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Jillian Hessel Pilates Exercise
Call 310-246-0082 in Los Angeles California Pilates Video


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Pilates Workout:


from Pilates Basics

Level: Advanced Beginner

This is an elegant exercise that will help you to lengthen and strengthen your lateral obliques, the muscles that help to form your waistline. In everyday life, the lateral obliques are seldom worked, giving rise to the infamous "love handles" and "spare tire" around the midsection. So stretch away, and enjoy the yawning sensation of waking up these under-used muscles!

B.E.A.M. Workout


Inhale to stretch up and over in one direction. Exhale to move into the counter stretch to the other side.


Visualize a marionette string pulling you toward the ceiling in home position. Then picture the string pulling you in an upward, arcing motion to create the curve of the side-stretch.


Keep your shoulders and hips horizontal, and make sure they stay in home position. Be sure your ribs are not poking out to one side because you're seated on one hip.


Step 1

Sit on your left hip with your legs folded to the right side. Place the palm of your left hand on the floor beside your left hip and let your right arm form a gentle arc out to the side, palm up. Exhale and lengthen up out of your hips and through the crown of your head.

Mermaid - Pilates Exercise Figure 1
Fig. 1

Step 2

Inhale as you raise your right arm overhead alongside your right ear, stretching as far as you can over to your left side. Your left elbow bends, but don't worry if it doesn't reach the mat. Be sure to lift up through your torso to allow more space for side bending.

Mermaid - Pilates Exercise Figure 2
Fig. 2

Step 3

Continue inhaling as you raise your left hip off the mat by driving your left forearm into the floor. Create one long, graceful arc from your right hip to your fingertips.

Mermaid - Pilates Exercise Figure 3
Fig. 3

Step 4 [optional]

Holding your inhalation, come back to the vertical position with your arms at shoulder height, palms up. Pass through this position, keeping the movement flowing. Each time you pass through the vertical alignment, be sure your shoulders are aligned squarely over your hips for an instant.

Mermaid - Pilates Exercise Figure 4
Fig. 4

Step 5

Exhale to reverse the curve, raising your left arm overhead. Bring your right arm in front of your waist as you stretch to the right.

Perform 3 to 5 Mermaids on each side.

Mermaid - Pilates Exercise Figure 5
Fig. 5


Coaching Comments


Step 4 (the side lift) will strengthen your upper body and shoulders, preparing you for more rigorous exercises. However, this is an optional step. If you don't feel ready, then you may skip it and move on to Step 5.

If you have tight hips or feel pressure in your knee, place a pillow under the hip you're seated on.

Body Scan:

Imagine your torso exists in only two dimensions — think of yourself as side-to-side, not front-to-back. Avoid spiraling off your center.

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Jillian Hessel Pilates

Los Angeles, California
Phone 310.246.0082

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