What Is Spine Twist in Pilates? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

How to do the spine twist in Pilates? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Miriam Alonso)
How to do the spine twist in Pilates? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Miriam Alonso)

Improving physical fitness isn’t only about weight lifting but about flexibility as well, and the spine twist in Pilates helps with this. This exercise focuses on the spine, abdominal muscles, and the upper body.

If you want to incorporate this movement into your workout routine, you need to know it’s done. If you don’t follow the exact way to do the exercise, you will not be able to achieve the optimum results.

The correct form for spine twist in Pilates

Sit on the floor with a straight spine. Ensure that your shoulders are not slouching and your core muscles are engaged. This will provide proper support for your upper body.


Next, extend your legs forward and your arms on your sides so that the fingertips are in line with the shoulders.

Once you’ve come to this position, you can start the exercise.

Turn your upper body to one side, with your spine becoming taller as your twist.

Once you feel the stretch on your abdominal muscles, return to the neutral position and repeat on the other side. Continue to do this multiple times on each side.

Tips to make the spine twist better

This exercise needs to be done with proper posture throughout. Here are some tips that will help you do the spine twist.

Control your breathing

When you turn towards the sides, you need to exhale. It will require two exhales to completely turn towards one side. On the other hand, when you return to the neutral position, inhale.

Controlling your breathing is extremely important because it determines the effectiveness of the movement.


Maintain your hand position

When you start exercising, keep in mind that your overall positioning is extremely important. But there can be times that you’re focusing too much on your core muscles that your hands don’t maintain position.

Ensure that you remain conscious of all your body parts involved in the movement for effectiveness.

Benefits of the spine twist

There are several benefits to doing the exercise, especially for the upper body and spine.

This motion helps with increasing the overall range of motion and assists with maintaining stability.

Additionally, spine twists help with improving posture, which is exceptionally helpful in sports such as tennis and golf.


Finally, this exercise allows you to breathe in and breathe out more than once in one movement. This improves the chances of fresh air travelling through your body, which is ultimately good for your overall health.

Common mistakes

There are some common mistakes you should be aware of before making this movement.

When you do the spine twist, you need to twist from your body waist. If you twist from your head, shoulders, or arms, the effectiveness of the movement becomes null.

Ideally, your head, shoulders, upper body, and arms should twist as one unit to the side. On the other hand, your pelvis should remain stable without any twist.

Finally, your core muscles shouldn’t disengage themselves during the motion.

Bottom line

The spine twist in Pilates is a good exercise to improve your balance and stability. You must try and incorporate the exercise into your workout routine since it’ll help with improving balance and stability, which is important for all exercises.


However, since it involves quite a bit of engaging your spine, it’s advisable to start slow, especially with the twists. When you’ve become comfortable with the twists, you can do it slightly faster. However, don’t go too fast with an exercise that is supposed to help the pelvis and the abdominal muscles!

Edited by Piyush Bisht
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