Mermaid Side Bend
Welcome to Pink Lady® Core, a series of bite-sized Pilates tips from our expert Jane Linden designed to help strengthen those all-important core muscles. The final exercise in our series of four is the Mermaid Side Bend, an exercise that helps to increase pelvic stability and increases hip and oblique strength.
To master this move, just follow the steps below.
Mermaid Side Bend
Lie in a straight line on your side, knees, hips and shoulders lined up on top of each other, balancing on your bottom hip.
Place your head on your bottom arm, with the palm of that hand on the floor.
Lengthen your spine - lifting your waist away from the floor by pulling your abs in. Check that your neck is neutral, you may need a towel between your ear and your arm.
Place the hand of your top arm on the floor in front of your chest for balance. Keep your top shoulder rolled back towards your spine and do not lean onto your hand. Keep your chest open and facing forwards.
Bend your bottom leg if you need more stability.
Lengthen your top leg away from you as though you are trying to make it longer.
Lift your top leg to hip height and simultaneously lift your upper body up to the side by gently pressing into your bottom hand and lifting your head away from your bottom arm.
Aim to create a small gap underneath your armpit so the bottom side of the ribcage begins to lift away from the floor.
Return your leg and upper body to the start position, keeping your abdominals contracted at all times.
To increase the challenge of the exercise keep your bottom leg straight and place your top arm on the side of your body. This will demand more work of the abdominals to keep you stable as you have less floor contact.
Things to look out for...
As you move the leg there should be no pressure in your top hand.
Pull your abs in to stop yourself rolling.
Keep your pelvis and chest square to the wall in front of you at all times.