How to Do Pilates Scissors Prone on the Arc Barrel

In this post: Pilates Scissors prone on the Arc barrel is a deceptively simple core-strengthener that can also tone your glutes and thighs.

When I first saw Pilates Scissors (the prone version), I remember looking at my instructor and thinking, Really? What’s that going to do?

Like so many other Pilates exercises, this version of Scissors looks very easy–deceptively so. In fact, I can remember wondering why such a seemingly pud exercise would even be taught.

Then, I tried it.

Surprise! My glutes were not having it–particularly after just doing Leg circles on the Arc barrel. I quickly discovered that although the form for this exercise is simple, your ability to execute it with ease greatly depends on the strength of your gluteus maximus.

This is part of why I really love Scissors prone on the Arc barrel. Just follow the directions below to get set up to safely practice this exercise at home. Then, pay attention to the muscles of your bum to make sure they work the entire time.

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Pilates Scissors prone on the Arc barrel

How to Do Pilates Scissors Prone 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, no wider than hip-width apart. Point your feet. You can choose whether you want to keep your legs parallel or laterally rotated. After you complete a set one way, you may complete a set with your legs rotated the other way.
  7. Flutter your legs as if you were swimming. Make sure that you keep muscular control throughout the exercise. As you flutter, inhale and count to four. Exhale through pursed lips and count to four.
  8. Complete 5 sets this way.
  9. To finish, lower your legs to the Mat.

For the Visual Learners…

Here is a video of how to do Pilates Scissors prone 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 Scissors Prone, Don’t Forget…

When you practice Pilates Scissors prone on the Arc barrel, don’t forget to pay attention to your form. Your abdominals should be lifted toward your spine to help support your low back. If you start feeling low back pain, it’s a good sign that your abdominals quit doing their job. Take a moment to re-engage your abs, and try again.

You also want to make sure that you feel your glutes working. This should feel like you’re squeezing the muscles of your tush. Even as your leg lowers slightly, your glutes should still be working.

As your legs move, feel your adductors (inner thighs) draw toward and then past each other. Although your legs stay hip-width apart the whole time, this is still a great way to strengthen and tone your inner thighs.

By practicing Pilates Scissors prone on the Arc barrel, you can strengthen your core and tone your glutes and thighs.

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 do you think of Pilates Scissors prone on the Arc barrel? Do you think this is an effective 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.