Side Sit Ups on the Reformer

Side Sit Ups are also excellent for teaching Side Leg Kicks, Star and any Tall back exercises in Pilates. They challenge your hips’ ability to remain square.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer, Straps
  • Reps: 3-5 reps each side of each variation
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some back issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Side Sit Ups on the Reformer

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Side Sit Ups on the Pilates Reformer is an excellent way to challenge your glutes, side body strength, and length. They also teach amazing awareness of where you are in space. Side Sit Ups are also excellent for teaching Side Leg Kicks, Star and any Tall back exercises in Pilates. They also challenge your ability to remain square and work from the right places. There are many variations you can use when doing your Side Sit Ups on the Reformer. These are also great to try on the Ladder Barrel when you feel ready!

Press the heel side of your foot into the strap the whole time.

Usually done after Tree on the Short Box so the set up is much simpler. As you're already on your Short Box, turn your hips to one side and leave one foot in the strap. The leg which hip you are sitting on is bent on the box. Your foot can be pressing into your inner thigh or at an angle on the box. Place your bottom arm on the headrest and reach out as long as you can to get tension on your strap. The leg under the strap is straight and reaching up and out. Press the heel side of your foot into the strap. With your hips stacked and square, place both hands behind your head.

Lower your upper body down and then lift back up to two long sides without your strap leg dropping. Then repeat 3-5 times. If you want to make it more challenging, straighten your arms out and lower and lift your upper body with more distal arms. Repeat that 2-3 times. You can also add in twist variations before taking a stretch and turning to the other side. No matter which variation you do be sure to keep your shoulders and hips stacked. They like to do funny things to cheat during this exercise.


Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!

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