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Pilates Side Lying

Pilates Side Lying

When we do any form of Side Lying work in class, there are so many things to remember.  

  • Stack the Shoulders, Hips and Feet
  • Don't let the feet go back
  • Don't Stick your Ribs out
  • Lift your Ribs
  • Keep the shoulders back and down
  • Don't tense the neck
  • Feet flexed 
  • Feet pointed
  • Lift the bottom leg
  • Breathe

The list can go on and on.

Whether you are practising these moves at home or in class here is a breakdown on how the body should be positioned on your mat.

Let's start at the top and work our way down.


Head Placement

If you have shoulder or neck issues this can be an uncomfortable position so make sure you use a block or a pillow at home to support your head.          

If no neck issues you have two options, you can either rest your head on your arm with the arm out long or bend your arm and rest your head on that if you are needing a bit of extra height.

Quinn Pilates Side Lying Head Support             Quinn Pilates Side Lying Head Support




 This is usually the thing that I am correcting the most, we want to stack the shoulders one on top of the other. 


Quinn Pilates Side Lying Shoulders Forward    Quinn Pilates Side Lying Rolling Back    Quinn Pilates Side Lying Shoulders Stacked

 In this first picture look how much the shoulder                In this middle picture look how much the shoulder            In this final picture, the shoulder is stacked one on 

 is rolling forward and slightly raised.                                is rolling backwards.                                                       top of the other.


Rib Placement

Whilst lying on your side you still need to maintain neutral alignment.


Quinn Pilates Side Lying Collapsed Ribs

Allowing the ribs to collapse

Quinn Pilates Side Lying Neutral Spine

Lifting the ribs up off floor puts you back into alignment, and works your waist. I like visualisations so think of a mouse trying to get into it's little house and every time you let those ribs drop that poor mouse is getting squashed. 


Feet Placement

A good starting point to make sure you are not putting pressure on your back and to help with your balance is to look down and you should be able to see your toes. Ideally, you want to be as straight as you can but if you are wobbling around bring your feet slightly forward and if you are still finding this position hard bend your bottom leg.

Hips need to be stacked one on top of the other, no rolling forward or back again. Feet stacked one on top of the other with your feet flexed which will activate the bottom leg.  

Quinn Pilates Side Lying Arched BackQuinn Pilates Side Lying

Never Allow the feet to come back as this puts pressure on the back.      If in doubt bring feet forward to protect the back.

I hope this helps a little bit and we will be working on this in class and as always when I come around to correct you, let me!!!!! You guys are getting so strong that it' s hard to move you if you don't want me too I so keep up the good work. 

Whether you are practising in class or at home, enjoy.



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