're all heinous depending on who you are. Why pick just one?

The Short Box, likely the first place you'll bend to the side, deprives you of springs and occasionally, of your dignity.

Best make use of all you've got at your disposal: your stomach (scoop, lift, center, powerhouse, etc…) and the straps on your feet.

P.S. Short Spine Massage is coming…

2. The Use of the Straps in the Short Box

Mermaid: The Darling of the Pilates Exercises

Side Bending in Pilates: When will I learn?

Pilates with a friend, what could be better?

Indulge in the Mermaid and stretch like a cat all around the Pilates system. There's an apparatus for everyone. My current favorite (as you can see) is the Mermaid on the Reformer but the Wunda Chair is a close second.

Smiley McSmilerson!

3. Pilates Side-Bending: The Mermaid Obsession?

Side Bend on the Mat.

It has been a long time in coming, but I am here to scream it loud and clear:

This is a lower body exercise!

We must stop taxing our poor little arms and shoulders and stand into the lower body to hoist ourselves off the ground.

Lengthen!

Lift!

And then lift again to sit down with control.

Now let's breathe.

  • Take a deep breath in and lengthen up into the position.
  • Exhale and stretch that top side to the sky.
  • Push into your feet and see how high you can lift the hips. Be the animal that you are.
  • Now sit straight down with control and get some stretch of the lower side on the way down.

Yes, lift on the way down too.

There is no collapsing in Pilates. #collapsology?

Thank you Alycea Ungaro for this month's focus on Side-Bending.

4. Get Strong with Pilates Side Bends

#benditlikeJoe

Contrology was conceived to limber and stretch muscles and ligaments so that your body will be as supple as that of a cat…

Joe Pilates

C'mon, be a cat. You cannot do it right or wrong. You're either a cat or you're NOT. No two cats are the same, so you're not learning a movement, YOU'RE A CAT.

Kathy Grant

#nowyouareananimal #meow

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Comments

  1. Oh I hate those side stretches, too! Right up there with Swimming, Swan and Rocker! Thought I’d never see them again! Yes I know, the ones I hate the most are the ones I need the most! OK, I get it! Back to it! Thanks!

    • Bob! I feel you…those are my least favorite exercises too. But recently when I had to do a number of the Side Bends in succession for the photos for the Shape of All Things post on Pilatesology…I noticed how afterwards I felt so good! Really?? It is a constant reminder, yes? Those exercises that just feel SO not-fun, are the really necessary ones.

      Tell you what? I will take them on if you will. Together we shall triumph over the dreaded side bends and backbends 🙂 Deal?

      Cheers to you! And thank you so much for reading and for just being plain awesome.

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