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Exercise of the Week: Snake and Twist



Snake and Twist on the Reformer

There absolutely no doubt about it: The Snake and Twist is a challenge!  In fact some people say that it’s more of barometer of how your practice is coming along than an exercise that you would normally be doing everyday.  to successfully perform this exercise, you’ll need strong core control and good shoulder stability.  If you suffer from wrist problems, skip this exercise or use a shoulder rest with sticky pad to give you more scope for grip.  If you’re pregnant, avoid this after 16 weeks and omit this if you suffer from osteoporosis, lower back pain or sacroiliac problems.

For both the Snake and  the Twist, limit the range of motion to begin with.  Start with the footbar in its lowest position to begin with.


At the very least, you need to be able to comfortably perform the Up Stretch on the Reformer, the Swan whilst Pulling Straps, Side Bend and Twist on the Mat.

What’s it good for?

Perhaps a good question to ask is what is it not good for?  One answer to that question might be: self-confident=ce.  If you are not ready for this exercise – you’ll find out quickly enough: you’ll feel a total absence of strength where you most need it!  If you can perform this exercise, or you’re nearly there, then congratulations – you are well into your Pates journey!.

  • Rotator Cuff, Latissimus Dorsi, teres Major, Serratus Anterior, Lower Trapezius and overall shoulder strengthening and conditioning.
  • Hip Flexors and abdominal strengthening.
  • Hamstring stretching.
  • Shoulder blade (scapular stabilisation).
  • General coordination & full body integration
  • Twist: internal and external oblique strengthening and lateral torso strengthening.


Things to think about…

  • Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Keep your navel in towards your spine whilst preforming the exercise.
  • Only push the carriage out to where you can maintain the alignment of your torso.

Happy Pilatesing!

Miguel 🙂


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