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Side Splits

footbar position #4, 1 or 2 springs, gearbar and carriage stopper position #1


Stand on Reformer, facing side. One foot on footboard, one foot on edge of carriage. Spine and pelvis neutral. Legs long and parallel. Arms long, reaching out to sides, palms down or forward.


To prepare, inhale…

exhale   maintain pelvis and spine neutral and weight equally on both feet and press legs evenly away from midline to move carriage out
inhale   return legs evenly toward midline, controlling return of carriage

Complete 8-10 repetitions on each side.


Target Muscles: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques and erector spinae to stabilize torso; abdominals and hip extensors to stabilize pelvis; hip abductors concentrically to press carriage out, eccentrically on return

Stability: torso

Mobility: hip abduction and adduction


  • keep pelvis and spine neutral, avoid posteriorly or anteriorly tilting pelvis or extending spine
  • maintain pelvis level and square to one side
  • avoid ‘locking’ or overextending knees


Platform Extender

The Platform Extender is an ideal tool to increase range of motion on the side splits. Placed directly beside the footboard, it allows a greater degree of adduction during the end phase of the movement.

For more exercises from STOTT PILATES, visit http://www.stottpilates.com/warmup

STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary, anatomically-based approach to Joseph Pilates’ original exercise method. Master Instructor Trainer, Moira Merrithew, together with President and CEO of STOTT PILATES Lindsay G. Merrithew and a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, has spent more than a decade refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and programming. Each month we will outline a unique exercise you can practice at home or with your clients.


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