Snake and Twist on the Reformer

While there are so many exercises that lead up to the Snake and Twist that doesn’t make it any easier to do. It will challenge all those exercises and more.

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer
  • Reps: 2-3 reps of each variation on each side
  • Warning: Not suitable for some back or shoulder issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Snake and Twist on the Reformer

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Snake and Twist on the Pilates Reformer is one of the more challenging Pilates exercises. I'll never forget when I first saw this exercise I thought that it sort of "came out of nowhere." I mean, just look at it! What other exercises look like this? And, then, I started to get creative and I saw that it's got so many Pilates exercises in it. You've got Teaser, Elephant, Up Stretch, Down Stretch, Spine Twist and more! But, while there are so many exercises that lead up to the Snake and Twist that doesn't make it any easier to do. It will challenge all those exercises and more.

Stand in your foot and lift your ribs up to close the carriage.

There are two variations of Snake and Twist on the Reformer. One with the bar down and one with the bar up. This one is with the bar down. And, where most people will thrive in this exercise. Put one heavy spring on, a pad on the corner of your footbar if you don't have padding on your footbar. Place one hand on the shoulder rest and one hand on the edge of the carriage. Place your outside foot on the footbar turned out and your inside foot will cross over your shin. Don't hook your foot on the bar or your leg. Instead, try to slide your foot higher up your shin to connect more your outer hip.

As you press the carriage out with your outer leg allow the carriage to move. However, do not push the carriage further out with your arms. Allow the carriage to be moved by your leg. You'll feel when you can't press with your leg anymore. And that's where you can snake your body through your arms. Hold the carriage still as you do this. Then to return maintain the carriage where it is, tuck your head in and lift your hips. Stand in your footbar foot to anchor and lift your stomach up to close the spring. Repeat 1-2 more times. If going well, add the twist.

Press halfway out and then without dropping your hips and hanging in your shoulders. Instead, stand in your arms and leg and twist your hips through, look over your right shoulder and then lift your hips up and close the carriage. Repeat one more time.


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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