Progressions for Pilates Side Body Lift

The side body lift in pilates might look easy but anyone that has tried it knows the real story. You need amazing balance and control to really make it look effortless.
Your obliques, abs, inner thighs , and glutes all need to work in perfect unison to get the body to float up.

Here are 3 different progressions that will help you with this exercise.

1. Side Body Lift on the Mat

Starting this exercise on the mat, allows you to find the right muscle firing pattern. Make sure you start with your transverse abdominals. That is the foundation of executing this exercise. Connect with your inner thighs, glutes, lat, and obliques. Then breathe and lift!

side body lift on mat with body bombshell fitness

2. Side Body Lift on the BOSU

Once you have mastered this exercise on the mat, try challenging the same exercise on the BOSU. This will really challenge the stability of your pelvis. The BOSU always tells the truth and will show you what muscles may have been “cheating.”

side body lift on BOSU with body bombshell fitness
3. Side Body Lift on the Chair

Once you have passed the first 2 tests, it is time to put all the pieces together on the chair. The spring loaded pedal will create more of a challenge for the obliques and that will show up in how stable you are able to keep the pelvis.

side body lift on chair with body bombshell fitness

To continue evolving your Pilates practice, check out how you can get better at your Pilates swan exercise!

Joseph Pilates teaching the swan on the wunda chair

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