Side Bend Prep to Work Your Obliques!

Side bend prep prepares you for the full exercise, Side bend, which is an original Pilates exercise. As I have commented several times, Joseph Pilates created some pretty advanced exercises that he used to condition and rehabilitate dancers and athletes. Since most of us are not dancers or athletes, modifications are appropriate.

Thus, we have Side bend prep. This exercise teaches us to lift with our obliques as we support ourselves with our knee, foot, and a neutral shoulder. As you do this exercise, work to feel your internal and external obliques working.

Side Bend Prep

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. side bend prepHave a seat on your bottom. Move your left thigh so that it’s coming out at about a 45 degree angle from your pelvis.
  3. Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the floor at about a 45 degree angle from your pelvis. Your left knee and your right foot should be in about the same line. If this isn’t comfortable for you, you can stack your right leg on top of your left.
  4. Make sure you can still feel both SITs bones on the ground.
  5. Lengthen your spine and engage your abdominals.
  6. Reach your right arm out, palm up. Let it briefly rest on the top of your right knee.
  7. side bend prepInhale to lift your arm and hips. Press into your left knee and right foot to help you lift. Reach your arm straight by your ear.
  8. Exhale and really try to create a curve at your waist.
  9. Inhale and reach your arm toward the ceiling.
  10. Exhale and lower yourself back to your starting position.
  11. Do 3-5 reps.
  12. Switch sides.
  13. Have a seat on your bottom. Move your right thigh so that it’s coming out at about a 45 degree angle from your pelvis.
  14. Bend your left leg and place your left foot on the floor at about a 45 degree angle from your pelvis. Your right knee and your left foot should be in about the same line. If this isn’t comfortable for you, you can stack your left leg on top of your right.
  15. Follow steps 4-11.

Side Bend Prep Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

However, before we get to the video, I want to take a moment to thank you for reading this article. Personally, I enjoy sharing this information with you, and I hope you find it valuable. If you do, please consider supporting this website! With your support, I plan to take more Continuing Education classes, so I can share more exercises with you.

I think this is a great way to work your obliques and strengthen your shoulders. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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