How to Do Pilates Beats on the Arc Barrel

In this post: If you’re looking for a quick way to strengthen and tone your tush and inner thighs, try Pilates Beats on the Arc barrel.

Pilates Beats on the Arc barrel looks easy. Unlike some other prone Arc barrel exercises, there isn’t a lot of choreography or complexity. This provides a sort of break for your brain.

However, that doesn’t mean this exercise is easy to do.

In fact, if you believe you may have weak glutes, this exercise will probably be a challenge–particularly if you have just completed Leg circles and prone Scissors on the Arc barrel. With tired glutes, you might struggle just to hold your legs in the air.

Then, you’ll add adductor (inner thigh) work. As many ballet dancers can attest, to beat your legs together requires leg strength.

Finally, you’ll practice breathing on a four count. With Pilates Beats on the Arc barrel, you’ll emulate the smooth breath you use when practicing The Hundred. This breathing style helps deepen your relaxation and improve your concentration.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do this gentle-yet-effective Arc barrel exercise.

Click here if you want to learn the basics of Pilates and yoga with me in a FREE 30-day challenge.

How to Do Pilates Beats on the Arc Barrel

pilates beats on the arc barrel
  1. Place the Arc barrel so the curve seems like a bump in the road on your mat.
  2. Carefully, lower yourself onto your stomach over the Arc barrel
    Your hips should be near the apex of the barrel. You will probably feel your knees on one side of the barrel and your forehead on the other side.
  3. I like to stack my hands on top of each other and rest my forehead on top.
  4. If it feels like your pubic bone (the front part of your crotch) is painfully pressing into the barrel, slide a towel or piece of foam under the front of your hips. This should help alleviate any discomfort.
  5. Use Pilates breathing. Inhale through your nose to lift your abdominals away from the barrel.
  6. Exhale to lift your legs to hip level. Make sure to keep your legs lifted to this height for the whole exercise. Point your feet. Laterally rotate from your hips. This means your knees will face out to the side.
  7. Inhale through your nose as you tap your heels together four times.
  8. Flex your feet at the ankles, and exhale through pursed lips as you tap your heels together four times.
  9. Complete 4-10 sets this way. I’m suggesting such a broad range because if you’re doing all the Arc barrel leg work as a sequence, you don’t need to do more than four sets here. However, if you just want to do this exercise, you should strive for 10 sets.

After you complete your sets in lateral rotation (with your knees facing the sides), you can do Beats in parallel. Personally, I don’t like to do this because I feel like my ankle bones slap against each other.

Plus, I don’t feel the challenge of the exercise when I’m in parallel like I do when I’m in lateral rotation. Still, it’s an option if you want to try it.

For the Visual Learners…

Here’s a video of how to do Pilates beats on the Arc barrel for all the visual learners out there.

Finding the Best Arc Barrel

If you’re in the market for an Arc barrel, I recently compared the top five Arc barrels on the market. Here’s who made my top five list and which barrel I’d buy.

When You Practice Pilates Beats, Don’t Forget…

When you practice Pilates Beats, you need to really pay attention to which muscles are keeping your legs lifted. Your glutes should be lifting your legs, but that doesn’t always end up being the case.

Sometimes, the low back tries to lift the legs. This is a bad idea because it can cause low back pain or injury.

In order to make sure you don’t hurt your back, keep your abdominals active. Lift with your glute,s and allow your adductors to bring your legs together as you practice your beats.

Also, I just want to let you know that if you’re interested in learning the basics of Pilates and yoga, I offer a FREE 30-day challenge. Click here to sign up today!

What is your favorite glute-strengthening Pilates exercise? Let us know in the comments below.

About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.